2018 National Folk Festival Salisbury Maryland My Thoughts


The 2018 National Folk Festival is in the books, and now is the time to tell you what I thought of the experience.

Let me get something straight with you right now, if you are a hater of Jake Day and the City of Salisbury and think you are gonna use this post to promote your bs about how shitty this event was…get off my site.

The event from what I could tell was well attended. Yes the weather on Saturday and Sunday especially definitely dropped the numbers from what would have been out on a nice day. Trying to figure out a definitive number with the large area being operated is nearly impossible.  Plus it doesn’t matter what number is put out there the people who hate anything positive will deny it’s success.

This event was the best thought out and put together of any event I have attended. The Police presence was amazing, the medical tents were perfectly spaced, vendors had many kinds of food and there was plenty of cool merchandise to commemorate the first year of this amazing event.

One concern I had was the bucket brigade and how the donations would be handled, but I saw first hand that nobody was being annoying and bothering people endlessly for a donation which was awesome to see. The music was amazing with several really good acts that stood out in the blues department I saw just about anyone and everyone in the political world out enjoying this event, which gave normal people a chance to talk to them about any concerns.

I personally cannot wait until next years event and hope the weather will be kinder as I would have loved to stayed more than I did. I will have another post about this event and my response to the negativity about it this afternoon. I wanted this post to be more on the my thoughts on the event.


15 thoughts on “2018 National Folk Festival Salisbury Maryland My Thoughts

  1. Thank you JT. It is good to have the perspective of somebody who actually attended the Festival rather than that of a troll hiding in his basement in Worcester County.


  2. Pro tip #1 – Don’t schedule during height of hurricane season!!! Move it up or back. Even with the bad weather, they dodged a bullet. Just think if the festival was this weekend??


    1. What weekend would you suggest? With all the other events going on, when would you like to have it! I thought so. Monday morning quarterback.


  3. Attendance is not the mark of success or failure. The true sign of success or failure is the balance sheet. How much did it cost and how much revenue was brought in.


    1. I would have to agree with this statement, also please note, there was a baseball event, that is held in wicomico every year, a huge tournament among the old men…. please keep in mind when they say all the hotels were book, it wasn’t solely because of the festival, the baseball tournament also books a lot of hotel rooms…. I hate exaggerated figures, i found the food vendors overprices while the local vendors were reasonable.


  4. It was actually a really nice event. Well organized, and very, very positive. I spoke to a police officer that I know, and he said everyone was really great – he was proud of the community.

    The area was very walkable – although, I think the one drawback was the Perdue stage being a little far-afield. I’m guessing they probably had the worst attendance since they were so far away. But, they had food trucks there, so you could make your way around rather nicely and camp out there if you wanted.

    It was really nice to be able to walk over the bridges and riverwalk to get to different locations. The city looked great from that perspective. I could imagine visitors saying “this is a really cute city”.

    Volunteers were everywhere. That was helpful. And, the bucket brigade was fine – I did not mind donating. In fact, I felt proud to do it – it is my community after all. Nobody shook me down for money.

    The music was great, and the food vendors were great. Also, the little shows along the street with jump ropers, jugglers, etc., was great to see. The best part was that I probably ran into a hundred people that I knew. It really felt like a family atmosphere.

    The drawback of course were the numbers. The crowd was definitely small. Rain I suppose. But also, the Shore is a bit isolated, and honestly I don’t think I would have driven to Annapolis to a Folk Festival there. So, I think this festival is mostly local, historically.

    As for Assburo, what can I say. He showed his true colors. He bad mouthed the event, showed misleading pictures with misleading headlines. He talks about being a newsman – he is not. He is a one-sided commentator. Sure, there was a lot to complain about, but a man of integrity would have at least shown a few positive aspects, just for balance. He did not do that, and even lied that his little event in West OC had more people. That was a lie, and shoddy journalism. You had a much more balanced look at things.


  5. JT, you say that “trying to figure out a definitive number with the large area being operated is nearly impossible”. I agree that it is difficult. However, the mayor REPEATEDLY said there would be over 50,000 people attending. If you are being honest, you KNOW that number was never achievable. You also KNOW that, regardless of the weather, there were nowhere near even 10,000 people. Stevie Wonder could see that. This isn’t negative about Jake Day. It’s just being honest. There was no way the event would draw the numbers he repeatedly said it would. To spend the amount of money for this event was shortsighted and wasteful. It didn’t and never could/would have drawn the revenue that Jake said it would. The truth is the truth. Just because you or him don’t like the truth doesn’t make it negative or make me a “hater”. It’s simply THE TRUTH.


  6. We agree with your comments JT! Thanks for reporting actual facts and pictures of the Festival! My wife and I enjoyed Saturday evening so much we would have gone back yesterday, except for the rain. It was a great experience! Food stands were the best, good food, friendly people, and the volunteers all did a GREAT JOB!!!! Just a nice event for neighbors and visitors of our City, screw the cost, enjoy the experience! Salisbury Police Department was fantastic, highly visible and approachable–GOOD JOB!


  7. My problem with is with the cost benefit analysis. I’m figuring the city spent at least 5 grand per attendee, given the hastily constructed amphitheatre that is going to have to be torn down.


  8. The bad weather was a blessing. It kept The crowds managable. The city was not prepared for a huge turnout. This was a good dry run for a better effort next year.


    1. 9:30, you must be a washing machine the way you are trying to “spin” this. You are delusional if you believe that the rain kept the crowds “manageable”. There IS no way, WAS no way and NEVER WILL BE a way that this event draws anywhere close to the number of attendees that Mayor Day espouses and wants you to believe. It simply will NEVER happen. In saying this, I am not being negative. Being HONEST is not being NEGATIVE. Salisbury does not have a large base of people to draw from. Additionally, Salisbury is not a “destination” that people will flock to for a Folk Festival. There are too many “other” events in the local area, during the preceding and upcoming weeks, that are established and have people who plan trips based on those events. Examples are: Bike Week, Sunfest and Wine Fest. Add in that children have returned to school and families traditionally don’t travel as much when school is in session (especially the first week or two of classes) and you have a recipe for disaster and low attendance. Most families have spent their vacation budget on trips during the summer or something that the family does together. Generally, younger people do not want to attend a Folk Festival. This knocks attendance down as well. People spend money on hotels, restaurants and travel for things that they WANT to do. There just isn’t a big desire to attend a Folk Festival in our area. You have to know your demographics. It worked well in North Carolina due to their population base, large area to draw from and lack of competition from other events. Salisbury does not have that here. In theory, it’s a fun event that will bring tourists to Salisbury. In practicality, it will never be as large as it would need to be to make it sustainable or worth the time, effort and money spent.


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