University of Chicago Folk Festival | Music Sidebar | Chicago Reader

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University of Chicago Folk Festival

The Folklore Society presents a weekend of workshops and concerts that feature Byther Smith, Eddie C. Campbell, John Williams, the Evening Light Brothers, Frank Fairfield, and others.


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The 51st annual University of Chicago Folk Festival, presented by the school's Folklore Society, features evening concerts of folk, bluegrass, blues, Irish, cajun, and gospel music Fri-Sun 2/11-2/13 at Mandel Hall (1131 E. 57th) and daytime workshops conducted by festival artists Sat-Sun 2/12-2/13 at Ida Noyes Hall (1212 E. 59th). Notable acts (many perform on more than one day) include bluesmen Byther Smith and Eddie C. Campbell, Irish concertina player John Williams, gospel group the Evening Light Brothers, and old-time music devotee Frank Fairfield. Workshops for singers, dancers, and instrumentalists run 10 AM-4:30 PM on Saturday and 11 AM-4 PM on Sunday. Concerts begin at 8 PM on Friday and 7:30 PM on Saturday; tickets for either day are $25, $20 for seniors, $10 for students. The Sunday concert begins at 6 PM and tickets are $20, $15 for seniors, $10 for students. Weekend passes—$55, $45 for seniors—are available at the Mandel Hall box office (773-702-7300) or online at Visit for a full schedule of performances and workshops.

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