Last year’s Woody Guthrie Festival was unquestionably one of my favorite musical memories of 2019.
Understandably, I was eagerly anticipating this year’s artist unveiling as well as a chance to once again be a part of the sense of community and family that swells the population of Okemah annually each July. Alas, the trainwreck that has been 2020 continues to wreak havoc and chaos on live music among other more serious consequences. The majority of the summer’s most prestigious music festivals and tours have been affected, so it really came as no surprise that the Woody Guthrie Festival shared the same fate.
Thankfully, rather than outright cancelling the 23rd annual Fest, the WoodyFest Coalition has boldly decided to move forward this year with a virtual festival that will be available free for all. The festival will kick off with special performances on Tuesday July 14th which would have been Guthrie’s 108th birthday, and followed with talent packed performances on Saturday, July 18th and Sunday July 19th. Additionally, informative and fascinating guest workshops and educational panels will stream Friday July 17th and Saturday July 18th. All festival activities will be available to stream via AppleTV, Roku, YouTube, Facebook Live and more. Donations will be accepted throughout for future programming, with proceeds also benefiting the Red Dirt Relief Fund and the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. Once again, the WoodyFest Coalition has exceeded expectations in regards to it’s lineup, booking returning favorites including members of the Guthrie Family, Graham Nash, the Red Dirt Rangers, Jaimee Harris, Ellis Paul, John Fullbright, Butch Hancock, Jamie Lin Wilson, BJ Barham and many more. This year’s festival debuts include Glen Hansard, Mary Gauthier, Jabee Williams and more. In total, the festival will feature over 50 performances from songwriters and performers from all over Oklahoma, the United States and the globe. The 2020 Woody Guthrie Festival’s official press release can be viewed below. Be sure to visit the Woody Guthrie Festivals web site and/or social media pages to find out all the pertinant information.We’ll be sharing additional information as well as festival recaps as this year’s festival proceeds.
Start here to learn more: https://www.woodyfest.com
OKEMAH, OK (June 15, 2020) — The Woody Guthrie Coalition is elated to host a free virtual festival for the 23rd annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. Guthrie family members, veteran songwriters, & festival favorites will join the celebration of the folk singer’s 108th birthday, with performances from the Guthrie Family, Jason Mraz, Graham Nash, Mary Gauthier, Glen Hansard, Branjae, BJ Barham, Ellis Paul, Jabee Williams, Jaimee Harris, Jamie Lin Wilson, Joel Rafael, John Fullbright, & Samantha Crain, plus more than 50 songwriters from throughout Oklahoma & the United States. The Guthrie family will again be well-represented with performances from Arlo Guthrie (Woody Guthrie’s son); Annie Guthrie (Woody Guthrie’s granddaughter); Krishna Guthrie (Woody Guthrie’s great-grandson); Serena Guthrie (Woody Guthrie’s great-granddaughter); Cole Rotante (Woody Guthrie’s grandson); & Cathy Guthrie (Woody Guthrie’s granddaughter) alongside Amy Nelson (Willie Nelson’s daughter) as the duo Folk Uke. Returning festival favorites include jazz, blues, & folk duo Miss Brown to You; multi-instrumentalist & Women of WoodyFest producer Susan Herndon; Cimarron Songbird singer-songwriter Monica Taylor; traveling troubadour Butch Hancock; blues & folk duo The Burns Sisters; red-dirt banner carriers & psychedelic cowboys the Red Dirt Rangers; & folk & jazz maestro David Amram. Making their WoodyFest debut include Irish vocalist, songwriter, & guitarist Glen Hansard; award-winning Grand Ole Opry singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier; award-winning singer-songwriter Raye Zaragoza; & Emmy-award winning hip-hop artist & community activist Jabee Williams. Educational panels & workshops include Music That Matters moderated by Woody Guthrie archivist Barry Ollman with Glen Hansard, Mary Gauthier, Dr. Sunu Kodumthara, & more; Ellis Paul’s annual Songwriting Workshop; Native Music of Oklahoma moderated by Sterlin Harjo & Dr. Hugh Foley with Samantha Crain, Jula Harjo, Kylee Robison, Johnny Akeketa, Nokosee Fields, & K-OSS; & more. The free digital celebration of the acclaimed singer, songwriter, poet, & activist will take place on Tuesday, July 14 (Woody’s birthday), Saturday, July 18, & Sunday, July 19, with panels occurring on Friday, July 17 & Saturday, July 18. Streaming will be available on AppleTV, Roku, YouTube, Facebook Live, & more. Donations will be accepted for future programming with a portion given to the Red Dirt Relief Fund & the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. For streaming information, please visit woodyfest.com/watch. The internationally acclaimed festival honoring the legendary folk singer pays tribute to Woody Guthrie through songs, scholarship, tradition, storytelling, & songwriting. The festival is made possible, in part, by a grant provided by the Oklahoma Arts Council with additional partnership with the Kirkpatrick Foundation, COOP Ale Works, Philip E. Landers Foundation, Oklahoma Humanities, BancFirst, & Pilgrim Media Group. Please visit woodyfest.com for more information.