The University of Chicago Folk Festival

1212 E. 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637


The University of Chicago Folklore Society formed in the early 1950s and put on its first Folk Festival in 1961. Featuring such greats as Ralph and Carter Stanley, The New Lost City Ramblers, Elizabeth Cotton, Roscoe Holcomb and Willie Dixon. The Festival was a huge success, and over the next decade, exposed many great traditional musicians to a much wider audience. Legends like Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, Frank Profitt, Hobart Smith, The Staples Singers, Nathan Abshire, Dewey Balfa, Doc Watson, Clarence "Tom" Ashley, Muddy Waters and Little Walter, and many more graced the Mandel Hall stage in the early years. It is no exaggeration to say that the U of C Folk Fest had a lasting impact on the national folk music scene.

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