Local Staple Continues to Impress

 Folk Festival offers big names at a little price

By: Tom Rose, Staff Writer


PC: Mariposafolk.com/ The festival’s 56th incarceration has already attracted names such as Bruce Cockburn and The Barenaked Ladies

The Mariposa Folk Festival has long been a venue for art and music lovers from around the world to come and enjoy some of the very best folk art that Canada has to offer. Entering its 56th year this July, it looks like the festival is coming out swinging. The lineup, which the festival’s website promises will “grow to 50+”, already includes the legendary Bruce Cockburn, Canada’s sweethearts The Barenaked Ladies, and YouTube phenom Matt Andersen.

Hosted at Orillia’s Tudhope Park, the festival will run this year from July 7th to 9th, offering musical acts across 11 stages. Also making a comeback is the always delightful Artisan’s Village, a collection of 50 or more craftspeople offering handmade items ranging from soap to jewellery and apparel for attendees to peruse in between acts. Promising “lots of creations to keep [us] delighted for hours”, the festival is currently accepting registrants to fill up the charming little market among the trees.

I can hear the wheels turning as your eyes scan the page. So what, you might ask? There are always music festivals in the summer, especially in this area. Burl’s Creek has been hosting the wildly popular Wayhome for the past two years, and Boots and Hearts has been around even longer. What makes Folk Fest worth your hard-earned dollars? Besides star power, which the other two festivals admittedly have in spades, Folk Fest offers a price you just can’t beat.

I went to Wayhome the first year it operated, and while I missed the chance to get my ticket as inexpensively as I could have, I still felt that the two hundred and sixty-some dollars I spent was worth all the bands I got to see plus a weekend of on-site camping. Last year, after tickets prices jumped and camping was offered separately from general admission, I almost didn’t go. But I still shelled out around three hundred and fifty-odd dollars. Boots and Hearts is offering payment plans for their tickets this year, a promising option as general admission will run you $315.48 after taxes, but before your campsite (an additional $150-$750). I get it, festivals on this scale cost a lot of money to put on, and what’s the point if they’re not taking home some profit? Even music lovers have to kowtow to the gods of capitalism, after all.

But hear me out – Folk Fest is crushing it so far with their lineup. I mean, sure, Cockburn and The Ladies aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you can’t get down to Lovers in a Dangerous Time, you’re probably a robot sent from the future to stop someone foiling your uprising. And the tickets are unbelievably reasonable. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 24 – AKA several of you reading this now – tickets are only $75 for the whole weekend. If you’re like me, and old as dirt, you’re still laughing at a mere $114 for the same ticket. If you insist on camping – which, now that our UPasses work throughout the summer there’s really no reason for – it’ll cost you an extra $51. To summarize, if you’re a 19 year-old who wants to camp at Tudhope Park for four days, your total ticket cost will be $126 before taxes. That is a steal. So, where will you be pitching your festival tent this summer? I already know my answer, and I hope to see you all there.

Tickets for The Mariposa Folk Festival are available now at mariposafolk.com.