48th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival: Program Highlights

Are you ready to find your folk?

Since 1972, the annual Northwest Folklife Festival has been a community-powered celebration of the music, arts, and heritage that make up the brilliant cultural tapestry of the greater Pacific Northwest. With over 5,000 performers on 20+ stages and 200 vendors, there’s so much to experience! Below are some of the program highlights from this year’s Northwest Folklife Festival!

Pete Seeger – Photo by Peter McKee

Pete Seeger Centennial Celebration
In celebration of Pete Seeger’s 100th Birthday, Northwest Folklife is spreading Pete Seeger Centennial Celebration Showcases throughout the entire weekend! Visit Armory Loft 4: Pete Seeger Centennial Folk Jam! for a dedicated open jam space to share songs and stories with fellow Pete fans. Add something to the Pete’s memory wall, look through song lists, lyrics, and books by and about Pete Seeger, chose a song to lead or request, but most importantly join in with your instrument and voice, because like Pete said, “every note you sing that your neighbor is not—is harmony!”

Photo by Christopher Nelson

Larks & Ravens Contra Dances
Non-gendered calls using Larks and Ravens rather than Ladies and Gents. For more information about Larks and Ravens dances visit here.

Larks and Ravens dancers are in the Fisher Pavilion at the following times:
Saturday, May 25, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, May 26, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Monday, May 27, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.


Youth Rising Visual Arts Show
Friday, May 24, 4 PM – 10 PM; Saturday – Sunday, May 25-26, 11 AM – 10 PM; Monday, May 27, 11 AM – 7:30 PM at The Vera Project Gallery

Youth Voices Showcase
Saturday, May 25, 11 AM – 1 PM at Cornish Playhouse: Sponsored by KUOW 94.9
Featuring: Moved By Words, Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Youth Poet Laureate Program, and Ringside

KUOW’s RadioActive Youth Media Sponsored by KUOW 94.9 FM
Sunday, May 26 from 3 PM – 4 PM at Cornish Playhouse: Sponsored by KUOW 94.9
Featuring: Featuring Annika Prom, Mimi Zekaryas, Acacia Niyogi, Tre’vion Sinclair, and Leila Abe

The Hydrant

The Hydrant Showcase
Monday, May 27 from 12 PM – 1:15 PM at MoPOP Sky Church
Hosted by Yasmin Ettobi
Featuring: DJ HALF DEAD and performances by Kid Roman, Kay C, Aurelio Valdez, Carter, D.White, Vampzilla, and Lotus


Visit Broad Street Lawn all weekend and celebrate Indigenous cultural traditions, songs, dances, and more. The Circle of Indigenous Peoples Celebration honors various culture bearers, artists, and storytellers from around the Pacific Northwest.

Photo by Christopher Nelson


Throughout the weekend, take yourself on a tour of artists redefining the term “folk” including Temple Canyon, Stephanie Anne Johnson, and I am Chamel.

American Standard Time Show
Friday, May 24 from 7 PM – 9 PM at Fountain Lawn Stage: Sponsored by Western WA Toyota Dealers and KNKX 88.5 FM
Featuring: Temple Canyon, The Meadow Roads, and Western Female

Folk, Redefined Show 
Sunday, May 26 from 3 PM – 5 PM at The Vera Project
Featuring: Eleanor Murray, Haley Johnsen, KPH

Women of the Wild West 
Monday, May 27 from 2:45 PM – 4:50 PM at Fountain Lawn Stage: Sponsored by Western WA Toyota Dealers and KNKX 88.5 FM
Featuring Amanda Winterhalter, Christy McWilson Experience, and Sandi Fernandez & The Beacon Hill-Billies

Indie Root Anthems Showcase
Monday, May 27 from 1:50 PM – 3:45 PM at The Vera Project
Featuring: MESSIMER, The Salmonberries, The Winter Shakers

Co-curated in partnership with KEXP DJs Eva Walker and Troy Nelson, the KEXP Gathering Space programming highlights Youth Rising with up-and-coming young artists from Sound Off!.

Vince Mira at KEXP Gathering Space by Christopher Nelson

Saturday, May 25 from 5 PM – 5:35 PM

Alex Cade
Sunday, May 26 from 2:30 PM – 3:05 PM

Monday, May 27 from 2:30 PM – 3:05 PM

DeColonizing Pop Culture: Past, Present, Future
Saturday, May 25 from 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Featured Panelists:  James Miles, Silas Blak, Wynter Rhys, Kid Roman
Moderated by: Nancy Chang

The Intersection of Art, Culture, and Heritage
Sunday, May 26 from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Featured Panelists: Monyee Chau, Kenju Waweru, and Gabriel Teodros
Moderated by: Poesia Mariarte

What is Folk?
Monday, May 27 from 12 PM – 1 PM
Featured Panelists: Joe Seamons, Rocket da Prophet, LaTanya Horace, and members from the Unbroken Circle Residency

The Northwest Folklife Festival will take place at Seattle Center on Memorial Day weekend, May 24 – 27, 2019. Don’t want to miss a thing? You can curate your very own schedule and have it with you at all times! Check out our easy tutorial here.

See you at the 48th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival!