Montana Folk Festival July 13-15

$23,498 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 99 people in 12 months
After presenting last July what many have said was the best festival we have produced in a decade, the Montana Folk Festival will return to Southwest Montana next July 13-15  and we invite you to see this event as worthy of your support as we gear up to properly prepare and paint the town for another presentation of what is becoming Montana's premier summer outdoor arts event.

            Over the past decade, the economic impact in Butte and the surrounding trade area has been estimated at about $25 for every dollar spent on the festival that is a statewide event held in Butte. While the festival draws visitors to Butte and Montana from far and wide and is an important economic engine, it also remains a major cultural event and in the vicinity of Butte a hope engine as well.  

            Once again we are planning for six stages presenting new music and dance performances and moderated talk/demonstration sessions, a participatory dance area, a Family Area, a Montana Folklife Area, regional and ethnic foods, and a Montana Traditons arts market and the renowned First Peoples’ Market that features the works of Montana’s Native American Indian artists. 

            Thank you for considering your support.   The event is organized by Mainstreet Uptown Butte -- www.mainstreetbutte.org -- a 501 c 3 non-profit organization and any contribution large or small is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law and we will get a letter to that effect on request.

         Also, for the latest details and to see the value of your support in action, please stop by    www.montanafolkfestival.com or our facebook page at www.facebook.com/mtfolkfest where the latest details will be posted as they develop. 

     We hope that you will help us in this adventure which is now less than seven months away.  We have to raise nearly $650,000 to defray the expenses of the event and continue to offer all performances and workshops free of admission as we have for the past decade.  We will be working hard to write grant proposals and seek corporate sponsorships, but a lot of the support will have to come from individual contributions from supporters like you who want to see this festival continue for years to come.
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The 2018 Montana Folk Festival in Butte is behind us but, like an earthquake, the aftershocks continue to reverberate throughout the region.

Festival presenters have declared the obvious -- the event was an artistic and economic success, but, more importantly, that assessment is shared by attendees, volunteers, performers and artists alike.
"The festival was a record year on every metric we use to evaluate it," said George Everett, Festival Director. "This festival just keeps getting better-- it was the best and most beautiful Montana Folk Festival we have ever produced," added Everett.

"Many wonderful performers graced the six stages over the weekend but the star of the weekend was the weather -- it could not have been more perfect."
Much of the credit for the smooth operation of the event this year goes to the staff and volunteers that pitched in, many long time volunteers who have honed their skills over the past 11 years and BSB crews that helped keep the festival humming in the background.

"Thanks to the coordinated efforts of more than 900 volunteers, we were able to properly greet and entertain thousands of guests this past weekend, including friends and family from throughout the world," said Everett.

One of the highlights this year was the live broadcast from the Original Stage on Friday and Saturday that was heard by thousands of Montanans and throughout Eastern Washington on Spokane Public Radio on Saturday night. Hosts for the show that may be rebroadcast in the future on the PRX Network included Michael Marsolek of Montana Public Radio and Nick Spitzer of National Public Radio's syndicated show American Routes.

"This year we experienced overflow crowds at all venues on Friday and Saturday. The parking lots were full as was every possible parking spot on the Hill, including the newly vacated streets by the move of the Dance stage. While the crowds were lighter in comparison on Sunday there was still strong attendance at all of the venues on Sunday with good crowds at the smaller stages," said George Everett.
In fact on all points -- the ridership on busses on the site, amount of garbage taken off the site that is measured at the landfill, amount of ice used, food sales and parking patterns that had cars in parking lots and every empty space on the Hill on Saturday -- all indicators are that the festival continues to grow to the capacity of the present site design.

Contributions to the festival ambassadors with buckets are still coming in, but so far have tallied a record $129,000 thus far. That figure may well move upwards as contributions after the festival take the total higher.

Mainstreet Uptown Butte is a 501 (c) (3) non profit and these after-the-festival contributions are strongly encouraged. If anyone enjoyed the festival and would like to send a Pony Up! "bucket drop" contribution after the festival to help pay present and future bills, they can send a tax-deductible contribution to Mainstreet Uptown Butte, P.O. Box 696, Butte, MT 59703 or they can use gofundme.com ( www.gofundme.com/2018MFF) as some are doing now.

