The sun was shining on the the Jasper Folk Music Festival September 13 as organizers basked in the afterglow of an event-gone-smoothly.
Community support in lieu of provincial funding, an all-Canadian lineup, increased turnout and a more diverse cultural milieu were just some of the successes festival Executive Director Cristin Murphy was celebrating while tuning into the event’s closing jam.
“We felt like if we could get through this year we can get through anything,” she said, referring to the event’s smaller budget despite increased expectations in the reincarnated festival’s third year.
With $10,000 less to work with compared to its past two years, the committee had to be more strategic with their expenses. As such, more effort went into making Sunday a more structured lineup; workshops were added as were more vendors.
“We also wanted to expand our horizons and we were happy to be able to add more Aboriginal and Francophone content,” Murphy said.
Despite the rain on Saturday night, the audience, for the most part, got warmer as the night went on. The Pick Brothers Band cut the chill with their high energy, shoes-off stomp rock, then headliner Harry Manx got in the groove, mesmerizing the crowd with a roots-raga, east-meets-west soundscape.
At press time, final numbers had yet to come in but Murphy said they were sitting just shy of the $30,000 in gate revenue they had budgeted for. The festival attracted approximately 70 volunteers.
“This event takes an entire year to organize, we do feel like we’re getting better at it,” Murphy said.