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Montana Folk Festival by the numbers

 Eddie Cotton Jr. performs at the Montana Folk Festival in Butte, MT, July12, 2019.
Josh Burnham
Eddie Cotton Jr. performs at the Montana Folk Festival in Butte, MT, July12, 2019.

The Montana Folk Festival in Butte is coming up July 14-16. It features multiple stages with continuous live performances by some of the best traditional performers in the nation, including artists and musicians representing Montana’s traditional and tribal cultures, some of the region’s best traditional artists, ethnic and festival foods, a lively Family Area, two fine traditional art markets and Folklife demonstrations and workshops that focus on a new theme each year that highlight Montana’s heritage. Here are some things you might not know about the festival.

It's big

The Folk Festival draws large crowds. 2018 holds the record with around 175,000 people. That's seven times the capacity of Washington-Grizzly Stadium at UM.

The Original Stage at the 2017 Montana Folk Festival in Butte, MT.
Josh Burnham

It's global

In the history of the festival, more than 350 bands have performed, bringing a vast variety of music to the stage. The folk festival draws musicians to Butte from six continents, with bands circling the globe to get to here. That goes for people, too. 

It's energetic

It's a big stage. Alte Kamaraden (Old Friends) of Montana appeared on stage with 21 performers in 2010! No matter the size of the band, you'll find music that'll get you moving.

It's a community affair

It takes a village to put on a festival. The Montana Folk Festival could not be possible without its 950 hard-working volunteers and donations from generous listeners.

The Montana Folk Festival runs on volunteer efforts and donations.
Josh Burnham

It's expensive

It's expensive to run a 3-day music festival with bands from around the world. The festival costs $850,000. Director George Everett says it generates $8 to 10 million per year for Butte, and an estimated $30 million per year for the state.

If you can't make it to Butte, you can listen live on MTPR Friday and Saturday night. See the full on-air schedule here.

The 2023 Montana Folk Festival is July 14 - 16 in Butte, and you can listen live on Montana Public Radio!

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