The Princeton Traditional Music Festival, now in its eighth year. has developed quite a following and for good reason.
“Every year brings something different,” said Jon Bartlett, organizer of the three-day, free festival. “Because we are a free festival, only performers who love the music and a chance to play come and join us.”
Dozens of musicians, excelling in shanties, Canadian logging, fishing and mining songs, and songs from England, Ireland and Scotland, fill the town for the entire weekend.
The festival takes place in downtown Princeton from Aug. 14 to the 16. Friday night sees a street dance, starting at 6:30 p.m. The dances are traditional too — some from Scotland and England, and some from North America, with music from a ceili band. No partners are necessary, and all dances are taught on the spot.
On Saturday and Sunday, two outdoor stages (under tents and with chairs) and one indoor stage in the local library, will feature songs and tunes from over 100 performers, many from the B.C. Interior.
The festival is free because all the performers, volunteers and organizers, give their services for free.
Grants from the provincial and local governments cover the necessary costs of tents, publicity and meals for the performers and the like.
“This is what traditional music is all about,” said Bartlett. “It’s skilled, varied, community-based and free.”
Some of the artists slated to perform include festival founders Job Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat, Celtic group Blackthorn, Vancouver Morris Men and Bob Bossin — whose songs have been performed all over the world by the likes of Valdy, Ian Tyson and Pete Seeger.
For more information, including performance schedules, visit the website at princetontraditional.org.