We are a unique festival in that the talent we put on the stage is collectively curated by select organizations whose mission is likewise to foster community through music year-round in our city and state. In this way we strengthen the music scene in Birmingham while simultaneously strengthening the ties between communities, artists, and residents of Greater Birmingham. As the many different communities and organizations gather to celebrate the work they do year-round, festival attendees will be profoundly struck by the richness of art and culture that is accessible to them.
We strive to foster a sense of community between citizens of Birmingham through showcasing diverse expressions of folk music, uniting community groups from different areas of the city that don’t often have opportunities to gather together. BFF is a place that provides all festival attendees a chance to hear stories and songs from people with backgrounds both similar to and different from themselves and, through this folk tradition of sharing, grow closer together as citizens of the same city, state, and country.
We also hope to celebrate and contribute to the Avondale community by highlighting one of Birmingham’s most under-utilized assets, Avondale Park’s historic Amphitheater. The Avondale Amphitheater once hosted regular concerts, plays, and pageants, and for decades served as the bustling epicenter for community life in Avondale. Since its decline in the 1970s, and despite renovations in 2011, the Amphitheater today is rarely used as an entertainment venue. By staging an annual festival here, we hope to reawaken this amazing historical venue, re-centering Avondale as a premier district for entertainment in Birmingham.
As a 501(c)(3), Birmingham Folk Festival relies largely on contributions from sponsors and presenters (including individuals and grants). Whenever a patron pays for a ticket, we find that little attention is given to the sponsors of the event. We want to present a festival that
is free to the public and excellent in its production, casting sponsors and presenters in the limelight as the entities to whom attention and gratitude are fully due.