Folk Music

Should you feel the need to add some culture to your Valentine's Day weekend, the University of Chicago Folklore Society's 54th annual Folk Festival is just the place to do it. This family friendly indoor fest brings folk lovers to Hyde Park for three days, February 14 - 16, of music and dance.

This year performers range from traditional Irish acts like The Yanks to old time jammers Bigfoot to classic blues guitarist Ari Eisinger. The U of C Folk Fest continues to pride itself on its homegrown talent in 2014 with performances from local Irish folk singer Paddy Homan (accompanied by guitarist Dennis Cahill and fiddler Teresa Shine, both local players). The festival also isn't putting strict any limits on what can be defined as "folk." Chicago gospel singer Calvin Bridges' spot on this year's bill should be enough to tell you that. 

These artists and more will perform at one or more of Folk Fest's three concerts, all of which will occur at Mandela Hall (1131 E. 57th St.). For a full list of performers and performance schedule, visit the festival's website.

If you're looking for some additional entertainment, head down the street to Ida Noyes Hall (1212 E. 59th St.) for full days of free folk music workshops on Saturday and Sunday. Learn about Scandinavian dance, banjo styles, Siberian folk songs and so much more from the festival's performers and local professionals. Over two dozens workshops will be offered over the course of the weekend so we're confident you'll be able to find something that floats your boat! For a full schedule workshop description list, click here. A schedule can also be found on the fest's website.

Tickets for all three of the University of Chicago's Folk Festival are still on sale. Friday and Saturday nights' shows are $25 a piece and Sunday's concert costs $20. Purchase a pass to all three for $55. If you plan to bring the whole family along, be sure to remember that seniors receive a $5 discount on tickets and students pay just $10 at all concerts!