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Welcome to the 10th annual family and environmentally-friendly—and free—Ferdinand Folk Festival! On the lawn of our beautiful 18th Street Park, start your day with yoga, and enjoy a full day of live, original music on the NextEra Energy Main Stage, solar-powered by Whole Sun Designs Inc. On the Kyana Woodstock Market Stage, enjoy some of the region's best singer-songwriters. Throughout the park, children activities, sponsored by co-presenting MasterBrand, can enjoy fun, interactive music programs, yoga for kids, a dog and clown show, storytelling, a concert, and much more. Also, surrounding the Market Stage, visit the large and diverse array of artisan and food booths, along with many environment and wellness exhibits and demonstrations in the shaded market area. Special thanks to Best Home Furnishings for co-presenting the festival.Dubois County

Note from Committee: After many months of planning, the day has arrived to celebrate our 10th annual Ferdinand Folk Festival! The Folk Fest volunteer group thanks everyoneour founding sponsors, our MC Bill Potter, The Ferdinand News, returning and new sponsors, the town leadership and employees, past committee members, neighbors, in-kind volunteers, musicians, singer-songwriters, artists, environment/wellness leaders, children's presenters, food vendors, and Tent Talk speakers—for partnering with us to make this milestone festival an extra special event in the region. For this 10th year, we have over 10 new features to help celebrate the day.

We welcome the citizens of Ferdinand and the surrounding communities to our town's beautiful 18th Street Park. We wish each of you in attendance a wonderful day of relaxation, music, art, education, and fun. Be safe and enjoy your day.

  • Rock Emmert and Kris Lasher, co-coordinators
  • Chris James, town manager and festival chair
  • Sue Fink
  • Brent Sicard 
  • Melody Vaal
  • Randy Vaal


Nestled among the hills and fields of southwestern Indiana, the Ferdinand Folk Festival, set in beautiful 18th Street Park, provides a unique, family and earth-friendly opportunity for people from the region to share a day of live music, art, and environmental/wellness education. The festival is FREE and the year-round project of many community volunteers, sponsors, and supporters. Hundreds of hours of labor donated by community-minded citizens combined with the generosity of our donors make the festival a fun gathering for all ages. 


The festival’s primary mission is to promote—through music, art, and environmental education—the health and wellness of community. This folk music festival—folk music defined as “music originating among the common people of a nation or a region”—has its roots in several well-received, local house concert series and a desire to share outstanding singer-songwriter-musicians with a broader audience. By bringing people together in a festive spirit, the event organizers wish to celebrate the natural beauty found here, share our neighborly values, learn about ways to improve Indiana's bottom-ranking environmental record, and offer a unique venue to experience quality music, good food, and original art.


The free festival in Ferdinand’s beautiful 18th Street Park features nationally-acclaimed musicians and renowned regional acts. In an ideal, lush setting—a large, gently sloping lawn surrounded by trees—patrons bring picnic blankets, lawn chairs, and an appreciation for diverse music such as Americana, folk, roots blues, reggae, etc. Nearby, on a small, round stage in the heart of a grove of trees, local and regional singer-songwriters play for the art market crowd.


The shaded lawn of the art market is a festival in itself. Dozens of regional artists and artisans display and sell their handmade work while music fills the air. Pottery, photography, clothing, jewelry, Fair Trade items from Third World countries, recycled goods, hula hoops, baked goods, soaps, tie-dyed items, woodworking, and more grace the grounds. A Plein air painter might even set up an easel to capture some of the magic of the festival.


In the center of the art market are about 15 environmental and community groups—one of the region's largest assemblies of ecology, nature, health, and wellness educators, including solar energy installers, air quality authorities, forest advocates, LGBTQ awareness/support organizations, astronomers, pet caretakers, organic farmers, music, art, festival, and theatre promoters, and more. Each group is dedicated to creating vibrant communities and a sustainable environment for our children—seven generations from now.


To honor the children, in and around the lower shelter house, organizers offer a full day of fun and educational programs specifically for the young ones, such as a children's concert, live theatre, wildlife programs, holding or petting animals, storytelling, a harmonica workshop, interactive art, a violin concert, an MLK-inspired Dream Wall, and more. Nearby, across a small bridge, is a state-of-the-art playground with a new "musical park", a nearby big-bounce "Playtown", face-painting, and more.


Patrons can participate in songwriting or music workshops and an informal songwriters' circle, where all ages and all talent levels can learn together and play together in a fun, informal, and welcoming setting. These events take place in the upper shelterhouse.


