Folk Music and Arts from Around the World Highlight the Free 37th Annual Lowell Folk Festival July 26-28



3 Days of Music, Food and Family Fun

in Historic Downtown Lowell, MA


(Lowell MA- April 10, 2024) The Lowell Festival announced the first set of musical acts performing at the 37th annual Lowell Folk Festival set for July 26-28.  One of the most popular free folk festivals in the country attracting up to 150,000 visitors each year, the three day festival features music, dance, crafts, food and family activities across downtown Lowell, Massachusetts.

“We’re excited to announce this incredibly diverse group of performers, who represent just eight of the performers who will be in Lowell at the end of July,” said Arthur Sutcliffe, board chairman of the Lowell Folk Festival Foundation.

Two generations of R&B royalty will be at the 2024 Festival as Cyril Neville (the youngest of the Neville Brothers) will be on stage with his son Omari Neville as they bring the distinctive sound of New Orleans to  Lowell.  Another side of classic American folk music will shine as Jesse Daniel delivers ‘the Bakersfield sound’ of honky-tonk, made famous by Merle Haggard among others.

Representing folk traditions from the other side of the world, internationally renowned dancer Farah Yasmeen Shaikh and her ensemble share Kathak, one of the six major classical dance traditions of the Indian subcontinent.  The master artists of the Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago bring all the pageantry and energy of a harvest festival in rural Korea along with the flying footwork, brilliantly colored dress, and joyful song, dance and percussion of pungmul.

Tennessee-based High Fidelity burst on the bluegrass scene 10 years ago when they won first place in the International Band Championship at the 40th Annual Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) Awards.  This five-piece band has a passion for the great bluegrass sound of the 1950s and ’60s, which shines through in their timeless sound, capturing the essence of bluegrass and gospel.

Praised by Living Tradition magazine as “among the brightest musical prospects on the horizon of traditional music,” the Friel Sisters are a trio of Irish siblings celebrated for their stellar musicianship and their captivating interpretations of a precious family song tradition, delivered in an uncommon but uniquely stirring unison style.

With a sound all their own, Afro Dominicano infuses the merengue and bachata of their Dominican roots with an irrepressible blend of styles and influences that includes samba, reggae, punk and R&B, all filtered through a uniquely New York sensibility, producing what they call Afro-Caribbean soul.  

Sugaray Rayford is a rising star among American blues artists, with recent accolades at the Blues Music Awards that include two-time Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year, 2020 B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, and 2023 Soul Blues Album of the Year for his latest album In Too Deep.  

“Over three days, the Festival offers an incredible array of music and dance performances spotlighting folk traditions from across America and the world on four different stages in downtown Lowell,” declared Festival Director Lee Viliesis.  

For many festival-goers, the music is just as much of a draw as the opportunity to savor the many tastes of the diverse cuisines offered by non-profit organizations from around the Merrimack Valley, who come together to prepare and sell the foods of their heritage, with proceeds to benefit those organizations. 

Viliesis continued, “I am always reminded how this family event brings an incredible range of people, young and the young-at-heart, to this vibrant gathering in America’s first urban National Park.” 

More details about the festival, including additional artists and schedules, will be announced soon. Visit or to stay posted on all future updates for the 37th Lowell Folk Festival 2024.

The Lowell Folk Festival is produced and supported by the Lowell Festival Foundation, the City of Lowell, Lowell National Historical Park, the National Council for the Traditional Arts, the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, and the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Major support for the Lowell Folk Festival comes from Mass Cultural Council, Saab Family Foundation/Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, Richard K. and Nancy Donahue, Demoulas Foundation, John Hunnewell Trust, Middlesex Community College, UMass Lowell, Mahoney Oil/Eastern Salt, Mosaic Lowell, Hilton Garden Inn Tewksbury Andover, Mass Office of Travel & Tourism, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Anheuser-Busch, Owl Stamp Visual Solutions, All Sports Heroes, Enterprise Bank, Aubert Fay Foundation, Theodore Edson Parker Foundation, Lowell Litter Krewe, and Dylan & Pete’s Ice Cream.