Traditional music fans can’t wait for this year’s Princeton Traditional Music Festival, now in its ninth year. “Every year brings something different,” says Jon Bartlett, organizer of the event. Dozens of musicians, excelling in shanties, Canadian logging, fishing and mining songs, and songs from England, Ireland, and Scotland fill the town for the entire weekend.
The festival takes place in downtown Princeton from August 19 to 21. Friday night sees a street dance, starting at 6.30 p.m. The dances are traditional too, and this year will be Balkan-based, with a genuine Balkan wedding band to make the music and teach the (very simple) steps.
On Saturday and Sunday, two outdoor stages (under tents and with chairs), and one indoor stage in the library, will feature songs and tunes from over one hundred performers, many from the interior.
This year the festival is very pleased to welcome back Ashcroft’s John Kidder, who is an expert at the old, old songs of the range. He’ll share a collection of cowboy lore, songs, and stories, and promises to demonstrate some rope-handling, too.
The festival is free because all the performers, volunteers, and organizers give their services for free. Grants from the provincial and local governments cover the necessary costs of tents, publicity, and meals for the performers. “This is what traditional music is all about,” says Bartlett. “It’s skilled, varied, community-based, and free.”
For more information, visit the festival website at www.princetontraditional.org.