Celebrating its second year in Greensboro, free weekend-long event again broke attendance records
Greensboro, N.C., September 27, 2016 — Over 138,000 people are estimated to have attended the 76th National Folk Festival in downtown Greensboro from September 9 through 11, 2016, the second year of the Festival’s three-year residency in Greensboro. Attendance for the 75th National Folk Festival in 2015 was estimated at 102,000.
Approximately 300 artists—musicians, dancers, storytellers, and craftspeople—participated in the National Folk Festival, with 122 separate performances by more than 40 different artists at eight outdoor performance venues.
Because the National Folk Festival is a free and un-ticketed event, co-producers ArtsGreensboro and the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) collated figures from the City of Greensboro; Downtown Greensboro; Festival merchandise and beverage sales; and aerial photographs to arrive at the attendance estimate.
“Given the great turnout and enthusiasm for the National Folk Festival’s launch in Greensboro in 2015, we expected attendance to rise this year,” stated NCTA Executive Director Julia Olin. “And did it ever – nearly 40 per cent! It’s a beautiful thing to see the Festival take root in North Carolina. This is just the beginning.”
“What’s not to love about the National Folk Festival? It’s an incredible celebration of both our regional and national heritage in the beautiful setting of downtown Greensboro,” said ArtsGreensboro President & CEO Tom Philion. “Those who discovered the Festival in 2015 clearly spread the word and brought friends and family this year. In its second year, the Festival also drew more attention from across the Southeast, including Charlotte, Atlanta, and beyond. We expect that our growing attendance figures will be particularly helpful in attracting more sponsorship and support to keep the Festival free as we look ahead to September 8-10, 2017!”
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About the 2016 National Folk Festival: Co-produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) and ArtsGreensboro, the National Folk Festival celebrated the second year of its three-year residency in downtown Greensboro in 2016. The FREE, three-day event is America’s longest-running festival of traditional arts. nationalfolkfestival.com
About the National Folk Festival: Since it was first presented in St. Louis in 1934, the National Folk Festival has celebrated the roots, richness, and variety of American culture. Championed in its early years by Eleanor Roosevelt, it was the first event of national stature to present the arts of many nations, races, and languages on equal footing. An exuberant traveling festival that embraces the diverse cultural expressions of the American people in the 21st century, the National Folk Festival is FREE to the public, and is produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) in partnership with communities around the country.
About the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA): The National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) is one of the nation’s premier non-profit cultural organizations dedicated to the presentation and documentation of folk, tribal, and ethnic arts in the United States. Founded in 1933, it is the nation’s oldest producing and presenting organization with such a focus. Its programs celebrate and honor deeply rooted cultural expressions—music, crafts, stories, and dance passed on through time by families and communities as well as by tribal, ethnic, and occupational groups. The NCTA stresses excellence and authenticity in presenting artists to the public in festivals, tours, concerts, media programs, exhibitions, recordings, and other activities, and works in partnership with communities across American to establish new, sustainable traditional arts events that bring lasting social, cultural, and economic benefits. ncta-usa.org
About ArtsGreensboro: With an annual budget of approximately $3.5 million, ArtsGreensboro is a catalyst for innovation to build recognition and support for the arts. Through its ArtsFund-supported grant programs, the 17DAYS Arts & Culture Festival, the Levitt AMP Greensboro Music Series, I HEART ARTS Month, and other opportunities including the National Folk Festival, ArtsGreensboro is driving the health and vitality of our community by supporting arts education, celebrating the diversity of Greensboro, and driving economic impact through excellence in arts programming. artsgreensboro.org