Folk music will still reign in Takoma Park though the festival will not


Takoma Park Folk Festival Logo

Folk music enthusiasts will be able to listen to a day’s worth of their favorite music Sept. 11 despite the Takoma Park Folk Festival planning committee cancelling the city’s annual Folk Festival.

Two local organizations scheduled a series of performances to remind people of the annual festival.

“It’s not a replacement event but rather an event to fill in the gap in the year,” said Laura Barclay of the Old Takoma Business Association. “(We want to) continue the tradition and recapture the thousands that come to Takoma.”

Barclay and local resident David Eisner coordinated a series of musical acts and several of the artists who planned to perform at the annual event.

Musicians are scheduled to play various types of music at the gazebo located near the corner of Carroll and Westmoreland Avenues.

Barclay said she did not intend for the event to try to replace the festival but to make sure attendees don’t forget about the event that has been a tradition for nearly 40 years. 

Eisner said the planning for the festival fell apart after a volunteer manager neglected to request funding and meet scheduling deadlines.

“This caught everyone by surprise,” Eisner said.

For years the Takoma Park Folk Festival drew thousands of people from the D.C. Region, with multiple performances going on at the same time. In 2015 the volunteers set up five stages to feature different types of music such as folk music and singer-songwriter musicians. The Takoma Park Folk Festival Inc. Is a non-profit organization.

Every City Council member said at the July 6 council meeting they each attended the Festival at least once. 

Council member Terry Seamens (Ward 4) said he hoped the festival would return in later years.  

The venue is slated to host several of the acts originally scheduled for the Folk Festival before the organizers canceled it, featuring styles such as folk music, singer-songwriters and bluegrass among others.

The outdoor event featuring seven bands starts at 10 a.m., with the last band starting at 4 p.m.

Another nine bands close out the day indoors at Takoma Community Center Auditorium, starting at 5 p.m. 

Eisner said he was excited for the event coming in a few weeks.

“It should be fabulous,” Eisner said. 

The festival’s planning committee is scheduled to meet in September after the festival to make arrangements for the 2017 festival.

Whether that festival runs depends on whether there are enough volunteers to lead and support the organizers. 

“The problem with volunteers is volunteers,” Eisner said. “If they go away, there’s no recourse.” 

Those interested in volunteering can contact the event organizers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Following the event, the Folklore Society of Greater Washington will host folk music and other musical acts down the street at the Takoma Park Community Center. 

“They graciously didn’t do their event at the same time we were running the event we were running at the gazebo,” Eisner said.

The music begins at 10 a.m. More information is available at the Folklore Society of Greater Washington’s website,



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