at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, for the last four days. I was working on the production crew, which means I gave bottled water to thirsty performers and carried heavy amplifiers on and off stage. There was almost constant music starting Thursday evening and running until Sunday night, with hundreds of performers, thousands of volunteers and ten thousand or so in the audience and the campground.

Maura and Pete Kennedy wth Jake Shimabukuro

Maura and Pete Kennedy with Jake Shimabukuro

The side stages were where all the fun was for me. I saw Jake Shimabukuro, the ukeulele guy from YouTube, in an epic battle of the ukes with Pete Kennedy. Jake wowed ’em with “Still My Guitar Gently Weeps” but Pete killed when he played “Rhapsody in Blue” on that tiny four stringed instrument. Maura topped them all by playing swing tunes while twirling a borrowed hula hoop.

Maura Kennedy with hula hoop and ukulele

Maura Kennedy with hula hoop and ukulele

Celtic band Tempest was at the folkfest for the seventh time. They have a huge following who danced wildly. Too bad there was no mud for the dancers this year.

Tempest crowd at the Camp Stage

Tempest crowd at the Camp Stage

Here is a view from the main stage that I took early in the morning.

Looking up from the main stage

Looking up from the main stage

The purple stripe running through the middle of the reserved seating area is a cover over the stage snake which connects to the main sound board, just behind the snow fence. The tents in the background are food booths run by local fire companies.

The festival gives young musicians a chance to play, too. Here is a rehearsal of the “Great groove band,” a children’s ensemble put together and rehearsed by professional music teachers.

Great groove band rehearsal.

Great groove band rehearsal.

On Sunday afternoon the children played and sang two songs on the main stage.

Before things got going in the morning I took a walk on the Perkiomen Trail, which follows he right of way of the old Perkiomen Railroad. The trail runs for 19 miles, from the Schuylkill River, all the way up to Green Lane.

Perkiomen Trail railroad trestle.

Perkiomen Trail railroad trestle.

It connects to a trail following the Schuylkill and side trails, including a steep, rocky, unmarked unmaintained trail that ends at the summit of Spring Mountain, next to the chairlift. I took that one, of course, and walked back down the ski slope.

Each night there was a concert on the main stage. I snuck in and took a shot from behind the stage monitor mixing station, of Canadian band Great Big Sea, the Sunday night closer.

Great Big Sea at PFF 2008

Great Big Sea at PFF 2008

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