SVFF 2014 – And Then It Was Over

All the planning and preparing was done for Friday and the gates to the 2014 Shelter Valley Folk Festival opened at noon for campers to get set up and then the festival gates opened at 5pm to let everyone in.

It’s now Tuesday, a full day has gone by since SVFF ended and I’m still bopping along to the music ringing in my head. It seems to echo off all the images in my mind. What a fabulous weekend! I’ll go back to Thursday since I didn’t get many blog updates during the week.

I had spent the week putting in long days, eating delicious meals, and jumping into the lake at Wiklow Beach when I was able to. That was as close as I got to being refreshed and clean so I was happy to head home Thursday afternoon so I’d be able to have a shower and sleep at home for the night. Our plan was to get up early the next morning and head back to SVFF for 10am. That all worked out fine and it felt great to be able to shave my head and get clean. We got there just past 10 and were 8th in line for camping (they hand out a number when you arrive and then you line up to check-in according to your arrival… very civilized). Our friends Doug and Linda were #2 in line so we knew we’d get our usual camping area and there were enough of us in the early check-ins that we were able to set aside out usual space and keep room for the late arrivals.

Andrea and I at our front-row camping spot

Babe was looking in on the Pine Stage all weekend

 I spent a little time doing some final volunteer work while we waited to get into the camping area but once we were in the only work I did was to set up the Westfalia Way signs that Greg made. This is the 3rd year running for the temporary road to get named Westfalia Way and each year has been a limited edition sign with the year on the sign.

A Westfalia Way sign waiting for the signpost to arrive

Then it was time for the music! Friday night was only at the main stage (the 3 side stages were used during the day on Saturday & Sunday) and right from the start it was awesome. The opener was Union Duke, a Toronto band. Two highlights were Joel Plaskett (who played solo) and Danny Michel with his band to close the night. And then there was great music at the campfire after the main stage was done! More Union Duke along with campers playing their songs.

It all seems like a blur of activity… so much to do and listen to that it would be impossible to describe it all. Instead I’ll pick a few of the highlights.

The music: I think this may have been the best line-up in the 4 years I’ve been coming. Lots of great surprises even from seasoned pros like Plaskett. The Quebecois band The Season surprised a lot people with their music and how incredibly young they are! James Hill (ukulele) and Anne on cello have a great sound and stage presence. The list goes on!

Our good friend Greg (maker of the signs) has also volunteered at SVFF and this year he was accepted to have a booth at the Artists Village for his Slow Lane Music instruments. He had quite an assortment of hubcap, license plate and cigar box guitars on hand plus some beat boxes. And he put on a workshop to show people how to build them. All very cool.

The instrument Greg is playing got a shout-out on the main stage

The Slow Lane Music Workshop

When I first published this I was remiss in skipping over one of the most important things from SVFF which is the opportunity to catch up with a very special family. Many of the folks who make this festival happen are people I only get to see once a year so the time together is both special and fun. So to all… a big THANKS and see you next year!

Other highlights were at some of the songwriter workshops that put a few musicians together with a theme. I think the one with Plaskett & Michel and NQ Arbuckle was the best. Three incredible talents, three huge egos, lots of great music and fun. And as an indication of how “real” this festival is, here’s a shot Andrea took of Danny Michel being his own roadie…

Danny Michel being his own roadie

The music went on, the pleasures kept on coming, and then all of a sudden it was over. A few of other performs that I was impressed with include:
Ennis, De Temp Antan, along with Sherman Downey & The Ambiguous Case. Oh… and then there’s Ashley McIsaac of course!

I spent yesterday processing images and shared a gallery with the SVFF Living Archives (you can look through them on my new website… it’s not done yet but I have stopped using the old one so all new photos are destined for Kraiker.Photography).

Stay tuned for another time-lapse video! That’s the one thing I still need to wrap up.

Jorge Miguel & his drummer

Gregory Hoskins with Ray Bonneville

Tune Your Ride is touring on bikes with all their gear


Danny Michel was a blast… go listen to his music!

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