73rd National Folk Festival Comes To Nashville This Weekend

It’s going to be a good Labor Day weekend in Nashville, largely thanks to the totally free National Folk Festival camping out at Bicentennial Mall for the next three days. Lest you write off the NFF as simply another free outdoor festival to hit up if you have time, consider this – Nashville beat out 43 other cities for the rights to host, and the festival will return annually through its 75th birthday in 2013. The National Folk Festival’s roots run deep, and we couldn’t be happier that it’s found a home here.

So what can you expect if you wander over to the festival this weekend? Have a gander:

The National Folk Festival features over 250 of the nation’s finest traditional musicians, dancers and craftspeople, 6 stages of continuous performances, participatory dancing, parades, workshops, crafts exhibits and demonstrations, a festival marketplace, children’s activities and delicious regional and ethnic foods.

Legendary masters as well as the next generation of dynamic young artists celebrate the musical soul and cultural roots of America. Audiences are treated to authentic blues, gospel, jazz, polka, cowboy, bluegrass, klezmer, old-time, Cajun, rhythm and blues, mariachi, western swing, zydeco, as well as traditional music and dance from Native American, Celtic, Acadian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, Asian, Appalachian, Hispanic, Eastern European, African and Pacific Island cultures.

It would be an understatement to say that there’s something for everyone at the Nashville Folk Festival. Try a dozen somethings for everyone. From Mexican mariachi to breakdance to Cherokee storytelling to ancient hula to a flea circus, there will be no shortage of entertainment from all cultures and traditions.

Most of the acts are new to us, but we highly recommend checking out the Nashville Scene‘s list of Ten must-see National Folk Festival Acts if you’re looking for a starting point.

And there will be booze. Yes, booze in a state park… Sort of. The beer gardens will actually be outside of the actual park, at the corners of Jefferson St and 8th Ave, a sneaky sneaky trick that we’re totally on board with. That beer will pair mighty well with food from basically one bazillion local food trucks, who have been put on a rotating schedule for the weekend (click for the truck lineup: Friday, Saturday, Sunday).

The National Folk Festival kicks off tonight from 7-10:30pm, and continues tomorrow (Saturday) noon to 10:30pm and Sunday noon to 6:30pm. A full schedule of all performances can be found here.

Photo by National Folk Festival.

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