This year the NextEra Energy Main Stage will be 100% solar powered, sponsored by Whole Sun Designs Inc. Over the years, Whole Sun and the festival have offered a variety of educational, eco-friendly activities such as meeting regional solar energy installers, solar home tours in the neighborhood, meeting doctors sharing facts about our region's air quality and health concerns about Indiana's bottom-ranking environmental record, seeing a new Tesla, enjoying giant renewable energy puppets, touring a tiny house, yoga, a hike, a bike ride before the festival, etc.


Tent Talks—inspired by the renowned TED Talks—are a series of presentations and discussions under two blue tents near the outdoor music instrument play area east of the main playground. Each talk, led by an enthusiastic, qualified volunteer, focuses on a specific theme related to the festival, such as renewable energy, clean air, ukulele playing, garden pollinators, forest protection, knitting, energy conservation, etc. Eight talks, usually two per hour, begin at the top of the hour from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.


The Ferdinand Folk Festival has a merchandise tent near the main stage lawn where patrons can purchase festival T-shirts, posters including the famous collectors' Hatch prints (printed in Nashville, TN), other collectors' vintage posters, magnets, baseball caps, stickers, coozies, fans, etc. Supporters can also help to keep the festival free by making a donation in a bucket at the merchandise tent or in one of the many large, festive donation barrels throughout the park. Behind the merch tent is an area where the performers may sell their cds and other merch. Special thanks to Woods Printing Co., OFFSET Promotions, All Star Sports, and The Printing Company for the fine merchandise. Thank you also to Southwestern Indiana Citizens for Quality of Life for sponsoring the fans and Bob's Liquors for sponsoring the coozies.


To help keep the fest free, organizers have also hosted occasional fundraiser concerts and currently offer the annual, friendly, singer-songwriter contest. The volunteers encourage grassroots' creativity for all ages in and around the community and region. About one month before the festival, organizers host a showcase featuring the contest's singer-songwriter finalists performing their original music to a listening audience in a local theatre. The showcase participants are then invited to kick off the festival on the NextEra Energy Stage at 11:00 am ET and perform a short set of their own songs on the Kyana Woodstock Market Stage. Meet this year's showcase singer-songwriters under the tab on our homepage.


Inspired by the success and community spirit of the Folk Festival, in June of 2016, some of the founders of the Fest launched an original partner program called Project ACORN, building upon the Festival's themes of music, art, environment, and wellness. The all-volunteer, all-ages program—standing for Art, Community, Originality, Rhythm, and Nature—each season offers 15 mostly free workshops, hikes, film nights, discussion groups, theatrical events, field trips, classes, concerts, and more. So far, in the first nine and a half seasons of the program, 195 events have been offered by dozens of area enthusiasts, reaching hundreds of people. For more information about the program, visit Ferdinand Project ACORN on Facebook. ACORN events are fun and about planting seeds of growth in and around the community—building friendships, encouraging conversations, networking with neighbors, developing and nurturing positive ideas, etc. Its motto is a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." Stay tuned for the exciting announcement of the 15 autumn offerings coming soon.


Free, comprehensive flyers listing the day's full slate of activities and containing a map of the park are available at the merchandise tent near the Main Stage—compliments of the Ferdinand News, a founding and sustaining sponsor of the Folk Fest. Special thanks to all the advertisers and to editor Kathy Tretter and the newspaper's graphics and advertising staff for creating such a helpful guide every year. A printable schedule and map is available on our website.


From our first year, Bill Potter has been our joyful and spirited MC, keeping the day flowing smoothly. A Ferdinand native and longtime radio and television personality, Bill is the general manager of DC Broadcasting / 101 Country WBDC, one of our founding sponsors. We are grateful for the many ways the company helps to support the festival, including the popular Ferdinand Folk Hours, a series of four Monday evening (6 to 7 pm) radio shows, co-hosted by festival volunteers, that give listeners a sneak preview of the Folk Fest music in the weeks leading up to the event.


Ferdinand’s 18th Street Park, a clean environment set amid beautiful hills and trees, features a state-of-the-art playground, miles of scenic walking trails, a disc golf course, recycling stations, shelter houses, picnic tables, softball field, basketball court, volleyball areas, horseshoe pits, restrooms, and ample parking areas. The community owes a debt of gratitude to the Robert and Evelyn Leinenbach family who generously donated the land for community use—green space along with education and recreation, and the Ferdinand Park Board for their outstanding care of the park. We are excited to add this annual event to the park’s legacy of wholesome endeavors—including a beautiful library and the vibrant Tri-County YMCA, both which rely on environmentally-friendly geothermal energy.


