(Sisters Folk Festival — December 6, 2015) —
Reviewing the second and longest day of the three-day Sisters Folk Festival on Saturday seemed a simple enough task before I actually got there.
I’ve done festivals before. Most follow a set script: one, maybe two main stages of music. Some get really crazy and add a third stage off to the side of the main event. There aren’t many overlaps, so festivalgoers can ostensibly see everything if they plan their time.
Not so at SFF, where at any given time nine or 10 different shows were going on simultaneously in nine or 10 different venues. My head reeled as I looked at the 80 shows charted out on the festival schedule that day, madly circling everything I wanted to see. People around me all had the same idea: I saw plenty of schedules with similarly circled shows in people’s hands.
“You gotta make choices,” festival Director Brad Tisdel told me during the dinner break. Tisdel’s words became a mantra to me as I wandered the streets for the second half of the festival. But truth be told, I hit my stride sometime before the dinner break. On most assignments my musical Attention Deficit Disorder is a curse; in this setting it was a blessing.
I saw parts of at least 15 shows Saturday, catching something at every venue except for maybe Melvin’s Market. Rather than a full festival overview (which, again, would be close to impossible for one person to give), what follows is my personal Top 5, in descending order. As Tisdel also told me, no two festivalgoers have the same experience at SFF. Your festival picks may be entirely different based upon your musical intake that day.