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Like many summer events this year, the 59th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival will be hosted virtually across the weekend of August 14-16. The PFF has just announced its first slate of artists, as well as more details towards what the weekend will bring.

Headlining acts include Ben Gibbard, the frontman of Death Cab for Cutie and half of the duo The Postal Service; Austin-based Americana musician Shakey Graves; Academy and Grammy Award-winning Indigenous singer Buffy Sainte-Marie; singer-songwriter legend Josh Ritter; and many other folk and Americana artists, both festival regulars and newcomers. Festival and Programming Director Lisa Schwartz said, “I am positively giddy about this year’s initial lineup! The extraordinary artists that will be joining us represent the pinnacle of the industry – legends and legends in the making. At a time when we most need to find the silver lining, we will be able to stay safe, Fest in Place, and enjoy some of the best music in the world, with the world. How cool is that!”

Many summer festivals have made the decision to go digital in some form or another, and the PFF is no different, collaborating with Mountain View Staging to create an immersive, multi-stage, virtual experience. MVS project manager Sam Bolenbaugh says attendees will be “fully immersed in the festival experience from their first encounter with our animated map. They can move about the entire festival site and visit all four stages, pick up some awesome fest apparel from the merch tent, and even enter the campgrounds for a quick jam session!”

This year’s PFF consists of three days and more than 100 hours of live music across multiple stages, as well as other virtual festival experiences like open mics, campsites, craft show food and merchandise tents. Additionally, the PFF has scheduled special tributes to its founder Gene Shay, and PFF alumnus John Prine. Early ticket purchasers will also receive access to archival footage and other bonus content.

Tickets are available on a pay-what-you-wish scale, beginning at $25 per day / $75 for the weekend. In the meantime, listen to the official PFF 59 playlist below.

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