Photo by Max Efrein.
Mandolin in hand, Drew Lyman was ready to jam.
He came up from Chandler with his family to enjoy the 38th Annual Folk Music Festival on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Hosted by Sharlot Hall Museum, the festival is recognized as the longest-running folk music event in the state.
Although he wasn’t signed up to perform, Lyman knew he would be welcomed into any folk jam session taking place on the museum’s grounds.
“It has always amazed me how total strangers can get together and instantly be on the same page and play along; that’s always been kind of magical,” Lyman said.
This year, the two-day event features 90 performances by more than 200 performers. The event continues Sunday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admittance to the event is $10. All of the proceeds go to the Sharlot Hall Museum.
While there are only four stages to formally perform on, it is customary for musicians to simply post up anywhere on the museum’s four-acre campus and start playing whatever comes to mind.
“It’s a great camaraderie amongst the performers themselves,” said Ken Leja, Sharlot Hall Museum’s Media Marketing Manager.
“You’ll see people walking around with instruments,” said Kurt Daly, band member of The Irish Trio. “What they’re doing is listening to see if it’s kind of what they want to sit-in and start playing with.”
None of the performers at the event are paid. Rather, they’re there to simply celebrate their craft with whoever wants to join them.
“They do it because they love music,” Leja said.