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Summer's golden hour

Death Cab for Cutie, Jason Mraz and Kacey Musgraves to headline 46th annual Winnipeg Folk Festival

The lineup for the 46th edition of the Winnipeg Folk Festival has officially been announced and a trio of American acts top this year’s bill.

Alt-rock band Death Cab for Cutie are queued up to open the festival at Birds Hill Provincial Park with a bang, slotted in as Thursday night’s (July 11) mainstage headliner.

Concert preview

Winnipeg Folk Festival

July 11-14

Birds Hill Provincial Park

Early-bird tickets are on sale online through Front Gate Tickets, by phone at 1-888-512-7469, or at the Winnipeg Folk Festival office (203-211 Bannatyne Ave.), and are $208 for a weekend adult passes and $70-$95 for single-day adult tickets. Weekend passes including camping are $288, and senior and youth passes are available at a reduced cost.

FULL LINEUP

(in alphabetical order)

Altın Gün (Amsterdam)

Alvvays (Ontario)

Bebe Buckskin (Alberta)

Winnipeg Folk Festival

July 11-14

Birds Hill Provincial Park

Early-bird tickets are on sale online through Front Gate Tickets, by phone at 1-888-512-7469, or at the Winnipeg Folk Festival office (203-211 Bannatyne Ave.), and are $208 for a weekend adult passes and $70-$95 for single-day adult tickets. Weekend passes including camping are $288, and senior and youth passes are available at a reduced cost.

 

FULL LINEUP

(in alphabetical order)

Altın Gün (Amsterdam)

Alvvays (Ontario)

Bebe Buckskin (Alberta)

Car Seat Headrest (Virginia)

Castlemoon Theatre (Manitoba)

Charlotte Day Wilson (Ontario)

Christine Fellows (Manitoba)

Colter Wall (Saskatchewan)

Combo Chimbita (Colombia/New York)

Courtney Marie Andrews (Arizona)

Danny Michel (Ontario)

De Temps Antan (Quebec)

Death Cab for Cutie (Washington)

Devon Gilfillian (Pennsylvania)

Eileen Ivers (New York)

FM Belfast (Iceland)

Gustavo & The Green Fools (Alberta)

Haley Heynderickx (Oregon)

Half Moon Run (Quebec)

Hawksley Workman (Ontario)

Jason Mraz (California)

Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton (New York)

Jesse Matas (Manitoba/Ontario)

Jim Kweskin (California)

John Cohen & Eli Smith (New York)

John Sebastian (New York)

Johnathan Rice (California)

Julia Jacklin (Australia)

K’Naan (Somalia/Canada)

Kacey Musgraves (Tennesee)

Kathleen Edwards (Ontario)

Larkin Poe (Georgia)

Living Hour (Manitoba)

Luca Fogale (British Columbia)

Lucy Rose (United Kingdom)

Mammút (Iceland)

Mariel Buckley (Alberta)

Mdou Moctar (Niger)

Mi Canto Tiene Raíz feat. Los Pachamama & Flor Amargo (Mexico)

Molly Tuttle (California)

Mt. Joy (Pennsylvania)

Rayland Baxter (Tennessee)

Rebirth Brass Band (Louisiana)

Roman Clarke (Manitoba)

RupLoops (British Columbia)

Sam Lewis (Tennessee)

Samantha Crain (Oklahoma)

Sarah Shook & the Disarmers (North Carolina)

Sean McConnell (Tennesee)

Seanster and the Monsters (Manitoba)

Snail Mail (Maryland)

Snorri Helgason (Iceland)

Steel City Jug Slammers (Alabama)

Steve Gunn (New York)

Sunny War (California)

Tal National (Niger)

Taylor Janzen (Manitoba)

The Cactus Blossoms (Minnesota)

The Devil Makes Three (California)

The Lone Bellow (New York)

The Sheepdogs (Saskatchewan)

The Swinging Belles (Newfoundland)

The Tillers (Ohio)

The Young’uns (England)

This Is The Kit (England)

Tim Baker (Newfoundland)

Toubab Krewe (North Carolina)

William Crighton (Australia)

William Prince (Manitoba)

Ylja (Iceland)

Ziggy Alberts (Australia)

The band rose to prominence in the early 2000s, around the time they released their fourth record, Transatlanticism, which was both a critical and commercial success. They followed that with the stunning Plans in 2005, which produced one of the band’s most famous singles, I Will Follow You Into the Dark.

Death Cab is promoting their newest release, 2018’s Thank You for Today, and while the band has played Winnipeg several times over the years, they have never come through as headliners.

