Ohio River Valley Folk Festival

Fifth annual event to expand
to three days in 2010

This year's festival to include
a new Sunday jam session

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(April 2010) – With the future goal of making the annual Ohio River Valley Folk Festival a major national event, organizers have expanded the festival to include a third day of music, storytelling and activities.
The fifth annual Ohio River Valley Folk Festival will be held May 21-23 on the banks of the Ohio River in historic Madison, Ind. The three-day event will feature a variety of local, regional and national folk musicians, traditional folk art and storytelling with plenty of food and beverages. The musicians will perform on the stage at Madison Bicentennial Park.



This year’s sponsors include Gaylor Inc., Cruisin Auto, Morgan Foods, Riverboat Inn, O.C. Bear Guitars, Joeyg’s, Rivertown Chiropractic, River Valley Financial Bank, Rivers Institute of Hanover College, Thornton Terrace, Madison Precision Products, WFPK 91.9 FM, and WNKU 89.7 FM.
“Since the festival began, we’ve been talking about making this a major event like Telluride or Newport,” said John Walburn, festival chairperson. Telluride, Colo., and Newport, R.I., are home to two of the largest and most popular festivals in the nation.
“We’ve had several good years in a row, and musicians and agents are now starting to come to us to be included in our event.”
In addition to the expanded musical lineup, the Folk Art Village has doubled in size, and this year will feature demonstrators of traditional crafts. Also, new to the festival, Rivers Institute of Hanover College will have an interactive river exhibit featuring a 2,200-gallon fresh water aquarium with two large viewing areas. The display, from ORSANCO, is designed to demonstrate the diversity of life sustained by the Ohio River and the improvements that have been made in water quality.
“There will also be more food vendors and a second beer tent,” said Walburn. “All of the V.I.P. tents are already taken, and this year we’ve also included fire pits for them because it can get a little chilly late in the night. I think this is going to be the best event we’ve ever had.”
In the past, festival organizers have included a diverse mix of folk musicians that would appeal to a wide variety of fans. This year is no different. “We have sounds from the traditional or rootsy folk music to the modern, eclectic style,” said Walburn. “From the laid back to the lively, we think we have something for everyone.”
Friday night’s headliner, Asylum Street Spankers, is a seven-member string band that features high energy music with a bit of humor thrown in. They take the stage at 10 p.m. “Their fun and excellent musicianship is infectious,” said Walburn. “They will leave everyone wanting more.”
Saturday’s headliner is the Subdudes, a group that will take center stage at at 10 p.m. The group, with its Louisiana bluesy sound, has been around for more than 20 years.
“Their high energy, swamp boogie-woogie sound is going to be a fan favorite,” said Walburn. “I’ve been a fan of theirs since the early ‘90s, and their acoustic set is going to be something to hear.”
Sunday’s lineup will feature many local and regional acts in a “jam session” type of atmosphere. “The musicians have plans to work together, so we are expecting lots of changes, surprises and spontaneity,” said Walburn.
Membership in the Ohio River Valley Folk Music Society is still available. All members receive raffle tickets depending on the level they pledge. Raffled items this year include an original oil painting by Jane Devito, an O.C. Bear original guitar and a complete set of CDs from all the performers.

• Wristbands for the event are $20 in advance. For more information about the event, visit: www.OhioRiverValleyFolkFestival.com.

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