Stellar lineup at the 2023 Richmond Folk Festival

The Richmond Folk Festival is in the DNA of the Center for Cultural Vibrancy. This FREE Festival is one of Virginia’s largest, drawing fans each year to downtown Richmond’s riverfront to celebrate the roots, richness, and variety of culture through music, dance, traditional crafts, and food. Featuring six stages and showcasing music and dance from more than 30 artists from around Virginia, the nation, and the world, the Richmond Folk Festival promises, as always, a stellar lineup.

The Richmond Folk Festival:

Friday, October 13 — 6:30pm – 10:00pm
Saturday, October 14 — 12:00pm – 9:30pm
Sunday, October 15 — 12:00pm – 6:00pm

CCV, in fact, produces and sponsors one of those six stages. And once again, we are partnering with our friends at the Virginia Folklife Program to create the Virginia Folklife Area at this year’s Festival. Our CCV stage at the Virginia Folklife Area will honor the musical past and present of Bristol by showcasing some of the most accomplished and exciting emerging artists from the city and surrounding region.

Designated by the U.S. Congress as the “birthplace of country music” in recognition of the 1927 Bristol Sessions, during which The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, and others were recorded for the first time, artists and communities in and around Bristol are transforming regional Appalachian traditions for 2023 and beyond.

Experience a live recording of Farm and Fun Time, a vintage-style radio show presented by the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, hosted by Kris Truelsen and his band, Bill and the Belles, and featuring Southwest Virginia natives Linda Lay, Elizabeth LaPrelle, and Elsa Howell. The “New Sounds of Bristol Showcase” presents six artists from in and around Bristol who are shaping its sound today and spanning musical genres from old-time to hip-hop. 

Martha Spencer will perform on Sunday, October 15.

We will also draw from the musical hotbed of the Blue Ridge by welcoming back old friends Wayne Henderson and Martha Spencer and the Nashville-based Wild Ponies for what will be unforgettable performances. The stage will also host the new exciting musical pairing of R&B and gospel legends Sherman Holmes and Cora Armstrong, and an ambitious collaboration between multi-instrumentalist, musical chameleon, and longtime Folklife Stage favorite Danny Knicely with Chinese dulcimer master Chao Tian, Irish backing-guitar virtuoso Zan McCleod, and accomplished tabla player Anirudh Alva Changkakoti. 

This year we are also excited to witness the Richmond Folk Festival debuts of exciting Virginia artists Gail Ceasar and Rodney Stith, and will continue the nearly-20-year tradition of closing the weekend with a soul-stirring performance by Richmond’s own First Family of Gospel, the Legendary Ingramettes. Check out the schedule below, and make sure to grab your seat!

CCV Stage Schedule

Saturday, October 14

Wild Ponies
  • 12:15-1:00 Virginia Meets the Virgin Islands: Workshop with members of Legendary Ingramettes and Stanley Jacobs and the Ten Sleepless Nights
  • 1:15-2:00 Gail Ceasar (Piedmont Blues)
  • 2:15-3:00 Wayne Henderson and Friends (Appalachian Guitar Traditions)
  • 3:15-4:00 Danny Knicely and Chao Tian (Appalachian Traditions and Chinese Dulcimer)
  • 4:15-5:00 Wild Ponies (Americana)
  • 5:15-6:30 Farm and Fun Time® featuring Bill and the Belles, Linda Lay, Elizabeth LaPrelle and Elsa Howell (Country Radio Hour)

Sunday, October 15

Rodney Stith (photo by Dave Parrish)
  • 12:00-1:15 New Sounds of Bristol Showcase  featuring Tyler Hughes, Pierceton Hobbs, Roxanne McDaniel, geonovah, Jackson Cunningham, KT Vandyke & Toni Doman
  • 1:30-2:30 Sherman Holmes and Cora Armstrong, with Jared Pool, Andrew Alli, Almeta Ingram-Miller and Jacob Eller (Gospel and R&B)
  • 2:45-3:30 Martha Spencer and the Wonderland Band (Honky-tonk)
  • 3:50-4:45 Rodney Stith (Classic Soul)
  • 5:00-6:00 The Legendary Ingramettes (Gospel)

Learn more about the Center for Cultural Vibrancy Stage Performers»

Virginia Folklife Area: Appalachian Traditions

This area will include a demonstration tent with artists and cultural organizations from the greater Bristol region. Enjoy demonstrations in broom and toy making, weaving, basketry, and more, and displays including a pop-up cast iron museum and a rear-engine dragster race car.

Focused Demonstration Schedule

Saturday, October 14

Jackson Cunningham (photo by Pat Jarrett)
  • 1:00     John Alexander: Appalachian Toys
  • 2:00     KT Vandyke: Repairing a Cracked Guitar
  • 3:00     Birthplace of Country Music: Women in Old Time Music
  • 4:00     Katie Hoffman & Brett Tiller: Maintain Your Cast Iron
  • 5:00     Jesse Halverson: Wool, From Fleece to Loom

Sunday, October 15

  • 2:00     KT Vandyke & Jackson Cunningham: Installing Frets
  • 3:00     Roxanne McDaniel: How to Build a Cardboard Dulcimer
  • 4:00     Amanda Sprinkle: Curly Basket Overlays
  • 5:00     Erin Simons: Making Hand Brooms

Learn more about the Virginia Folklife Area participants»