Now in its 48th year, Northwest Folklife Festival remains one of the largest “access-for-all” festivals in the United States. This Memorial Day weekend, join over 25,000 attendees at Seattle Center for a celebration of all the things that make us unique and bring us together. With over 5,000 performers on 20 stages, visitors will experience music, dance, food and cultural expression from more than 125 communities that make up the diverse tapestry of the Pacific Northwest. There will be hula-hooping and hip hop, tribal dance and tap-dancing, poetry readings and the polka.
Each year, the Northwest Folklife Festival is centered around a cultural focus. This year the focus is Youth Rising - a platform for the youth of the Pacific Northwest to have their voices heard, their creativity expressed, and the opportunity to make change. While the overall festival was designed to be “for the people, by the people”, the year-round focus on Youth Rising was designed “for the youth, by the youth.” This year our youth take center stage (20 stages to be exact) for over 25 programs showcasing their voices through music, spoken word, film, and dance. Learn more about Youth Rising and the complete line-up here.
Things to Know:
● Northwest Folklife Festival is produced by Northwest Folklife, an independent nonprofit that “celebrates the multigenerational arts, cultures, and traditions of a global Pacific Northwest. This unifying organization operates with the mission of “demystifying our differences”.
● There is no charge for entrance. This is by design, so that the event is open and accessible to all. Donations are suggested (and greatly appreciated) as the event is completely community-powered. You can make a donation in person at the festival or online here.
● Get all of the details, hours and complete schedule here.
● Unfortunately, for the safety of all festival-goers pets, aside from service animals, are not allowed.
● Interested in sharing your talents? Get all of the information on being a featured performer here.
● Would you rather have a printed guide to navigate the festival? Become a supporter and have one delivered to your mailbox or visit the Folklife offices on the first floor of the Seattle Armory at Seattle Center.
● The Northwest Folklife website is full of ideas for the easiest ways to get to the festival, navigate when you’re there, along with where to eat, where to stay and where to shop. Check it all out here.