August 21, 2008

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Two days of free folk music
Nashua Folk Festival returns for its second year
By Brian Early bearly@hippopress.com

The Nashua Folk Festival is back for a second year, and after the success of the first one, festival organizers hope that it will only get better.

Next Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 30 and 31, the folk festival will take place at Greeley Park in Nashua, and it’s a free event.

“It was an interesting experience getting it going the first year,” said Chris Michaud, co-founder and co-producer of the festival along with Craig Ferreira. “Festivals like this take a lot of planning and you have to start [the next year’s planning] right when the festival ends.”

Last year, he said, they planned the inaugural festival in two months. They’ve got many of the kinks worked out and feel better prepared for this year. And still they’ve been able to produce the show without any seed money. All the artists, most of them Boston-based, will provide their musical talents free of charge.

“We’re most excited about the Will Knox Band,” Michaud said. “He’s an excellent songwriter. Aside from the music, he’s a great guy too. It’s nice to hear [musicians] play and hang out with them before and after the performance. Knox, originally from London, is a Berklee Music School graduate, and has a six-piece backing band with banjo, cello, violin, guitars and drums. He played last year at the festival. “He has the knack for writing about those moments in life that we all wish we could capture,” Michaud said.

Brendan Hogan is another favorite of Michaud’s. “He’s an accomplished songwriter and amazing guitarist,” he said.

Michaud and Ferreira put together the festival at the end of August to “celebrate the end of the summer,” Michaud said. “We saw an opportunity to provide free music in the summertime, so we thought we’d take advantage of it.”

There will be games for children and food available, but there won’t be any alcohol allowed per park rules. They’re working to get as many downtown businesses as possible to set up along Concord Street to bring attention to the variety of businesses in the area. Tee Shirt Bodega is producing the concert’s shirts.

They hope in the coming years to continue to bring a more diverse lineup to the festival.

“We really want to build this. We want to bring the entire community together,” Michaud said. “It’s going to be an awesome weekend.”


Brendan Hogan plays at the Nashua Folk Festival. Courtesy photo by Todd Lehman.

Nashua Folk Festival Schedule
Where: Greeley Park, off Concord Street, Nashua. Free. www.nashuafolkfestival.com

Saturday, Aug. 30
1 p.m. Chordwood
2 p.m. Danielle Miraglia
3 p.m. Will Knox
4 p.m. Avi & Celia
5 p.m. Building James
6 p.m. Will Kindler
7 p.m. Liz Longley

Sunday, Aug. 31
1 p.m. Larry Zarella
2 p.m. Paul Sylvain & The Rockin’ Road Dogs
3 p.m. Brendan Hogan
4 p.m. Duty Free
5 p.m. Erin McNally
6 p.m. Brian Bergeron & The Late Greats
7 p.m. Christopher James