2021 Alaska Folk Festival
Dear Alaska Folk Festival Members and Friends
As we head into 2021 we are full of optimism that the end of the pandemic is in sight, and that we can begin the long process of figuring out what a return to ‘normal’ life will look like. Even as we have great hope that the coming months will continue to see progress with widespread vaccination, we are not able to host an in-person Folk Festival this April.
We know nothing can compare to the feeling of seeing hundreds of smiling faces, and children dancing in the dimly lit aisles of Centennial Hall, as our friends, family members and musical heroes come together to make music for us all to enjoy. As it became clear that we could not safely have an in-person festival again this year the AFF Board decided to focus on what opportunities this virtual format would provide, rather than what we would miss out on.
This April we are very excited to bring you a virtual AFF46 with several different pieces:
- Marquee Guest Artist Concert: AFF is producing a 1-hour video concert performance of this year’s amazing Guest Artists, Richie Stearns and Rosie Newton that will premiere on 360 North, Alaska’s statewide public television network, Sunday evening at 8 p.m. on April 11.
- Community ‘Main Stage’ Sets: AFF is partnering with Fairbanks’ own Caitlin Warbelow and her company Tune Supply to produce online concerts of video performances created and submitted by the broad community of musicians that make up The Alaska Folk Festival family. This is our attempt to offer everyone their moment on the ‘main stage’ that is the core of our amazing festival. We are very excited to be able to offer this opportunity for everyone to share their homemade performances. Tune Supply has lots of experience creating online concerts like this, and they can even combine separate videos together so you can put your band performance together even if you’re not all in the same location or ‘bubble’. We will have details and instructions on our website about how to create and submit videos for this fun and exciting online concert opportunity.
- Nightly 1 Hour Live-Streamed Concerts: AFF is partnering with the very successful Quarantine Happy Hour Facebook group to bring a live-streamed performance to you each of the seven nights of Folk Fest, featuring Richie Stearns and Rosie Newton and artists from all over Alaska. These nightly concerts will happen at 5:30 p.m. Alaska time.
- Workshop Weekend: AFF is putting together a weekend of online interactive Zoom workshops. This virtual format will allow us to provide instructional and informational workshops from some really great musicians, no matter where they are located! As with all Alaska Folk Festival events, there will be no charge to participate in the workshops.
I can’t stress enough how proud I am to be part of this amazing organization whose volunteer board members committed to do the work to put together this exciting virtual festival. We all miss the chance to be together in the same space, but the virtual format will allow us to encourage and invite unprecedented participation from people all over our vast and wonderful state.
As committed as we are to making this year as meaningful as possible, know that we are equally committed to produce the Festival that we know and love in Juneau in April of 2022. We can’t wait to ‘see’ you at our virtual festival this year and to be together again next year.
Andrew Heist, President