Sandburg Folk Fest

33rd Annual Folk Music Festival
Memorial Day - May 27, 2019

Jamie Laval performs at Sandburg Folk Fest
Jamie Laval Performs at Sandburg Folk Fest 2013

NPS Photo

On Memorial Day folk musicians from across the region will share a day of toe-tapping fun and music. Just as Carl Sandburg's family enjoyed sitting on the porch while he played a guitar and sang for them, you can experience the joy of music at Connemara. All performances take place in the amphitheater, unless otherwise specified, and signs will direct festival goers.
  • Amazing Pizza Co. food truck will be available behind the Sandburg Home during event.
  • At 11:00 am, Lillian Chase and Friends perform old time music on fiddle and guitar. Lillian is a talented 15-year-old Appalachian fiddler and ballad singer. Her fiddling draws both from old-time styles and bluegrass. She has won awards at prestigious music contests in the region, including at the Mount Airy Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention
  • At 12:00 pm, Drayton and the Dreamboats perform a mix of swing tunes, latin numbers and vocal ballads from the golden age of radio. With clever arrangements and rock solid musicianship, the band breathes new life into some of the twentieth century’s greatest tunes. Their unique approach transcends nostalgia and offers listeners something both vintage and new.
  • At 1:00 pm, Leeda ‘Lyric’ Jones plays soul music. Lyric started out busking on the streets of Asheville while touching many hearts. Since taking to the streets, Lyric has shared the stage with legends such as George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Gladys Knight, Booker T. Jones, Little Big Town, Dionne Warwick, Count M’Butu and Warren Haynes.
  • At 2:00 pm, Jamie Laval and vocalist Megan McConnell take the audience on a musical journey through Celtic lands, reimagining Gaelic love songs, and ancient mythic tales with violin and voice. Laval is recognized throughout the U.S and Britain as one of the premier performers of Celtic violin music. He has performed for Her Majesty the Queen, appeared on Dave Matthews’ platinum “Some Devil” album, and presented a TED Talk on the value of arts and music in our communities. Vocalist Megan McConnell is lauded for the ethereal, lyric beauty of her singing, her broad stylistic range, and her perky, theatrical performance sense.
  • From 11:00 am to 3:00 pm near the barn, Steve and Jean Smith will be performing on mountain and hammered dulcimer music. Steve and Jean have performed in at least nineteen states and two other countries, as well as on radio and on television. They have taught dulcimer workshops at festivals across the region and each are award-winning musicians.
This event is free and open to the public. Snacks will be available for sale in the bookstore and tours of the Sandburg home will be available throughout the day for a small fee.

Keep in mind that our parking lots fill up quickly. We will run a courtesy shuttle from satellite parking lots at the Flat Rock Playhouse (located across the street) and from the Flat Rock Village Offices (110 Village Center Drive) to the park entrance, throughout the day. It is a short walk from the park entrance to the amphitheater. There will be also be a shuttle operating inside the park to take visitors from the entrance to the amphitheater, Sandburg Home and barn area.

The event will be held at the new amphitheater located near the park entrance. Bench seating is available and visitors are also welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets as seating is expected to fill quickly. Come prepared for warm weather, with sun protection, water and snacks. Dogs are not permitted in the seating areas for the festival.
folk fest audience
Audience enjoys the music at Folk Fest!
Carl Sandburg began playing the guitar in the early 1900's to enhance his lectures and performed during the era of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie and he was the mentor for Burl Ives. He played the guitar, banjo and harmonica and collected a series of folk songs, which he published in his book The American Songbag. The festival began in 1987, to honor Sandburg's efforts to document the history of American music and to demonstrate how modern artists capture the heritage of American music past and present.

Supported by:
National Park Service
Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara
Eastern National
A grant from the North Carolina Arts Council; administered by the Arts Council of Henderson County.

Last updated: May 22, 2019

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Mailing Address:

81 Carl Sandburg Lane
Flat Rock, NC 28731


(828) 693-4178

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