Complete our Festivarian Survey for a chance to win tickets to the 2016 Festival
Festivarians at the Folks Festival (photo Jennifer Schumacher)
Festivarians at the Folks Festival
(photo Benko Photographics)

In the 25 years since we started our modest "summit on the song" the festival has moved (from Estes Park to Lyons in 1994), grown (to our current capacity of 4,000), survived a 500-year flood, and created its own culture, community, and spirit. All the while, Folks Fest has remained true to our initial vision of spending a glorious Colorado summer weekend celebrating songs and stories from around the musical and geographic world.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the historic 25th Annual celebration (August 14-16, 2015). It was a magical and inspiring 3 days along the St. Vrain River. We'd love to hear about your Festival experience in our online survey. One lucky response will win a pair of tix to next year's Festival - August 19-21, 2016.

The Festival

Lyons locals often look forward to the Folks Festival as their time to finally relax and enjoy summer. In contrast to the hot licks and hyper tempos of RockyGrass, the mellower moods of Folks Fest are the perfect antidote for the warm Colorado sun. Claim your space with a blanket or tarp, set down your low-back chair, and settle in for unforgettable days and nights of music. For these 3 magical days, Festivarians from around the world are treated like "Lyons locals."

Ani DiFranco in 2014
(photo Benko Photographics)
Ani DiFranco in 2014
(photo Benko Photographics)

From morning 'til after 10pm each night, the world's most inspired songwriters share their songs and stories, projected through the best sound system at any festival in the country.

The festival opens with the prestigious Folks Songwriter Showcase, where a juried group of the most gifted new songwriters from around the world compete for a spot in the 2016 lineup. Songwriting workshops continue throughout the festival in the intimacy of the new Wildflower Pavilion.

Festivarians at the Folks Festival welcome newcomers with a space on their tarp and conversation about summer and song. Children create their masterpieces in the sandy beach next to the stage (kids 12 and under are free, of course) while parents dream their own masterpieces to the sound of acoustic guitars and lyrical songs.

St. Vrain River flowing thru the festival
(photo Benko Photographics)
St. Vrain River flowing thru the festival
(photo Benko Photographics)

Pack a picnic -- you're welcome to bring in food and drinks, just no alcohol or glass. Or enjoy a wide variety of food options from our food vendors (fish tacos to ice cream, dumplings to artisan pizza), as well as New Belgium beer, wine, and free filtered local water.

As the sun sets over the Rocky Mountain Foothills the campgrounds come alive with Festivarians from around the country eager to sing their latest creations or share in the creation of new ones with new friends. Whether you are a musician or a music lover, camps from around Colorado and around the country welcome you in with a hearty hug. Connect with your past and future tarpmates on the Folks Fest board at Festivarian.com.

A Summer Day in Lyons

In August the St. Vrain is transformed from a hub of recreation to a cooling wet paradise. The shallow depths of the river are filled with damp armchairs (within perfect view and sound of the main stage) and constantly evolving rock sculptures.

Festivarians at the Folks Festival (photo Jennifer Schumacher)
Festivarians at the Folks Festival
(photo Jennifer Schumacher)

The relaxed pace leaves time to explore the spectacular environment of Lyons, Colorado. The historic quarry town is located just 15 miles north of Boulder in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The small town (population 2,100) is known for its antique stores, restaurants, artists, and musicians – NPR's All Things Considered calls Lyons "the Nashville of the Rockies."

Numerous camping options nearby include: on-site at the festival grounds, along the St. Vrain at the new River Bend Campground (across the street from the Ranch), or under the cliffs at Meadow Park (a quick five-minute walk to the festival). Convenient, inexpensive parking is available at Bohn Park, just a 10-minute walk (or free shuttle bus ride) to the festival grounds.

"This is probably just about the nicest festival I've ever driven into."
—Jackson Browne

Non-musical activities in and around Lyons include numerous trails for hiking and mountain biking at Hall Ranch, Heil Valley Ranch and Rabbit Mountain; touring through Rocky Mountain National Park (20 miles up the hill from Lyons); or enjoying our rivers for swimming, tubing, or simply cooling off from the warm Colorado sunshine.

Single-day tickets and camping are still available at the festival box office in Lyons -- with no service fees, of course. Once you have your tickets, connect with your fellow Folks tarpmates on Facebook and in the Festivarian Forum.