Flagstaff Folk Festival
The summer’s most laid-back and most affordable music festival just might be the Flagstaff Folk Festival happening June 18 and 19 at Coconino Center for the Arts and the adjacent Pioneer Museum. More than 100 folk, Americana, acoustic and bluegrass bands and singer-songwriters will play a total of five stages both indoors and outdoors. There will be music lessons, workshops, food vendors, an art exhibition and, of course, plenty of impromptu jam sessions (spectators are encouraged to bring their own instruments). This is the festival’s 15th year, says Anne Wittke, who co-directs the event with her husband, Barry Malpas. The festival raises funds for Coconino Center for the Arts, Pioneer Museum and Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music.
The musicians at the festival all play for free, and sign-ups are on a first-come, first-served basis, says Anne. While most of the musicians are from Arizona, it’s not unusual to have performers from much further away. “One year we had a woman show up from Australia,” says Anne.
The festival has a very family-friendly atmosphere. There’s no alcohol or smoking, and dogs on leashes are allowed. Last year, about 1,200 people attended the event. Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music is the driving force behind the folk festival, which started in 2002. The 240-member FFOTM was founded in 1988 and became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2000. The organization also hosts the annual Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival in Flagstaff in September.
Flagstaff Folk Festival
June 18 and 19, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Coconino Center for the Arts (2300 N. Fort Valley Road) and Pioneer Museum (2340 N. Fort Valley Road). Tickets are $5 per person per day or $15 per family per day. For details, visit www.flagfolkfest.org or call 928-606-2064.
Picture a giant Halloween party in the middle of a shaded park in the center of downtown Flagstaff at the beginning of summer, and you’ll get an idea of what Flagstaff Hullabaloo is all about. The party returns to Wheeler Park for its seventh year June 4 and 5. Over the course of two days, 10 bands will play two stages. There’s also a kids area, bike parade, beer, wine, cocktails, food, circus performers and yes, the famous costume contest. “Hullabaloo often looks like a Halloween event with hundreds of costumes,” says Matt Ziegler, festival director. “Sometimes bands dress up. We started the costume contest to encourage a festive and whimsical environment. Flagstaff doesn’t need much of an excuse to put on a costume so we have had a lot of fun seeing what wild outfits people come [up with] each year.”
Matt says the festival attracts high-energy bands that play danceable music. Most of the bands are based in Arizona with a few national acts thrown in for good measure. This year’s lineup includes headliners Calexico along with psychedelic rock band Spafford; bluegrass band Muskellunge; the New Orleans-style funk of Wes Williams Band; the Latin rhythms of Vox Urbana; the Americana sounds of The Watters; the ’80s influences of Yin Yang and Zen Some; vaudevillian swing by Jimmy Carr & The Awkward Moments; bluegrass and Americana from Viola & The Brakemen; and rock ’n’ roll from Le Trebuchet.
Festivalgoers will be able to purchase craft beers from Lumberyard Brewing Company and Four Peaks Brewing Company along with wine and mixed drinks from AZ Distilling Company. There will be food booths and trucks, and a VIP area featuring massages and private bathrooms. The kids area will keep little ones entertained with bounce houses, a giant slide, an obstacle course, a bungee trampoline, laser tag and a kids parade. The festival’s bike parade (tagline: Let your Flagstaff freak flag fly!) departs from the city hall solar parking lot at 9:30 a.m. and marches through the neighborhoods around downtown Flagstaff. All proceeds from Hullabaloo benefit Grand Canyon Youth, Flagstaff Family Food Center and Assistance League of Flagstaff. Matt says more than $65,000 has been raised since Hullabaloo’s inception. Last year, 7,500 people attended the festival.
“We are excited for what we think will be the best Hullabaloo yet with an amazing musical lineup and something for everyone,” says Matt. “Come one, come all, come Hullabaloo!”
June 4, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and June 5, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Wheeler Park (212 W. Aspen Ave. in Flagstaff). General admission tickets are $7 at the gate and VIP tickets are $50. Admission is free for the first 250 people who bring two cans of food for the Flagstaff Family Food Center. Advance tickets are discounted. Fore more details, visit www.flaghullabaloo.com or call 877-435-9849.