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Happy 30th Birthday, Free Folk Fest!

Attention food connoisseurs! The San Francisco Folk Festival Committee is seeking a catering coordinator for this year's event. Responsibilities include contacting and coordinating with caterers as well as seeking out additional food vendors. For more information, please contact Donna Hyatt at (415) 321-0835.

The San Francisco Free Folk Festival will take place June 24th-25th, 2006--two full days of free dances, workshops, concerts, open mic, music, a crafts and music marketplace, and food on site. Join us for continual fun with all styles of music and FREE admission. The festival surrounds you with smiles, new friendships, music, dance and a wonderful community!

The festival is held at Roosevelt Middle School (Arguello at Geary). Onsite parking is limited, but street parking is available within walking distance. The festival is easy to reach by public transportation, using the MUNI lines 1, 2, 4, 33 or 38. The site is wheelchair accessible.

Activities

More than fifty workshops run the gamut of beginning to advanced and are led by experienced teachers from our local community and beyond. Instruments covered include fiddle, guitar, harp and more. Vocal workshops include song circles and harmony singing.

More than thirty dance workshops cover basics such as waltz, hambo, contra and International dance. There may also be swing, Irish, Scottish, English and more--many with live bands.

Concerts include locally, nationally and world renowned artists. There are also open mic sessions where anyone may sign up.

Family activities include a concert, crafts, storytelling and children's workshops. If you have ideas for these family shows, crafts, or other family-oriented activities, please contact the festival director,

In late March, check out the festival web page: www.sffolkfest.org. We update it continually as performers and workshop leaders confirm. Currently you can view last year's web page for pictures and memories.

Perform and Volunteer

We’d love to hear from singers and musicians, soloist or groups, who want to perform in venues ranging from the Main Stage to the “Café Cabaret” small stage. Please contact the performance coordinator at:

We need workshop leaders in instrumental music, singing, and dance. Contact or

There’s always a need for leaders of children’s or family-oriented activities, such as sing-alongs, dance/movement workshops or hands-on craft activities. Be creative and ask your kids and teens to participate. Contact or

Fold-in/Folk Sing April 30

The fold-in is at noon, Sunday, April 30 at the home of Abe & Joan Feinberg. The more, the merrier. Help with the folknik, enjoy a meal afterwards, and make music. Bring a potluck dish and instruments.

New Memorial Day Campout Site: Waterman Creek

We have located a new place for Memorial Day Campout this year—a site among the redwoods in Santa Cruz County on the way to Big Basin State Park—about two hours from the Bay Area. We can have the usual campfire sings and jams—without the usual 10:00 p.m. curfew imposed by state parks.

Registration: Everyone is encouraged to make reservations ahead of time in order to get directions and to give us an estimate of the number of vehicles and people attending. We are camping on land owned by SFFMC member Mark Levy, and parking space is somewhat limited—about 20 vehicles. Car pools are advisable. The registration blank is below. It is not necessary to be a folk club member to attend.

Facilities: There are spaces throughout the 7½ acres of woods for parking and tents, including two spaces where RVs can connect to electricity, plus a shelter 30 feet in diameter with a roof and walls, which we can use in case of inclement weather. Portable toilets will be provided. Water is available. Bring your own tables and chairs. Garbage can be recycled, burned, used for compost or carried out. We may organize a work party to help get the site ready about a week or so before the campout. Keep an eye on the next folknik for more news.

Maps: People who pre-register will receive a confirmation sheet with a map and directions to the site. Deadline for registration by mail is Friday, May 19. Click here for a registration form.

Dance around the Christmas Tree?

My friend Ulla Skolk tells me that in Sweden, January 13 is throwing-out-the-Christmas-tree day. There are parties where the kids dance around the tree one last time and are given sweets. The tradition in her town of Vara is that the party will be in the town square. A fellow from the fire brigade will come driving their oldest truck and bringing the sweets. Can we get something like that started over here? —Faith

Save the date: Old Time Convention

September 14-17 will be this year’s Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, featuring the New Lost City Ramblers (Mike Seeger, John Cohen, Tracy Schwarz), Ginny Hawker, Hank Bradley & Jody Stecher, plus other acts too numerous to mention!) We’ll have concerts, the Farmers Market String Band Contest, a Saturday night square dance, workshops, open mic Cabaret, etc. Visit www.berkeleyoldtimemusic.org for complete info.

Cannery Concerts

Chantey singer from Maine, Alison Lee Freeman, will be singing at The Cannery, 2801 Leavenworth St., San Francisco, on March 14th, 15th and 16th. Concert times are 11:00-11:45 a.m. Tuesday, March 14th; 11:00-11:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 15th; and 11:45-12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16th. For more information about Alison and her music visit her web site at www.alisonleefreeman.com.

New Monthly Singing Session

A cappella singing group In Harmony's Way is starting a monthly singing session for anyone and everyone who loves a rousing chorus. We meet the first Wednesday of every month, 8:00-11:00 p.m. at the Epic Arts Center, 1923 Ashby Ave (at MLK), Berkeley. The next meeting is March 1.

If you love singing in pub or sea shanty sessions, or at Shape Note conventions, or with the evening singing that happens at Camp Harmony after the concert, then this session is for you! Our inaugural session took place in February and was a resounding success! Thanks to all (sixty odd or thereabouts) who attended.

This is an absolutely FREE event--with tip jar in the corner to help support the Epic Arts Center, our fine hosts. The Epic Arts Center is a wonderful venue that presents music concerts of all kinds, theater, art and more. They have a living-room like space and sell beer, wine and goodies. The center is accessible by public transportation--directly across Ashby Ave. from Ashby BART. More information on the Epic Arts Center at www.epicarts.org. More info on In Harmony's Way at www.inharmonysway.com.