Full 4-Day Scheduled Announced for 50th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival

Northwest Folklife announces the full schedule for all four days of the 50th Anniversary Northwest Folklife Festival. Created in partnership with Seattle Center and presented by Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Northwest Folklife’s 50th festival will take place virtually on the From Home to Home platform (nwfolklife.org) on Memorial Day weekend, May 28-31, 2021.

Spanning all four days of Memorial Day weekend, the 50th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival will showcase over 120 performances on six program channels, 75+ local merchants spotlighted on the Virtual Marketplace, and a Merchandise Store to purchase special 50th memorabilia. View the full schedule here.

Livestreams: The full schedule includes 3 livestream channels streaming live on Facebook,Twitch, and nwfolklife.org/festival. Enjoy performances from local artists on the 50 Years of Folklife and Folklife Premieres channels. The Roadhouse: Participatory Workshops & Dances channel will host live participatory workshops and dances that audiences can sign up for in advance.  

Participate: In addition to enjoying performances, audiences are encouraged to live out the heart of Folklife by participating! Both The Roadhouse: Participatory Workshops & Dances and the Gathering Room channels will offer opportunities to partake in dances, games, and various workshops through Zoom rooms. Learn more about the participatory programming here.

On-Demand: The On-Demand channel featuring a variety of music, dance, and art available on-demand starting at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 28. Families are invited to partake with theFamily Fun channel, hosting both on-demand performances and hands-on activities that can be done from the comfort of your home.

Program highlights include:

  • A performance and interview with bluegrass artists, Cliff Perry and Friends, Saturday, May 29, at 3:50 p.m. This performance was filmed on the historic Bluegrass Hill at Seattle Center
  • Hip hop artist, Draze aka Dumi Maraire, performs on Saturday, May 29, at 4:30 p.m.
  • Halau Hula Pulamahiaikalikolehua, Ke Liko A`e O Lei Lehua E Kapuaokalani, Halau Hula O Napualani performing in a special showcase, Sunday, May 30, at 12:10 p.m. This showcase was filmed at Pier 62, thanks to Friends of Waterfront Seattle
  • Folklife Premieres Channel hosts local artists including Pat Chessell (Sunday, May 30, at 7:35 p.m.) and Debbie Miller (Monday, May 31, at 5:20 p.m.)
  • Highlighting the art of hip hop with 206 Zulu (Saturday, May 29, at 6:05 p.m.) and Massive Monkees (Monday, May 31, at 4:30 p.m.)
  • Sponsored by KNKX45th St. Brass performs Sunday, May 30, at 8:30 p.m. on the Folklife Premieres channel
  • Participatory Balkan dancing with Kef (Sunday, May 30, at 8:15 p.m.) and musical performance by Balkanarama (Saturday, May 29, at 8:40 p.m.) to keep you moving throughout the weekend
  • The Circle of Indigenous Peoples Celebration shares stories, songs, and traditions on Saturday, May 29, at 12:10 p.m. and Monday, May 31, at 3:10 p.m. This showcase was filmed at the Duwamish Longhouse, Center for Wooden Boats, and Seattle Center.
  • Building from Here: Arts and Culture (Sunday, May 30, at 2:30 p.m) with Alexa Peters, independent music journalist; King Khazm from 206 Zulu; Leigh Bezezekoff from Tractor Tavern; and Benjamin Hunter from the Black and Tan Hall and Hillman City Collaboratory. 
  • Jack Straw Youth Poetry and Song Singalong and the rest of the Family Fun: Dance and Sing videos are On-Demand starting Friday, May 28, at 3:00 p.m. Activities for all ages are available on Family Fun: Create and Explore.
  • Reggae legend, Clinton Fearon, performs Monday, May 31, at 5:45 p.m. This performance was filmed at the Mural Amphitheatre at Seattle Center.

Shop Local: In addition to performances and workshops, the festival also includes a Virtual Marketplace highlighting 75+ local small businesses, boasting both longtime favorite festival vendors and first-time merchants.

Buy 50th Memorabilia: Northwest Folklife is celebrating its 50th anniversary with commemorative apparel. Visit the Merchandise Store for a variety of apparel featuring both artwork for the 50th anniversary commemorative logo and the 50th festival poster. Merchandise will be available for purchase starting on Wednesday, May 19.

“Alongside the commemorative festival, From the Archives showcases slides and photographs recently digitized that span five decades, the Poster & Button Gallery displays all 50 years of festival posters as well as the iconic button collection, and an interactive 50 Years of Folklife Timeline shares some of the organization’s milestones,” shared Executive Artistic Director, Kelli Faryar. “Audiences and Folklife-lovers are encouraged to share their memories, stories, and photographs by sharing via social media and using the hashtag,#Folklife50, as the festival remains and always will be for and by the people.”

Presented by Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the 50th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival will take place virtually on Memorial Day weekend, May 28-31, 2021, at nwfolklife.org

The Northwest Folklife Festival is made possible with support from Seattle Cancer Care AllianceSeattle CenterSeattle Sacred Music & ArtFriends of Waterfront SeattleSlalom,Punch Drunk Productions,  KNKXSeattle’s ChildNorthwest Asian WeeklyThe Stranger,South Seattle Emerald, and KBCS.

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