For the past 61 years, the University of Chicago’s Folk Festival has brought a multitude of folk acts to Mandel Hall stage. Since 1961, we've been privileged to host some of the world's best folk artists, in genres as diverse as Celtic music, old-time, bluegrass, klezmer, Cajun music, and many more. Over the years, the festival has been cemented as such a success and had a lasting impact on the nation’s folk music scene.
The Folk Fest isn’t a small event. We bring in 6-9 acts from around the country and world for two full nights of performances and a full day of workshops on Saturday, hosted by some of our artists. The workshops provide a free and fun way for everyone to get involved with jamming, singing, and dancing!
If you’re interested in hearing some of the best music in Chicago and beyond, mark your calendars for February 12th-13th, 2021, and please come join us for our 61st Anniversary Folk Festival! We have some exciting talent lined up!
The unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted artists and arts organizations especially severely, and we feel that it is important to continue the tradition of supporting artists and bringing music to our community during these difficult times.
In traditional years, the vast majority of our budget goes directly into paying our acts, but our costs exceed that of which we raise in ticket sales and university funds. Although our funding has gotten cut dramatically this year, we continue to use our resources to support great artists during the fest, and have reached out to artists from around the country (and the world) to create an excellent remote concert.
In normal years, about 70% of our funding comes from ticket sales. This year, as our remote concert is free to listeners, we are relying on donations to continue supporting the Fest. That’s where you come in — please consider donating in lieu of ticket sales so that we can continue to host this important event for many years to come. With your support, we will continue to hire the highest-quality folk musicians from around the country and world so that each year we can put on a truly special show.