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Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

Five reasons to attend the 76th annual National Folk Fest in Greensboro, North Carolina, Sept. 9-11

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The National Folk Festival celebrates the roots, richness and variety of American culture over three days, Sept. 9-11, in Greensboro, North Carolina. The 76th iteration features more than 300 of the nation’s finest traditional musicians, dancers and craftspeople in performances, workshops and demonstrations. There’s also children’s activities, savory Southern and ethnic cuisines and craft beers on tap, non-stop participatory dancing, storytelling, parades and more, according to organizers.

Following are five reasons you won’t want to miss this year’s festival.

  1. It’s free. That’s right, I said free. You can hear a variety of musical genres over three days and pay zip, nada, nothing.
  2. Balsam Range. I first heard this North Carolina-based group perform at MerleFest a few years ago and they had me with “Trains I’ve Missed.” Trust me, if you like bluegrass or country, you’ll love these IBMA winners.
  3. DJ Grandmaster Flash. Flash, the creator of so many of the genre’s technical innovations, is a living legend of hip hop.
  4. The Alt. Three masters of Irish music – John Doyle, Eamon O’Leary and Mick McCauley – join forces to celebrate the songs and spirit at the core of the tradition.
  5. The Alberti Flea Circus. Third-generation flea circus impresario Jim Alberti and his talented troupe of charismatic performers have been entertaining audiences with their astonishing acrobatic feats for nearly 30 years
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