10 Folk Music Festivals in the USA You Can’t Miss

Folk music is a genre that has something for everyone. From upbeat and fun tunes to more thoughtful and reflective ballads, there’s a style of folk music to suit every taste. And what better way to enjoy it than at one of the many fantastic folk music festivals held across the United States?

To help you plan your folk music festival calendar, we’ve put together a list of 10 can’t-miss events from coast to coast. So whether you’re a folk music af


If you love folk music, then you’ll want to check out some of these great festivals happening in the USA. From coast to coast, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy live music and immerse yourself in American folk culture.

1. The Newport Folk Festival (Rhode Island)
2. The Philadelphia Folk Festival (Pennsylvania)
3. The Chicago Folk Festival (Illinois)
4. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (Louisiana)
5. The Austin City Limits Music Festival (Texas)
6. The Seattle Folklife Festival (Washington)
7. The Portland Folk Music Festival (Oregon)
8. The San Francisco Folk Music Festivals (California)
9. The Big Bend Folk Festivals (New Mexico)
10.The Taos Solar Music Festivals (New Mexico)

What is folk music?

Folk music is a genre of music that is typically passed down orally and is characterized by its traditional style. It often has roots in the music of a certain culture or region. Folk music has been around for centuries, and it continues to be popular today. There are many different types of folk music, but some common genres include blues, country, bluegrass, Celtic, and world music.

There are many folk music festivals held throughout the United States each year. These festivals are a great way to experience different types of folk music from all over the country. If you love folk music, be sure to check out some of these festivals!

The history of folk music in the USA

The United States is home to a wide variety of musical traditions and styles, many of which have their roots in the country’s multicultural history. One of the most popular and unique genres is folk music, which encompasses a wide range of styles that reflect the diverse cultures that have shaped the country.

Folk music has its origins in the oral traditions of various cultures, including British, Irish, Scottish, and African American musical traditions. Over time, these traditions have mingled and evolved to create a rich tapestry of sounds that can be heard in folk music from all over the world.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in folk music, both in the United States and abroad. This has led to an increase in the number of folk music festivals being held each year. These festivals provide a great opportunity to experience this unique genre of music firsthand.

If you’re interested in attending a folk music festival, check out our list of 10 can’t-miss events from around the United States:

The top 10 folk music festivals in the USA

Summertime means music festival season, and there’s no shortage of them in the United States. If you’re a fan of folk music, there are a few festivals in particular you won’t want to miss. Keep reading to learn about 10 of the best folk music festivals in the USA.

Newport Folk Festival

The Newport Folk Festival is an American annual folk-oriented music festival in Newport, Rhode Island, which began in July 1959 as a counterpart to the previously established Newport Jazz Festival. The festival generally features a mix of traditional folk music and contemporary acts and takes place every year at Fort Adams State Park. It is currently produced by Jay Sweet.

Some of the most notable performances at the Newport Folk Festival include Bob Dylan’s first acoustic set in 1963, Joni Mitchell’s debut in 1967, and Leonard Cohen’s first U.S. appearance in 1968. The festival also served as a launching pad for songs like Peter, Paul & Mary’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane”, which went on to become a #1 hit, and Ritchie Havens’ “Freedom”, which became an anthem of the Woodstock generation.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival

The Telluride Bluegrass Festival is an annual bluegrass music festival held in the town of Telluride, Colorado. The event features many of bluegrass music’s leading artists, as well as country, gospel, and rock musicians who often jam together during the course of the festival. The festival also offers workshops, movies, and other events related to bluegrass music.

Old Settler’s Music Festival

For more than 35 years, the Old Settler’s Music Festival has been one of the most beloved folk music festivals in the United States. The festival takes place every April in Driftwood, Texas, just outside of Austin, and features a diverse lineup of both established and up-and-coming folk musicians.

In addition to music, the festival offers camping, dance workshops, and kids’ activities. The idyllic Hill Country setting makes Old Settler’s a perfect weekend getaway for music lovers of all ages.

