Today the Lowell Folk Festival and its producing partners announced plans for Keeping the Tradition: A Virtual Celebration of the Lowell Folk Festival. Held in the streets of Lowell, MA for 33 years, the Lowell Folk Festival brings together tens of thousands of people in celebration of the richness of American culture and the unique spirit of the Lowell community. The festival was cancelled earlier this year due to state and local safety guidelines regarding large gatherings. To keep the tradition alive, the Lowell Folk Festival partners have created a virtual celebration of this beloved event that captures the joyous spirit and energy of the festival.
Over the course of the festival weekend (July 24-26), highlights from previous festivals will be aired on the Lowell Folk Festival website and social media. The celebration starts Friday evening (July 24 at 6:30pm) with re-airings of a 13-part radio series from the 1990s, produced by WDUQ public radio in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), and will continue through Sunday afternoon. This radio series, curated and narrated by the late Joe Wilson using recordings from the NCTA’s archives, captures the diverse and exuberant musical traditions that have been presented on the festival stages, and can be heard on the Lowell Folk Festival website and social media.
On Saturday evening (July 25 at 6:30pm), the online celebration continues with a special video presentation featuring musical sets from past performances and new performance sets from artists recorded exclusively for this event, as well as a brand new short documentary showcasing all that there is to love about the Lowell Folk Festival. Original performances will be provided by John Doyle and Nuala Kennedy of The Alt (Irish), Grupo Rebolu (Colombian), and Le Vent Du Nord (Québécois).