Sisters Folk Festival Returns

sisters folk festival
Black Lillies at Melvin’s. Rob Kerr / SFF


The Sisters Folk Festival is back for 2018, after a wild one-year hiatus due to wildfire smoke that choked the region last summer.

The 23rd annual festival happens Sept. 7-9 and features more than 40 acts on 11 stages throughout the small town, providing a much-needed folk fix for visitors and residents alike. More than 4,000 fans are expected at the festival, providing a vibrant atmosphere throughout the town.

“The best part about the entire experience is the vibe in Sisters that weekend,” said Ann Richardson, the festival’s director. “People cruise from venue to venue walking, on their bikes, or on our shuttle; blissed out from the amazing music and sense of community the experience in Sisters.”

If you’ve never visited Sisters, be prepared to take a step back in time to the days of no stop-light towns and western storefronts. The tiny village of just about 2,000 people is chock full of mom-and-pop stores selling souvenirs and great food. Come June it’s the rodeo capital of the world; in July it’s home to the largest outdoor quilt show in the world.

But in September, it’s all about the music.

Eric Bibb performing at the Five Pines venue, Saturday session of the Sisters Folk Festival.

The venues range from the lawn at FivePine Lodge to the Belfry (a converted church) to Village Green Park and the Depot Cafe.

Richardson said there are some great options for everyone – including those who don’t want to buy a ticket. Free music is available on the Fir Street Park stage or the Sisters Coffee Company stage. Or, she said, visitors can hang out in the Village Green and hear great music all weekend long.

Sunday morning’s free show features the best of the best of the festival.

Artists love coming to the festival because its known for having a “listening-oriented” audience, Richardson said, and patrons love coming because everyone is so into the music.

The 2018 lineup is headlined by Justin Townes Earle, Dar Williams and Robbie Fulks.

Beyond the music, the Village Green Park will be filled with local vendors and artists selling jewelry, artwork, pottery and more. And those looking to step away from the music for a bit can take a mountain bike ride on the Pederson Ridge trail system or venture into Bend for some hiking and whitewater rafting.

Tickets are still available and a full schedule of artists will be available mid-August. Richardson says it’s a great idea to plan your festival experience in advance.


Central Oregon Visitors Association
The Central Oregon Visitors Association (COVA) is the "Official" Tourism Information Resource for Central Oregon, including the communities of Bend, Sunriver, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine, Madras, Prineville, Crooked River Ranch, Terrebonne, Culver and Black Butte Ranch. Most of the stories posted online can be found in the Official Central Oregon Visitors Guide.
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