Wind River Mountain Music Festival

The Wind River Mountain Music Festival is held every June in Pinedale, Wyoming. The festival showcases a variety of folk music, including bluegrass, old-time, western, and Celtic. There are also dance workshops, clogging lessons, and square dancing. In addition to the music, the festival also offers hiking, camping, fishing, and rafting opportunities in the nearby Wind River Mountains.

Wheatland Music Festival

It all started in 1976 when a small group of volunteers got together to put on a folk music festival in a remote, rural part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Now, more than 40 years later, the Wheatland Music Festival is one of the most highly respected and best-loved music festivals in the Midwest. This family-friendly event attracts some of the biggest names in folk, bluegrass, and Americana music, as well as up-and-coming artists from all over the country.

The festival takes place over three days in September and features more than 30 musical acts on four stages. There’s also an extensive lineup of family-friendly activities, including square dancing, clogging, storytelling, instrument petting zoos, and workshops.

With its beautiful setting in the Manistee National Forest and its commitment to keeping things small and intimate (attendance is capped at 5,000), the Wheatland Music Festival is a true gem among American folk music festivals.

Folk Festivals West

The top 10 folk music festivals in the USA are mostly located in the western half of the country. From bluegrass in the mountains to traditional Celtic music on the coast, there’s a lot of variety to choose from.

Whether you’re a diehard folk fan or just looking for a good time, these festivals are sure to please. So pack your bags, pack your instruments, and get ready for a memorable experience at one of these incredible events.

1.Telluride Bluegrass Festival – Telluride, Colorado
2.High Sierra Music Festival – Quincy, California
3.Pickathon Music Festival – North Plains, Oregon
4.FreshGrass Festival – North Adams, Massachusetts
5.Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival – Oak Hill, New York
6.Muddy Roots Music Festival – White’s Creek, Tennessee
7. Newport Folk Festival – Newport, Rhode Island
8.Outlaw Field Summer Concert Series – Boise, Idaho
9.Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance – Silk Hope, North Carolina
10.WinterWonderGrass Colorado – Avon, Colorado

South Florida Folk Festival

The South Florida Folk Festival is a three-day event held in January at the picturesque impairment County Park in Davie, Florida.

The Festival features over 100 folk, bluegrass and Americana performers on 4 stages, as well as food trucks, art and craft vendors, Kids’ Zone activities and more. marked its 42nd year in 2019, making it one of the longest running folk festivals in the country.

Some of the past performers include: Blue Highway, Tim Grimm, The Once, red Maddox Band, Brother Sun, Cary Morin, The Bills, Darryl Purpose and Ellis Paul.

American Folk Blues Festival

The American Folk Blues Festival was an annual musical festival that featured some of the most influential blues musicians of the 20th century. The festival was started in 1962 by Willie Dixon and Leonard Chess, and it continued until 1971. Some of the most famous musicians who played at the festival include Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, and Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee.

Philadelphia Folk Festival

Held every August since 1962, the Philadelphia Folk Festival is the longest continuously running outdoor music festival of its kind in North America. The festival features a diverse range of folk and Americana performers on multiple stages, along with workshops, crafts, and food and drink vendors. With more than 15,000 attendees each year, it’s one of the largest folk festivals in the country.

Falcon Ridge Folk Festival

The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival is one of the top folk music festivals in the USA, and it takes place every year in Hillsdale, New York. The festival features a wide variety of folk musicians from all over the country, and you can also find a number of food and craft vendors at the event. If you’re looking for a relaxing weekend filled with great music, then this is the festival for you.


We hope you enjoyed our list of 10 folk music festivals in the USA you can’t miss! If you have any suggestions for other festivals that should be on this list, let us know in the comments! And if you’re looking for more music festival fun, be sure to check out our lists of the best jazz festivals and the best world music festivals happening in the USA this year.

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