After postponing the Montana Folk Festival – a three-day celebration of traditional music, dance and ethnic foods – in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, the state’s much-loved festival will return to Uptown Butte July 8-10, 2022.
The Montana Folk Festival, one of the largest free-of-charge outdoor music festivals in the Northwest, hosted more than 160,000 attendees at its last presentation in Butte in 2019.
“Our hope is that by next July COVID will be a fading nightmare,” says Festival Director George Everett. “But we will be ready to design the festival with COVID precautions in mind if we must.”
He notes that having lived with the pandemic for almost two years, Montanans have learned to adapt and persist.
“We need to express our love and gratitude to the thousands who have continued to express their support for the return of the festival in Butte,” he added. “For all who have been wishing us well and checking in, we invite them to make plans to celebrate the return of live performances on the festival’s stages next July.”
The 2022 event marks the 13th presentation and the 10th Montana Folk Festival. Butte’s event began in 2008-2010 as the National Folk Festival, which changes locations after a three-year run. When the itinerant festival moved on, a coalition of local organizations kept Montana’s version alive and, until COVID, thriving in Uptown Butte – the largest National Historic Landmark District in the U.S.
The festival showcases multiple performances by more than 200 artists on six stages, including the Original Stage, located at the Original Mineyard with its epic views of Butte and the surrounding mountains.
Mainstreet Uptown Butte is the lead nonprofit, with major partnership and support from Butte-Silver Bow County and the Imagine Butte Collaborative. Artistic programming services are provided by the National Council for the Traditional Arts.
Performers and other details of the festival will be announced as the event approaches. For the latest updates, visit www.montanafolkfestival.com or the festival’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/mtfolkfest.
Meanwhile, advises Everett, “it is not over until it is over – stay safe, stay well, and get fully vaccinated as soon as you can so that we can put this pandemic behind us and celebrate safely together again in 2022.”