Closing out the festival on Sunday, July 14 is a country songstress Kacey Musgraves.

The 30-year-old Texas native has been swimming in a sea of success since the release of her simple but sparkling 2018 record, Golden Hour, which landed on almost every year-end "Best of" list and earned her four Grammy Awards in February, including Best Country Album and Album of the Year (she had previously won two other Grammys for her 2012 debut album, Same Trailer Different Park).

Kacey Musgraves earned four Grammy Awards in February. (Marcus Yam / Tribune Media files)

Kacey Musgraves earned four Grammy Awards in February. (Marcus Yam / Tribune Media files)

"That was booked a long time ago... she hasn’t played Winnipeg before and she is kinda making an effort to get out and hit the more roots/Americana festivals, even the indie festivals, this summer. I loved the record and she’s good for our crowd, and then hopefully it brings in some people who love that side of country music," says Winnipeg Folk Festival artistic director Chris Frayer.

"And it kind of goes back to that idea that we want to have the festival bookended by two huge artists."

Jason Mraz has sold more than seven million albums. (Supplied photo)

Jason Mraz has sold more than seven million albums. (Supplied photo)

On Friday, July 12, Grammy Award-winning pop/funk/folk/reggae/musical catch-all artist Jason Mraz will take mainstage with his band.

Throughout his 20-year-career, the ultra-chill Mraz has sold more than seven million albums and more than 11.5 million downloaded singles, and has been part of wedding soundtracks the world over with his biggest hits, I’m Yours, I Won’t Give Up and Lucky. Those three singles combine for more than one billion streams on Spotify. That’s right, billion, with a "b."

In 2017, Mraz made his Broadway debut in the musical Waitress and he is touring his sixth full-length album, 2018’s Know.


Rounding out the headlining slots is Montreal-based indie band Half Moon Run, who will take the stage Saturday, July 13.

"We feel like we want those pillars each night to be strong and bring people in. They are (sonically) different but I can see people who like one of them liking at least one of the others. Jason’s got pretty positive vibes, super California, and Kacey is kind of that way, too — pretty chill. Death Cab are a bit more indie/emo, so a bit different, but people aren’t going to be like, ‘Oh my God I hate this,’" says Frayer, adding that each act is fairly accessible even if their music isn’t as well known to individual festival-goers.

"The last couple of years I feel like we are getting a really strong family of festival-goers that are traditionally coming to the festival and then you kind of get a vibe of newcomers coming, and it’s a positive complement to the community that’s there already. So, yeah, all the acts are very different but they all bring good people to the festival," he says.

"I feel good about the lineup this year, I mean I always do, but I feel good. And I feel like we’re putting on a really good show that people will find value in beyond just the tradition of coming."

 

Icelandic Sounds

Last year, Frayer took a trip to Iceland Airwaves, a huge, annual music festival held Reykjavík in November that features new music, both from international artists and Icelandic musicians. It was there that he saw pop-folk singer-songwriter Snorri Helgason, rock band Mammút, female folk duo Ylja and electro-pop five-piece FM Belfast, four acts he has brought in for this year’s folk fest.

The connection between Manitoba and Iceland has long been a strong one, with more than 30,000 people of Icelandic descent calling our province home, making it the largest Icelandic community in Canada. So, for Frayer, the choice to include these four acts on the bill was an obvious one.

"It’s just so relevant for our community here," he says.

Frayer says he plans to create a workshop featuring the Icelandic acts, but festival-goers can also expect to see a couple of them take the stage at Big Blue @ Night.

 

Pete Seeger’s 100th birthday

Pete Seeger (Free Press files)

Pete Seeger (Free Press files)

May 3, 2019 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of American folk icon Pete Seeger. Tributes have already started popping up, and, of course, the Winnipeg Folk Festival will mark the milestone as well.

Seeger, who died in 2014 at the age of 94, was one of the early patriarchs of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and he made numerous appearances during its history. His life and musical career will be celebrated with a daytime hootenanny featuring a slew of amazing performers, including John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers (who also has spent a fair amount of time at folk fest), Eli Smith, Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton, Jim Kweskin, Steel City Jug Slammers and a few other special guests.

The Winnipeg Folk Festival runs July 11-14 at Birds Hill Provincial Park. More information on ticketing and artists performing at the festival can be found at winnipegfolkfestival.ca.

 

erin.lebar@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @NireRabel

Erin Lebar

Erin Lebar
Multimedia producer

Erin Lebar is a multimedia producer who spends most of her time writing music- and culture-related stories for the Arts & Life section. She also co-hosts the Winnipeg Free Press's weekly pop-culture podcast, Bury the Lede.

Read full biography

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