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The Festival will feature more than 60 events including performances, jam sessions, dances, workshops, family-friendly activities and more. Performers range from local to regional to national touring acts. This years’ festival will feature Dom Flemons (of the Carolina Chocolate Drops), singer Lilli Lewis and her band from New Orleans, the Gaslight Squares from St. Louis, Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters, the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys, and a plethora of other national and regional acts. Local artists will include Candy Foster & Shades of Blue, the Hobnob String Band, Melvin Knight & the Amber Sky, the Bashful Youngens, Emily Anne Band, Cobalt Blues Band and many more.
Family-Friendly Day – Saturday, October 26
Saturday, October 26th features more than 25 events that are family friendly and for kids-of-all-ages, including jam sessions, workshops, lessons, and impromptu festival fun, all taking place in and around downtown Urbana. On Saturday, every event before 5pm is free and open to the publicALL EVENTS BEFORE 5PM ARE FREE
10:00 – 11:00 C4A Morning Music for Kids
10:00 – 11:00 Urbana Dance Co. Folkin Yoga with Maggie Taylor
10:00 – 12:00 Common Ground Porch Old-Time Jam with Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers
11:00 – 12:00 UFL-Lewis Dom Flemons presents an American Songster/Storytelling Workshop
11:00 – 12:00 Cohen You Can Ukulele Too with Martha Tyner
11:00 – 12:00 UFL-Busey Black-Eyed Lillies (Blues)
11:00 – 1:00 Lincoln Square Food Ct. Bluegrass Jam with the Cody Sisters
11:15 – 11:45 C4A Humbird (a musical fairytale for kids)
11:30 – 12:30 Urbana Dance Co. Introduction To Blues dancing
12:00 – 2:30 UFL-Lewis Storytelling
12:00 – 12:30 C4A Mister Stephens (Kids)
12:45 – 1:30 C4A Lil’ Folkers Puppet Party with Miss Hannah Rae (Kids)
12:30 – 1:30 Cohen A Brief Look at Folk Music from the African American Tradition with Lilli Lewis
12:30-1:30 UFL-Busey The Coneflowers (Folk)
1:00 – 2:30 Urbana Dance Co. West African Dance Class with Ayodele (Drum & Dance)
1:00 – 3:00 Lincoln Square Food Ct. Cajun Jam with the Cajun Cornstalkers
1:30 – ? C4A Musical Mayhem Parade (Kids and the Young at Heart)
1:30- 3:00 Rose Bowl Blues Jam with the Cobalt Blues Band
2:00 – 3:30 Iron Post Jug Band Jam with the Steel City Jug Slammers
2:00 – 3:00 C4A Introduction to Playing Klezmer with Veretski Pass
2:00 – 4:00 Cohen Learn to play Harmonica with Dave Witzany (harmonicas provided)
2:00 – 3:00 UFL-Busey Michael Meadows (Contemporary Folk)
2:30 – 4:00 Blackbird New Orleans Street Beats: Jam to a Different Drummer with Lilli Lewis
3:00 – 4:00 Urbana Dance Co. Capoeira with Angola Center IL
3:00 – 5:00 UFL-Lewis Shape-Note Singing with the Sacred Harp Singers
3:30 – 4:30 UFL-Busey The Matchsellers (Bluegrass/Old-time)
3:30 – 4:30 C4A Rhythm Bones Workshop with Dom Flemons
3:30 – 5:00 Rose Bowl Country Jam with Nick Stein
4:00 – 5:00 Iron Post Barrelhouse Piano Workshop with Ethan Leinwand
Kickoff- Thursday, October 24
The 3-day festival will kick off with a free event at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, October 24th at 5pm with performances by The Gaslight Squares (from St. Louis) and The Hot Club of Urbana (from Urbana.) Later that evening, festival attendees can enjoy dinner at The Red Herring Vegetarian Restaurant with Hobnob String Band at 8PM. Later, The Channing Murray Chapel will host a swing dance with the Gaslight Squares at 9PM. At Blackbird in downtown Urbana, Carolyn Sills (Santa Cruz, CA) and The Bashful Youngens (Urbana) will be performing, and that’s only Thursday!
Friday, October 25
The rest of the festival will take place in downtown Urbana at The Rose Bowl Tavern, The Iron Post, Blackbird, Urbana Free Library, Community Center for The Arts, Cohen Building, Common Ground Food Coop and Urbana Dance Company starting on Friday, October 25 at 5pm.
Stay tuned to their Facebook page for news of year-round festival happenings.