This Weekend: Chicago Folk & Roots Festival

By Mike Fourcher | Thursday, July 7, 2011

This Saturday and Sunday, in Welles Park, the Old Town of Folk Music will host their 14th Annual Chicago Folk & Roots Festival featuring two full stages, three secondary performance spaces and a kids tent, as well as their food and vendor spaces. Check out the main stage line up here.

The festival, which runs from noon to 9:30 p.m. each night for a $10 suggested donation at the gate, has a decidedly more mellow feel than other Center Square street festivals. The festival’s music-centric schedule and wide-open park space invites more blanket sitting and conversations than the booze- or food-fueled street events that bookend the summer season.

This is not the festival to catch big pop music names. Although past festivals have hosted Black Joe Lewis & The Honey Bears, Robbie FulkAlejandro EscovedoMichelle Shocked and Jeff Tweedy, the line up is much more for those with deeper music collections than the average listener. In other words: You’re more likely to hear something you’ve never heard before at the Roots Festival than ever before. It’s kind of like asking the record story guy to show you his favorite stuff, but without the angst of High Fidelity.

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