Give or take a few stragglers, at least according to the Sun’s entertainment section. I biked out to Birds Hill on Wednesday and left Sunday and it was my first time spending more than a day at the festival in about a decade. Obviously the experience was quite different camping with the unwashed masses as a 21 year old rather than in the quiet campground as a pre-teen. I volunteered to earn my way into the fest and I have to say it was an interesting experience to say the least. Folk Fest isn’t my fest, there’s a good chance it never will be, but even as someone who was along for the ride the passion that real Folk Fest’ers have is obvious and admirable.

This was the 36th edition of the festival and you’ve got to give credit where credit is due, through trial and error those hippies have learnt how to run a pretty smooth festival. They also deserve some applause for the “green” measures taken to lessen the environmental impact of the festival. The most impressive for me was the fact that the vendors and volunteer tents all had reuse-able plates and compostable cutlery and napkins. So what evidence is there of some 70 thousand hippies descending on a park for 5 days? Hopefully just the slew of pictures in the newspapers of some hippie girls with their arms in the air, swaying to their favourite folk music.

Image The Weakerthans play the Winnipeg Folk Fest Originally uploaded by Quiplash!