News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Festival announces new bookings

The Sisters Folk Festival (SFF) has been developing its lineup ever since the State of Oregon reopened and is excited with this year’s creative direction of its signature event, scheduled for October 1-3.

In a new round of bookings, artists for the 2021 SFF include: nine-time all-Ireland fiddle champion and Grammy award-winner Eileen Ivers; legendary zydeco musician CJ Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band; LowDown Brass Band with their horn-driven Chicago street beat, jazz and hip hop delivery; Portland-based singer-songwriter Haley Heynderickx; Southern old-time and grooving ensemble Hogslop String Band; soulful songwriter and guitar player Garrett LeBeau; and the instrumental guitar artistry of Yasmin Williams.

These artists join previously announced artists Ruthie Foster, Darrell Scott, Mary Gauthier, Judith Hill, Ron Artis II & the Messengers, Willy Porter, Emily Scott Robinson, Max Gomez, Rainbow Girls, Thunderstorm Artis, AJ Lee & Blue Summit and many more.

Festival Creative Director Brad Tisdel said, “We have the opportunity now to fill the rest of the festival lineup with specific types of music, with phenomenally talented artists who will broaden the musical, creative, and cultural diversity of the Festival experience.” The last round of artist additions will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

This year’s event will take place in seven venues around Sisters on October 1-3. The annual festival of roots music represents a long-awaited return to live music, and a celebration of what makes the Sisters community, the performing artists, and the Sisters Folk Festival so special. All seven of the venues will be outdoors — most will be tented — so face masks will not be required, subject to any state and federal guidelines that may be in place at the time of the event.

Additionally, SFF has announced plans for the 2021 Americana Song Academy, taking place over the four days prior to the Folk Festival at a new location outside of Sisters: the House on Metolius. The House on Metolius is a historic home with cabins overlooking the Metolius river basin and the Cascades mountains. Academy organizers have decided to create a more intimate experience, with just 50 participants and fewer instructors this year.

Teaching artists at the 2021 Americana Song Academy include Mary Gauthier, Willy Porter, Emily Scott Robinson, Thunderstorm Artis, Ordinary Elephant, Robby Hecht, Alisa Amador, Dennis McGregor, and Beth Wood. The Song Academy will run Monday, September 27 through Thursday, September 30. Space is limited, with fewer than five spots remaining.

Tickets for the Folk Festival are on sale now with less than 300 all-events passes available to purchase. A very limited number of single-day tickets will be available once the daily schedule is finalized, sometime in early August.

For those wishing to volunteer for their ticket, a variety of volunteer shifts will open up in late July for setup, take-down, merchandise sales, patron check-in, bar, and more. Additional information on all of SFF’s summer programming, including tickets, lineup, and volunteering, is available at


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