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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 win​nipeg​folk​fes​ti​val​.ca