Disc golfers might want to begin their day by trying out the beautiful, new course located in the hills just south of the festival grounds and east of the new library and YMCA.


1. All adults who attend are asked, while enjoying the day, to please set an example for our youth and engage in responsible, family-friendly behavior.

2. Please pitch in to keep the park clean. Please recycle plastic bottles, caps, and aluminum cans in the many designated stations for your convenience, and place compostable trash in the marked containers.

3. Pop-up canopy tents are permitted only along the very outer edges of the lawn as a courtesy to those sitting behind you. Be kind.

4.  Patrons may bring coolers into the park, but bottles are not allowed, to protect the children and others from broken glass.

5. If you are 21 or older and drink alcohol, please drink responsibly.

6. Please keep all alcoholic beverages in the concert lawn area, not in the art market and children's area.

7. Underaged drinkers may face arrest. Security will be on festival grounds.

8. The day can also be a fun day for families who own pets. Pets are welcomed. Please pick up after them and keep them on a leash for their and others' protection.

9. Smoking is not permitted on the lawn, out of courtesy to others. Smokers may smoke in open areas above and away from others. Please dispose of cigarette butts in trash containers.

10. If you have any questions or concerns during the festival, please speak with one of the volunteers.


The Ferdinand Folk Festival volunteer group extends a heartfelt thank you to former town manager Marc Steczyk who, in collaboration with community volunteers for the first seven years, was instrumental in helping to build a successful festival. His labors, dedication, and commitment to excellence have helped to set a high standard. We appreciate his leadership roles at the nearby Lincoln Amphitheatre in Spencer County and in the revitalization of the historic Astra Theatre on the Square in Jasper, the seat of Dubois County. Marc's devotion to providing and marketing venues for live music and the arts in the area is greatly valued.

We also want to thank fellow volunteers Dave Wylam, Dee Ann Wylam, Ali Daunhauer, and Emi Steczyk, who for many years generously gave their time to the organization of the merch tent. Thank you, too, to volunteer Jamison Denning who contributed to the success of the festival through his attention to parking logistics, trash removal, and safety. And thank you, also, to volunteer brothers Karl and Paul Hinson for their invaluable help with the festival set-up, the Market Stage sound, and the breakdown after the festival since our first year.

Special thank you to the dozens of volunteers the week leading up to the festival, during the festival, and afterwards. Your community spirit is greatly appreciated. If you would like to help in any way, we can find ways you can help. Please speak with one of the committee members or email us atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Best Home Furnishings — Co-presenting Sponsor

MasterBrand Furnishing — Co-Presenting Sponsor


NextEra Energy Resources — Sponsor of Main Stage


Kyana Woodstock: Sponsor of Market Stage

Dubois County Visitors' Center & Tourism Commission


Access Storage Now!

German American Bank

Kimball Electronics

Jasper Engines & Transmissions

Old National Bank

Ferdinand Community Center


Uebelhor & Sons—Chevy Cadillac Toyota

Psi Iota Xi

Ferdinand Farmers Mutual Insurance

Ferdinand Chamber of Commerce

OEEC/Friends of Ferdinand

Webb Wheel

Edward Jones—Mike Blume

Adyeville General Store


Ackerman Oil Company

Ferdinand Processing



Universal Design Associates

St. Benedicts Brew Works

Pro-Rehab of Ferdinand


Pund P/H/AC

Tin Lizzie’s Home Décor & Gifts

NASCAR Club of Southern Indiana


Bob's Liquors

Queen Anne House Concert Series

Project ACORN 


Town of Ferdinand

Ferdinand News

DC Broadcasting / 101 Country WBDC


We appreciate your support.



Supporters have several ways to donate to the festival. At the festival, we have eight colorful, large donation barrels, and at the merch tent, there are buckets for donations. Volunteers will also walk through the music crowd with buckets asking for your support. On our website,www.ferdinandfolkfestival.com, supporters may also donate at one of the various levels listed. We appreciate everyone's support.

Have a safe and enjoyable experience as we celebrate our 10th year!

The 2019 Folk Fest Committee
Rock Emmert, Kris Lasher, co-coordinators
Chris James, town manager and festival chair
Sue Fink
Brent Sicard
Melody Vaal
Randy Vaal


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2019 Printable Schedule & Map

FFF printable schedule 2019