The sixth annual Cornstock Folk Festival will be held Aug. 31 through Sept. 2 held at Lazybrook Park in Tunkhannock. “It’s three magical days of incredible music, reunions, art, and good times,” said Jillian Hannigan, who organizes Cornstock with her husband and fellow musician Anthony Hannigan. The couple founded the festival as a way to share their love of folk and acoustic music.
“It’s great to see the musical relationships that have been built over the years. Festival-goers make this their annual pilgrimage to rekindle those friendships and often start new ones, all because of Cornstock,” said Anthony Hannigan. “People can unplug and unwind. Get away from the screens and enjoy great music, art, camping, fun, serenity, food, and comaraderie.”
Cornstock brings world-class talent to Tunkhannock with many bands from around the northeast and beyond. The organizers are proud of the variety which includes bluegrass, blues, Celtic, French, Appalachian, swing, folk, Americana, revival rock, jam band, and New Orleans brass band.
“We have the best bands you may never have heard of,” Hannigan said.
Dear John is Steph Doe, Claire Tid, Anaelle Trumka and Leo Guillaome, a quartet of women taking Europe by storm. Newly configured in 2017, the group formed over many sessions and musical gatherings in Paris, France. By the overwhelming outpouring of the public’s demand to see and hear them at these sessions, they decided to take the band from a session-jam get together to a brand-new musical endeavor. Their blend of harmonies and song selection is a tribute to American and French composers. Distinguished by close harmonies, catchy melodies and potent lyricism, Dear John’s sound represents a continuum of music, from roots to pop influences, moments of stunning a cappella to swells of groovy indie folk.
With a vocal blend that has been dubbed “outstanding” and “meticulous,” Low Lily’s cohesive sound comes naturally for musicians whose lives have been entwined on the road and onstage for almost two decades. Setting down roots in Brattleboro, Vermont, the band has crafted a signature sound which they have shared with enthusiastic audiences throughout North America and the UK, garnering two #1 songs on international folk radio and two New England Music Award nominations. Chosen as Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s “Most Wanted Band” of 2016, Low Lily plays acoustic
music that is deeply rooted in tradition yet sounds refreshingly contemporary.
Hailing from the mountain towns of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland, the Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers draw freely from old-time, bluegrass, jamgrass, rockabilly, and swing music to create their own brand of high energy Appalachian Bluegrass. Their goal is simple: write good songs, honor the music, have fun, and take it to the road. The Stragglers are sure bet to bring the audience to their feet and dance with joy.
“All of the bands are incredible, but I am most excited about Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen. These guys are good friends that we have watched over the years grow as a band, and they work so hard. Their hard work is paying off, getting the recognition they deserve. It is a great thing, for us, to expose our Cornstock family of music lovers to this exceptional band,” Hannigan said.
The roster of bands is impressive, but organizers emphasize that the stage shows are just part of the experience.
“We want folks to get involved in the festival. Grab that guitar that’s been gathering dust in the corner and bring it to Cornstock,” encouraged Jillian Hannigan. There will be music workshops and guided jams throughout the weekend. There are opportunities for folks of all ages to join in from old time banjo to a preschool jam session along with guitar, jamming,
mandolin, and other instrument workshops.
The Cornstock Artist Village is also a growing part of the festival. Artists from around the region display and offer for sale their works of art. Steamtown Hot Yoga will lead Saturday and Sunday morning yoga sessions.
Cornstock organizers stressed the importance of being a family friendly event.
“I love the kids’ zone,” explained Jillian Hannigan. “Kids are playing real instruments and making musical crafts and having a blast on our bouncy slide and obstacle course. It’s so much fun.”
All kids 15 and
under are admitted free to the festival.
“We want to pass on our love of music to the next generation,” continued Hannigan.
Gate opens at 5 p.m. Thursday. Stage times are 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday, 11 am.. to 12 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Day and weekend passes are available for $20-$40. Pets are welcome.
For tickets and more information, visit http://cornstockfestival.com or call 570-250-7464.
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