News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Blues, bluegrass, Irish music on tap for festival

After a successful 2019 event, Sisters Folk Festival is celebrating its 24th festival this year. The organization started announcing the initial lineup for the 2020 festival, releasing one artist every other day throughout February via social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and on their website. Music fans can also subscribe to the SFF email list for weekly updates throughout the year.

Artists announced so far include: Montreal-based Quebecois band Le Vent Du Nord, a crowd favorite from last year and the 2020 SFF Encore Performer; extraordinary singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier; progressive bluegrass and newgrass group Fireside Collective; the Irish band JigJam, playing their blend of high-energy traditional Irish music mixed with Americana and bluegrass, which they deem “I-Grass”; and the incomparable blues and soul singer Ruthie Foster.

“We’re bringing back a few of the extraordinary artists that have helped shape Sisters Folk Festival over the years, while always pushing our creative direction to new and exciting artists. We consider it honoring the past while moving things forward to the future. Stay tuned for artist announcements throughout the spring,” said Brad Tisdel, creative director.

The Sisters Folk Festival is unique, with 11 venues throughout town.

The largest venues are at Sisters Art Works, which holds 1,400 people, and the centrally located Village Green Park, where the tent holds 1,100 patrons.

Other distinct and charming venues include: Angeline’s Bakery & Café backyard, The Depot Café patio, the Open Door courtyard, The Belfry (a converted 100-year-old church), the free Americana Stage at Fir Street Park, the stunning ponderosa pine stage at FivePine Lodge & Conference Center, the intimate Sisters Coffee Company, the Sisters Saloon for late-night revelry and the tented venue at Oliver Lemon’s (formerly Melvin’s by Newport Avenue Market).

All of the venues are walkable, and bike valet service is provided at three locations around town, courtesy of Blazin Saddles Cycle N Style.

SFF Executive Director Crista Munro says, “One of the things that makes Sisters Folk Festival a standout festival experience is the fact that ‘All The Town’s A Stage.’ The mixture of larger tented venues and smaller, more intimate settings provides a wide variety of options to accommodate all of our festivalgoers. The scene all over town is lively and vibrant during the weekend, and you can hear music nearly everywhere you go on your strolls around Sisters.”

Festival week will kick off once again this year with the Americana Song Academy, an immersive experience for musicians and songwriters at Caldera, a performing arts camp high in the Cascades on Blue Lake, 20 minutes from downtown Sisters.

Artists teach the craft of songwriting in workshop sessions, song circles, epic communal meals, mentor sessions, and open mic performances.

Sisters Folk Festival is producing the 19th Song Academy in 2020 and the event is proving to be a transformational experience for songwriters and musicians alike.

This year’s group of instructors includes Ruthie Foster, Willy Porter, Mary Gauthier plus many more who will be announced with the artist rollout.

The academy is popular and traditionally fills up early.

Tickets are on sale now and selling fast. For more information on the 2020 Sisters Folk Festival or the Americana Song Academy, visit Sisters Folk Festival.


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