Artists Spotlight: The Bills

The Bills are a now-legendary quintet from Victoria, known far and wide for their instrumental virtuosity, beguiling vocals, explosive live performances, evocative songwriting – and for their innovative take on traditional tunes from around the globe. Hailed by The Glasgow Herald as “the biggest blast of fresh air to come out of Canada since The Band,” […]

Artist Spotlight: Lakou Mizik

Lakou Mizik is a multi-generational collective of Haitian musicians formed in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. The group includes elder legends and rising young talents, united in a mission to honor the healing spirit of their collective culture and communicate a message of pride, strength and hope to their country and the world. Check out their song […]

Artist Spotlight: Betsayda Machado y La Parranda el Clavo

Betsayda Machado is a Venezuelan singer born in El Clavo, Barlovento, a community of rich Afro-Venezuelan traditions. Barlovento’s inhabitants are descendants of African workers who once tilled the cocoa fields, exploited by local land owners. Nicknamed ‘The Black Voice of Barlovento’, Betsayda has become the carrier of a long tradition of nearly extinguished genres of black […]

Artists Spotlight: Ramy Essam

We all watched, riveted to our screens, as the 2011 people’s revolution to topple Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak voiced their decades-old feelings of anger and frustration in massive rallies and protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. And there, in the middle of that square, singing the songs that expressed that anger and their hope – providing […]

Get Involved!

Become a festival volunteer! If you, or someone you know are interested in joining our highly esteemed volunteer team, please contact Patrice our volunteer coordinator at:     Sell your stuff! Tell your story! Spots are still available for vendors and Community Village participants. For more info and to reserve your spot, email   Advertise!To book your ad in the beautiful and widely-read festival program, contact Anne at 

Artist Spotlight: Faris Amine

Playing with renowned groups like Tinariwen and Terakaft, Faris Amine explored the music that’s been dubbed ‘Desert Blues.’ Listen to him play and sing, and hear the roots connection between American blues and the music of the Sahel and Sahara regions, the home of the Kel Tamasheq or Tuareg people – Amine’s people. In his 2015 […]

Artist Spotlight: Hubby Jenkins

While a Brooklyn-ite, Hubby Jenkins performs the songs of his southern roots, revisiting the blues, African American string-band and jug band music, the gospel hollers, ragtime, jazz and dance floor tunes of the American south – and with roots in other places and eras past. Multi-instrumentalist Hubby is on a mission to share his love […]

Artist Spotlight: C.W. Stoneking

Meanwhile, a world away in Australia’s Northern Territory, a very young C.W. Stoneking was discovering the blues for himself by listening to an early compilation of his dad’s. That led him to Son House, Robert Johnson, Skip James and Bukka White, gospel blues, Chicago blues, ragtime, Hokum blues – and to the banjo, electric guitar, and […]

Community booth applications are now open!

Do you work at or know non-profit community-building organizations with a focus on green living, alternate energy sources, positive community development, and the promotion of equality and sustainable development? Want to be part of VFMF2016? Apply now

What You’re Saying . . .

“..Tanaka has landed some heavy hitters for the 39th edition of the fest..” – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight “MEGA excited to announce we’re playing @VanFolkFest in July – great lineup!” – Moulettes Band “Lucky me! @sanferminband playing @VanFolkFest and I already had tickets! So excited! #VFMF” – Isabel F. “The @VanFolkFest had an enormous influence on me, […]