Winnipeg Folk Festival Announces the 2023 Festival Lineup!
Performing for the first time in Manitoba is American indie folk band Fleet Foxes as well as 2018 Grammy award winner for Best Rock Album of the Year, The War on Drugs, who have steadily emerged as one of this century’s great rock and roll synthesists.
Australian indie folk singer-songwriter Vance Joy is set to return for the festival this July. Since the early days of playing to 55 people at the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s intimate acoustic performance space in 2013, he has become a Winnipeg favourite with multiple sold-out concerts. Juno Award-winning Canadian American singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright is joining the festival lineup, which also includes his father, legendary folk singer-songwriter, Loudon Wainwright III.
Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient, winner of 14 Grammy Awards and Country Music Hall of Famer Emmylou Harris is making her return to the Winnipeg Folk Festival after her iconic performance in 2010. Harris shook up country radio in the 1970s and established herself as the premier songwriter of a generation selling more than 15 million records. The festival is also thrilled to have Canadian-based, South African-born country music artist Orville Peck. His new album Bronco is nominated for a 2023 GLAAD Media Award and Juno Award.
“We are very excited about this year’s line-up. It highlights our artistic vision of presenting a strong, diverse range of artists that will resonate with our audience. We have been trying for a few years to land some of these artists and this year everything lined up just right to make that happen.” said Chris Frayer, Artistic Director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival. “I want festivalgoers to come away with a new appreciation for the music they know and love, and a revived list of discovered artists to add to their playlists.”
With over four days of incredible performances by 60+ artists, here are some highlights:
Celebrating Manitoba’s local talent, audiences will hear the powerhouse vocals of FONTINE, Young Performers Program alumni, Field Guide and bilingual folk-roots duo Fire & Smoke. Formally of roots trio Crooked Brothers, singer-songwriter Matt Foster makes their festival solo debut. Métis/Franco-Manitoban soulful singer-songwriter Andrina Turenne will return. Traditional Klezmer artists Finjan will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of their first festival performance.
Indigenous artists include multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Aysanabee, Manitoba favourite William Prince, the traditional storytelling and cathartic highway songs of Evan Redsky, pow wow experimentalist Joe Rainey, roots-inspired singer-songwriter Julian Taylor and Black Belt Eagle Scout, who uses the pow wow music of her youth to shape her songs, in addition to the aforementioned Andrina Turenne and FONTINE. DJ Shub presents War Club will see the Godfather of Pow Wow Step bring a dynamic live show of his critically acclaimed, chart-topping electronic Indigenous album War Club, a celebration of Indigenous music and culture featuring special guests, visuals and Indigenous dancers in full regalia.
International artists include Namgar performing traditional Buryat and Mongolian music, Icelandic musician Arny Margret and Northern Niger band Etran de L’Aïr, whose name translates to “the stars of the air”, from Agadez, an urban centre of the desert renowned for electric guitar and the “desert blues”. Others include synth folk musician Ko Shin Moon from France, the timeless voice of Susan O’Neill from the Republic of Ireland and the South Korean band Dongyang Gozupa with their progressive rock based on Korean traditional music.
Previously part of the indie band Barcelona, SYML is the solo venture of Brian Fennell, who is of Welsh heritage. With three albums out since 2019, SYML has an impressive listenership with over 10 million monthly Spotify listeners. Winnipeg Folk Fest will also welcome Scottish Grammy Award-winner and singer-songwriter KT Tunstall, known for her songs “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and “Suddenly I See”.
Tickets to the 2023 Winnipeg Folk Festival are on sale now. Adult day tickets start at $85 and Tier 1 full weekend passes are $248. Tickets are selling fast and will be moving to Tier 2 soon, buy now and save. Tickets and volunteer opportunities are available at winnipegfolkfestival.ca