Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site hosts the 33rd annual Carl Sandburg Folk Music Festival on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 2019. This free festival offers live music performances from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. The folk festival honors Carl Sandburg and his preservation of American musical heritage, as found in his collection, The American Songbag. The festival’s performers are skilled in sharing traditional stories in distinctive ways. All performances take place in the amphitheater, unless otherwise specified, and signs will direct festival goers.
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.
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, the Leeda ‘Lyric’ Jones Band 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.
Goat Barn Area
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 are award-winning musicians.
Parking will be available at the Flat Rock Playhouse and Village of Flat Rock with a shuttle running from these locations to the park entrance. It is a short walk from the entrance to the amphitheater.
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.
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. He was the mentor for Burl Ives. Sandburg 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 and is supported by the National Park Service, Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara, Eastern National, and a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council; administered by the Arts Council of Henderson County.
Learn more at https://www.nps.gov/carl/planyourvisit/folkfest.htm