Northwest Folklife Announces Full Schedule for 2018 Northwest Folklife Festival

Northwest Folklife is proud to announce the full schedule for the 2018 Northwest Folklife Festival, presented by Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and scheduled for May 25-28, 2018 (Memorial Day Weekend). For 47 years, the Northwest Folklife Festival has been Seattle’s traditional kick-off to summer, bringing up to 250,000 people to the grounds of Seattle Center in the heart of the city. For all these years, Northwest Folklife has been committed to keeping the festival open with access for all, no tickets and no gates. After the call was sounded last year to keep the Northwest Folklife Festival on solid footing with community support and donations, Northwest Folklife is looking to continue this support at the festival, asking a suggested donation of $10 per person or $20 per family per day. For the people, by the people, the Northwest Folklife Festival welcomes all.

Click HERE to view the full schedule.

The Northwest Folklife Festival is the largest community powered festival in the nation, and with over 5,000 performers and 26 stages, you’re sure to discover something new each day. Fueled by the Pacific Northwest’s rich cultural traditions, the Northwest Folklife Festival is a great place to find out more about your neighbors and to share traditions and cultures with the people that make our region such a compelling and beautiful place to live.

The full schedule for the 2018 Northwest Folklife Festival is up online and is interactive, but it’s still a lot to go through! Here’s a quick guide to some of the new highlights and discoveries at Folklife this year!


Sponsored by KEXP, the Indie Roots programming at the Northwest Folklife Festival is the best way to discover new artists who are pushing the boundaries of tradition and bringing in new ideas from Seattle and the Northwest’s nationally-known music scenes. Here are some highlights from the 2018 Indie Roots Programming:

American Standard Time Showcase

Friday, May 25 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on the Fountain Lawn Stage

Featuring GravelRoad, HYWAYS, The Crying Shame, and The Sons of Rainier

Folk, Redefined Showcase

Saturday, May 26 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the Vera Project

Featuring Five Letter Word, Gabriel Wolfchild & the Northern Light, Lili St Anne, and Sun Strong Moon

Ladies of Neo Soul Show

Sunday, May 26 from 7:45 – 10:00 p.m. on the Fisher Green Stage

Featuring Momma Nikki, Falon Sierra, and SPHIE

Sound Off! Showcase
Sunday, May 27 from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. in the Vera Project

Featuring Strawberry Mountain, Maiah Wynne & Her Sleepless Knights, Misundvrstood and Gypsy Temple

Kinfolk: Stories in Song

Sunday, 2:50 – 4:00 p.m. in the Folklife Café

Featuring J.R. Rhodes and Tomo Nakayama

Women of the West Showcase

Sunday, 3:30 – 5:45 p.m. on the Fountain Lawn Stage

Featuring Annie Ford Band, Elke Robitaille Band, and Joy Mills Band

KEXP Gathering Space at Folklife:

Returning in 2018, each day at KEXP’s Gathering Space will feature curation from a different KEXP DJ.

Friday, May 25 – El Sonido, curated by DJ Chilly

Terror/Cactus & Vince Mira

Saturday, May 26 – Audioasis, curated by Sharlese Metcalf

Astro King Phoenix & The New Rituals

Sunday, May 27 – Street Sounds, curated by Stas THEE Boss

Sax G & Kung Foo Grip

Monday, May 28 – WoPop, curated by Darek Mazzone

The Pazific & Amy Denio and Friends


It’s A Polka Party!Friday, May 25 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. on Armory Court Stage

Despite its reputation, the polka is a blindingly fast, high-energy dance that’s a blast! Learn to dance the polka and dance to the Bavarian Beer Garden Band.

Cloud CountryFriday, May 25 from 7:45 – 9:00 p.m. on the Fisher Green Stage

Two of the Northwest’s rowdier folk-punk rag-grass bands will bring a hootin’ hollerin’ good time to the Fisher Green stage! Featuring South Sound Tug & Barge and The Bridge City Sinners.

Rhapsody ShowcaseSaturday, May 26 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on the Fisher Green

The brainchild of Seattle roots duo Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, the Rhapsody Project brings American folk music to youth and students in Seattle’s South end.

The New Cool Show Saturday, May 26 from 12:45 – 3:00 p.m. on the Fountain Lawn Stage

Presented by KNKX, The New Cool Showcase brings together DJ Abe Beeson’s take on far-future, avant-garde jazz and brass. Featuring 322, Bad News Botanists, Ten Man Brass Band.

Balkan MisfitsSaturday, May 26 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. on the Fountain Lawn

Wild and wooly Balkan roots music, with all its clashing dissonance and fantastic brass lines! Featuring Balkanarama, The m9, and Eurodanceparty USA.

KBCS 91.3fm PresentsSunday, May 27 from 12:30 – 2:20 p.m. on the Fisher Green Stage

KBCS’ annual curated showcase at the Northwest Folklife Festival features Squirrel Butter, Whitney Monge, and Naomi Wachira.

Hawaiian ShowcaseSunday, May 27 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at McCaw Hall

The Hawaiian Showcase’s triumphant return to one of Seattle’s best stages: McCaw Hall. This showcase will feature four of the best hula hālaus (schools) in the Northwest.

Stand Up Comedy Sunday, May 27 from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. at the Center Theatre

This might be a first for Folklife! Stand up comedy from a variety of Northwest comics. Featuring Travis Watt, Erin Ingle, Bo Johnson.

Click HERE to view the full schedule.

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