She'd been going for years, and when we started dating she couldn't wait to bring me with her.
Dozens of performance stages, three dance floors, folk music of all kinds and from all over the world, and one of the mellowest festival crowds I had ever seen in my life (I'd last been to a Seattle music festival years before for Bumbershoot, and while I had a good time, it was anything but mellow).
I first performed at Folklife in 2003, just after releasing my first (and very gritty, D-I-Y) album, City of Love. I had a grand time, playing in the Liquid Lounge at the Experience Music Project -- a weird room for music but still very cool. The following year, writing some new songs, I applied to play again and got invited to come back.
Then life took over. Things happened -- I worked, I wrote more songs, and I applied several more times to perform at the festival as a singer-songwriter but was always turned down or put on a waiting list. We went to Folklife several times as music-lovers. We'd get in the car and smile at each other and yell, "Folkliiiiife!" at the top of our lungs. We'd go and have a good time.
The last time I performed at Folklife was as a sideman, a drummer, for a friend's klezmer band. That was in 2010.
And then, we didn't go to Folklife anymore. Money got tight, other things took priority; and after I left the bike industry in 2012 I focused more and more on performing in the Jewish sphere.
A couple of years ago I began applying to play at the festival again, and got wait-listed two years in a row.
This year, to my surprise and delight, I got back in. The invitation came today. And I will be a part of Folklife's Big jewish Show on Monday, May 30. I'm very glad to go back! There will be more details on my Facebook Page and at my Reverbnation page as the date gets closer. NW Folklife Festival will post a complete schedule at their web site in early May.
BONUS: It is highly possible I may land somewhere in Seattle's Jewish community for the Shabbat of Folklife weekend. Watch my FB page and this site for details as they fill in.