Hillbilly Highway – Hitting the Highway to Bird’s Hill


by Sheldon Birnie

Here we go again, friends. It’s time to hit the Highway and head north to Bird’s Hill for the 40th annual Winnipeg Folk Festival. And this time, I’d doing it on my ten-speed. After years of letting significant others, friends, and family wake up at the crack of dawn and hustle out to wait in line for hours before making the mad dash for a primo spot, I’ve committed to pedalling the distance from the Forks to the Festival Grounds to help secure some shade from the blazing sun and a place to burn wood through the dark hours of the night. Have I lost my mind?

Perhaps. But I don’t think so. I’m actually looking forward to the ride, and the hustle and bustle of early arrival, as it is only the beginning of a long weekend free from pesky work emails and telephone reception. Through attending Countryfest, and Coachella and SXSW before that, I’ve already established a good base burn, and am anticipating soaking up as much Vit D as I can handle without losing my lunch or melting my brain.

And I guess there’s some music going on too, eh? I’ve already drawn your attention to Hayes Carll and JD Edwards Band‘s thoughts on performing at the festival, and I’m really looking forward to checking out the Mag 7s and my pal Del Barber woo the crowds, along with Dr John and A Tribe Called Red getting freaky as the sun sets. Sylvia Tyson ought to be lovely, and really just wandering around the festival when the workshops are taking place is a surefire way of discovering something new and sublime. I’ve neglected that aspect too much in the past few years, but, I’ve vowed, not this time!

Our assistant editor Zach will be lurking around the festival, doing some reporting of his own, while art director Maz will be on hand with camera to document the action. Check for their coverage through the festival and into next week. My own thoughts, conversations, and photos will be up next Wednesday, same bat time, same bat column. Until then, friends, see you out at Bird’s Hill? Let’s get weird!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *