The Mariposa Folk Festival outdid itself this year — again.
“We’re slightly ahead of last year,” festival president Pam Carter said, noting approximately 30,000 people attended the Orillia event over the weekend. “It’s pretty much a sellout.”
After watching the crowds take in the festival, Carter saw a familiar sight.
“People are having a great time,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re young or young at heart, you’re having a good time.”
Attendance is key to the festival’s success, but so is the artist experience. Amy Millan, of Stars, as well as Terra Lightfoot and Saturday headliner Tom Cochrane were among the musicians who sang Mariposa’s praises.
“They’re thrilled to bits to be here,” Carter said Sunday, the last day of the 59th annual festival.
Having new and seasoned performers interact with each other and perform together in the various workshops is a highlight for Carter and, more importantly, the artists.
“We’ve got established artists and emerging artists who get to work together, and they forge relationships,” she said. “It’s magic. It’s a real discovery for them.”
With the 59th festival in the books, work has already begun on the 60th. A working group has been formed to come up with ideas for next year.
“The 60th anniversary is important to the industry and the nation, really,” Carter said.
It will take a while for details about the Mariposa milestone to emerge, but Carter said visitors are in for a treat.
“We’re already talking about increasing our artistic budget, so we’ll probably have some big-name headliners,” she said.
She thanked the artists, patrons, volunteers and everyone else involved for making this year’s festival another success. She also singled out the local community.
“We want to thank Orillia for embracing Mariposa and supporting us in the community,” she said.