Birmingham Folk Festival

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The Birmingham Folk Festival is a free annual music festival hosted at Avondale Park by the non-profit Birmingham Folk Festival Inc.

The event was founded in 2006 as the Compound Folk Festival at Douglas Chapel Farms off Patton Chapel Road in Hoover (nicknamed "The Compound"). In 2008 the festival was incorporated as a non-profit under its present name by Thomas Pearson and Ashlee Trott. Gilbert Douglas IV and Keith Harrelson also served on the board.

Stephen Collins began planning to launch a folk festival at Avondale Park in 2019 and, learning that one was already in existence, though dormant. He contacted the board members and became the registered agent for the non-profit. Other board members include Robyn White, Burgin Mathews, Chris Davis, Barry Johnson, Gottfried Kibelka, and Axel Barron. The festival features folk and bluegrass music as well as crafts and traditional foods.


The lineup for the 2024 Birmingham Folk Festival included the Ramsay High School band, Girls Rock, Mariachi Premier De America, The Flourish, Sahi On Ko Djony, Litty's Songwriters, The Byrd Family, Footmad, The Yellow Dandies, Alabama Schoool of Fine Arts' "Groove Rhythm Nation", Earl "Guitar" Williams, Early James, Knowledge, Rhythm & Understanding, The Underwood Spirituals, and The Whistlebees.


Featured musicians included the Bo Berry Quartet, The Pine Hill Haints, Random Mountain Ramblers, Elizabeth King, the Allen Tolbert Unit, Janet Simpson & Will Stewart, Little Lee, and Sahi On Ko Djony.


The 2022 Birmingham Folk Festival was held on August 27. The event featured performances by Clarence "Bluesman" Davis and Jock Webb, the The Mountain Grass Unit, Sarah Lee Langford, Ruth Black & the Harmonettes, José Carr's Jazz Jam Session, Sahi On Ko Djony, The Whistlebees, and the Crestwood Community Band

Footmad and other participants led dance instruction and other activities at the festival.


The 2009 Birmingham Folk Festival was held on October 11 at Avondale Park. Musical performers include Matt Boyer, Neil Couvillion, Sarah Green Band, Old Slouch Hat, Jon Black, Mandi Rae, Newgrass Troubadours, Back Row Baptists, Come Go With Us, Corduroy Road and Hightide Blues. Proceeds from the event supported Black Warrior Riverkeeper and Red Mountain Park.


The 2008 Birmingham Folk Festival was held on August 2 at Avondale Park. Musical performers included Anna Katherine, Jesse Payne, Art Wilson, Heath Green, the Overalls, Ethan Gardiner, Matt Boyer, the Kudzu String Band, Mandi Rae, Duquette Johnston, Chris Porter & Back Row Baptists, Act of Congress and the New Familiars. Proceeds from the event went to help support Mitchell's Place for patients with autism spectrum disorders.


The 2007 Compound Folk Festival was held on May 12 with performances by the Triceratops, Jen Black, Mandi Rae and Westover Water, Ethan Gardiner, the Great Book of John, Valley Creek Bluegrass, Act of Congress, Waltzing Matilda, Ethereal, Ben Navis, John Wesley Day and When We Were New. Proceeds from the festival benefitted the Peru Mission.


The inaugural Compound Folk Festival was held in 2006.


  • Haden, Courtney (July 31, 2008) "Friendly folk: Local music lovers get a BFF." Birmingham Weekly
  • "Birmingham Folk Festival Coming to Avondale Park." (August 2022) Friends of Avondale Park newsletter

External links