For many, the mixture of banjos, mandolins, and autoharps with emotionally charged lyrics—the defining characteristics of folk music—are no longer relegated to the generations that faced the Great Depression and Dust Bowl.
The resurgence of folk, embraced by both indie and mainstream artists alike, is something that is befitting for Long Beach—hence why Shea Newkirk of Long Beach Independent is hosting his second Long Beach Folk Revival Festival with a larger location in Rainbow Lagoon Park and three stages of music goodness.
“Long Beach sure loves its folk music—and not only because of the recent resurgence in the genre nationwide but because it is simple music that tells a story,” Newkirk said. “With so much melding of culture in the city, unique and interesting stories emerge and local artists want to tell these stories through a medium that can reach a wide audience—and that is a huge part of folk and roots music.”
Noting that Long Beach is a “crazy eclectic town of movers, dancers, doers, thinkers, and music makers,” Newkirk’s acceptance of the folk revival and obsession with bringing it to Long Beach has been a carefully curated effort. After all, folk is being embraced by many artists as not just an overall music genre, but as an ingredient to be added to electro, punk, blues, and country, as exemplified by LA-based Restavrant, set to play at this year’s Folk Revival.
This year’s lineup is tangible proof that Newkirk’s endeavor isn’t about getting anyone and anybody on the stage but providing a musical experience that shows off the diversity of folk music and the players who are contemporarily shaping it. After all, the fact that Indiana-based Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, one of the nation’s leading folk acts, is leading the lineup with local acts like Sawtooth is nothing short of experiential awesomeness for any Folk Revival visitor.
“We hand select each artist and really take a lot of time listening to different acts—no easy task,” Newkirk said. “There are so many amazing bands that want to play and we truly do go through every submission and give each a good listen. We also try to include a good balance of local Long Beach acts mixed with up and coming regional acts and proven nationally touring bands.”
This year’s entire lineup is an impressive array of musicians and bands, including:
- Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
- The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit
- Possessed By Paul James
- Frank Fairfield
- The Americans
- Tom Brosseau
- Moonsville Collective
- RT N’ the 44’s
- The Get Down Boys
- Eagle Rock Gospel Singers
- Triple Chicken Foot
- Tommy Santee Klaws
- Vinnie & the Hooligans
- The Bottled Spirits
- Wreck N’ Sow
- Echo Sparks
- Blind John Pope
- G Burns Jug Band
- Skin & Bones
- The Hollow Trees
- Black Lab & the Banjo
- Billy Rose
If that isn’t enough to get you to attend the festivities come September 27, just take Newkirk’s promise that the “Long Beach Folk Revival Festival equals a guaranteed good time.” Beyond the music, there are a plethora of shindigs ranging from pie eating contests to open bluegrass jams to vintage clothing booths to a stage dedicated entirely to stuff for kids.
“We keep our lineup diverse and provide music, entertainment, and activities for every person in the family including the kids, the grandparents, that pesky pre-teen and every in-between,” Newkirk said.
Bring on the banjo.
The 2nd Annual Long Beach Folk Revival Festival is set to take place on September 27 from 11AM to 10PM inRainbow Lagoon Park, located just across from Shoreline Village and the Marina in Downtown Long Beach. For more information, visit www.FolkRevivalFestival.com.
Free news isn’t cheap.
We believe that everyone should have access to important local news, for free.
However, it costs money to keep a local news organization like this one—independently owned and operated here in Long Beach, without the backing of any national corporation—alive.
If independent local news is important to you, please consider supporting us with a monthly or one-time contribution. Read more.