The tents are gone and the stages have been put away until next year. Butte is back to normal while still buzzing from the excitement of the 2018 Montana Folk Festival.

The festival drew attendees from throughout the region and exceeded expectations of 150,000 attendees over the three days of the event. The attendance was estimated to have grown to 175,000 this year -- 50,000 on Friday, 90,000 on Saturday and 35,000 on Sunday.

An on-site survey of visitors resulted in more than 400 completed surveys and will yield useful details about visitor behavior in Butte and the area. Early results indicate that visitors reported coming from many foreign locations as well as from many states across the USA.

Meanwhile, for anyone who missed it, images and videos of the festival are coming in and will be increasingly available over the next few weeks at the festival Facebook page -- www.facebook.com/mtfolkfest.

The most frequent question so far has been to ask for the dates of next year’s event.

Comments from attendees are being received and festival planning for 2019 is now underway, with the hope that long-time sponsors will renew their support early in the coming year including the continued critical support of major partner Butte Silver Bow County.

The main task for the next few weeks will be to review comments and suggestions and these are encouraged and welcomed to improve the organization and effectiveness for the eighth Montana Folk Festival in 2019. When will that happen? Always the second weekend in July, the ninth Montana Folk Festival and the 12th festival is set in Butte July 12-14, 2019.

For details as they develop, visit www.montanafolkfestival.com or on facebook at www.facebook.com/mtfolkfest.

To all who have contributed through our Gofundme effort, we are humbled by the outpouring of support and we are committed to proving it a solid investment by getting up early and working hard to make 2019's festival even better.

Thank you!
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With one month to go until the 2018 Montana Folk Festival on July 13, it is, as they say in Butte, all downhill from here.

Contrary to the persistent rumor that the festival has been cancelled (Evel Knevel Days will not be held this year and the Original Festival in September has been put on hold) the 2018 Montana Folk Festival is on track and moving ahead at full steam and will be held in Butte July 13, 14 and 15. Many details are now available at our web site -- http://www,montanafolkfestival.com.

You can find details about the food vendors coming at http://montanafolkfestival.com/…/the-festi…/food-vendors.php

You can see Native artists who will be selling their work at --

And you can see other artists in the Montana Traditions Arts market -- http://montanafolkfestival.com/…/the…/montana-traditions.php

And of course the stage performers are profiled there as well -- http://montanafolkfestival.com/…/the-fe…/2018-performers.php

Look for similar details to be inserted in daily newspapers around the state when the official program guide will be available far and wide before the end of June in Lee newspaper dailies in major cities across Montana, the Flathead Beacon, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and the Belgrade News.
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With little more than a month until the 2018 Montana Folk Festival, many of the details are being decided and set in motion for the festival. Many of these can be found on the web site www.montanafolkfestival.com.

Food vendors have been selected, the two art markets are full, and folklife demonstrators are preparing to help interpret the theme in the Montana Folklife Area.

The performance schedule has been set and is on the web site now and attendees can plan their visit to see and enjoy as much as possible.

As we hurtle toward our deadline in July we are only lagging behind in our fundraising goals to raise enough to pay the bills that have been coming in for a while now and will continue to come in as we get closer.

If you know someone who can help ensure that we will be able to pay the bills when the dust settles, please let them know about these efforts and encourage them to help keep the festival free for this year and for years to come.

Thank you.

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Look for announcements this week that include the remaining performers in the lineup, food vendors who will be in the food courts, artists in the First Peoples Arts Market and the artists in the Montana Traditions Arts Market. Check in at our Facebook page at mtfolkfest or on our web site at www.montanafolkfestival.com.

We are picking up speed as we hurtle toward July and many of the details are getting the attention they deserve.

Many thanks to all who have stepped forward already as sponsors and supporters and if you know someone who has the means to help, please let them know about the opportunity to contribute toward keeping the festival free of admission for everyone in this year and for years to come.

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$23,498 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 99 people in 12 months
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