Saturday's headliner may have cancelled, but crowds had plenty of impressive music to take in throughout the second day of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.

The grass in front of the workshop stages was packed as festival goers watched collaborations from acts including Andrew Bird, Brasstronaut, Great Lake Swimmers, Fish & Bird, and Jay Malinowski.

A tribute to Pete Seeger, featuring artists including Alejandro Escovedo, was filled lawn-chair-to-lawn-chair as listeners remembered the late musical icon.

Each night at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival when Jericho Beach begins to go dark and the final act takes the main stage, the annual lantern procession begins weaving its way through the crowd. 

And while most folk fest attendees are familiar with some of the lanterns that reappear each year, not everyone may be familiar with the team behind the structures.

According to Marya Gadison, the coordinator of the lantern committee, a simple star lantern can take three to six hours to make.

“Some of the more elaborate ones, sometimes they spend almost a year…people work a long time on them,” she told the Straight in an interview.

The members of Brasstronaut have been keeping busy.

The Vancouver act had a hectic touring schedule last year following the release of their record Mean Sun. And while they've been quiet on the tour front this year, the musicians have each been working on various side projects, and the group is currently spending time in the studio recording new material.

Sam Davidson, who plays clarinet and wind synthesizer in the band, said the group will debut three of those new songs during their set at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival this evening. And you can expect them to be a little more upbeat than their previous sound.

"Everything seems to be a little more dance-oriented," he told the Straight in an interview.

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival Society has announced that Joan Baez will not be performing at this year's event due to a medical condition that has affected her voice.

"We received the following communication from Ms. Baez’s management team: 'due to viral laryngitis…and on the advice of her throat specialist…performing would risk injury to her vocal chords'," the society indicated in a statement on its website.

"We join our audience and Joan’s many fans in wishing her a speedy recovery, and look forward to seeing her perform again soon."

The order of tonight's revised main-stage lineup will be: La Manta, Foy Vance, Karine Polwart, Alejandro Escovedo & the Sensitive Boys, and Noura Mint Seymali.

The first day of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival offered up a little something for every attendee, from the banjo-tinged indie-folk ballads of the Great Lake Swimmers, to the violin-infused Americana stylings of Andrew Bird and his band the Hands of Glory, to the raucous Stage 3 crowd favourite Lemon Bucket Orkestra.

Halifax indie-rockers Wintersleep, Friday show openers Mokoomba and Hands of Glory band member Tift Merritt rounded out the eclectic main-stage lineup that sent the crowds off happy at the end of an almost rain-free evening.

Below are a few photos of some of Friday’s performances.

The crowd was on its feet for headliners Andrew Bird & the Hands of Glory as they wrapped up the first day of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival Friday.

The set included songs from throughout Bird’s repertoire and his latest record, Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of…, an album of Handsome Family cover songs.

One of the highlights of the show came when the band members brought their stand-up bass, guitars and violin to the front of the stage and stood in a cluster around one mic.

The musician has been incorporating the old-time mic method into shows for the last couple of years, as a way of providing what he describes as “a nice sonic break in the middle of the set”.

Things are just getting started at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, and crowds are already getting a taste of the diverse programming of the weekend, thanks to the Korean string instruments of Geomungo Factory, and the Afro-fusion sounds of Zimbabwe’s Mokoomba.

The two acts were some of the earliest performers to kick off the three-day fest this evening at Jericho Beach Park.

Below are a few photos of the performances. Stay tuned for more Straight.com coverage of the event this weekend.

The rest of the Friday evening slate includes Great Lake Swimmers, Wintersleep, and headliner Andrew Bird & the Hands of Glory.

Steve Earle, an Australian ska act, and a Polaris-Prize nominated folk-rock duo were just some of the acts that wrapped up the second night of main-stage performances at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival Saturday (July 20)

Earle and his band The Dukes headlined the evening lineup, followed by the energetic Melbourne band The Cat Empire. Canadian duo Whitehorse gave such an impressive performance they drew a standing ovation, and both Raghu Dixit Project and Danny Michel with the Garifuna Collective had crowd members on their feet dancing. 

Over at Stage 5, Canadian artist Cold Specks had the crowd mesmerized with one of the best performances of the evening.

An eclectic musical lineup greeted audiences at a sunny and packed Jericho Beach Park Friday evening (July 19), as this year's Vancouver Folk Music Festival got underway.

The first day of the festival featured music from acts including Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, Hannah Georgas, Hayden, Aidan Knight, Kathleen Edwards, and Delhi 2 Dublin. 

The event, which is now in its 36th year, is set to continue with a full day of concerts on multiple stages today (July 20). Some of the bands scheduled to perform include Cold Specks, the Polaris-nominated Whitehorse, Steve Earle and The Dukes, and The Cat Empire.

Below are a few photos from the first day of the main stage lineup. 

The Birkenstock 500 has been completed, the regulation low-height lawn chairs set up, and the tarps spread out. The 2013 Vancouver Folk Music Festival is officially underway at Jericho Beach Park.

Although the sprint for prime tarp real estate has been toned down over the years, folk fest volunteers say the traditional arrival of eager attendees continues, with the area in front of the main stage full within minutes after the gates opened today.

And this year the crowds have plenty to look forward to. A high-energy performance from Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars has kicked off the evening main-stage lineup, packing the dancing areas with happy festival-goers.

Pages