Edmonton folk fest organizers unveil 'dream' lineup for summer 2022 return

Edmonton Folk Music Festival's 2022 lineup includes acts organizers have been trying to snag for years. 

Festival producer Terry Wickham revealed the event's full lineup on Wednesday, adding to the list of knowns – including The National, Buffy Sainte-Marie, The War on Drugs – headliner Canadian country musician Orville Peck, string band Old Crow Medicine Show and San Franciscan La Doña. 

"Because of our budget and because there's so much good music out there, every year we have at least a very good lineup. But some years we have a great lineup, and this year is a great lineup," Wickham said at a news conference Wednesday morning, noting several featured bands have declined previously.

"The National, that's a dream come true for us. We've been trying it, as I say, for a long, long time. Couldn't quite believe it when they said yes," Wickham commented. 

The American rock band will close Saturday night. 

Old Crow Medicine Show, along with Mick Flannery and Susan O'Neill and Lord Huron, will close the festival on Sunday. 

"We've been trying to get [Old Crow Medicine Show] for a long time, so that's going to be exciting."

Wickham attributed the big lineup to luck and momentum. 

"It seemed like we got one or two big names, the others seemed to come along," Wickham recalled. "2020 wasn't that kind of year. It was a struggle to get the lineup I wanted."

The main stage will also host KALEO, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Allison Russell, Larkin Poe, and Matt Andersen. 

Altogether, there are nearly 60 scheduled performances, plus the event will feature "impromptu" performances from Indigenous artists throughout its site. 


Although there are no government mandated COVID-19 restrictions, organizers of the folk festival are implementing some precautions, like switching to compostable plates instead of reusable plates and encouraging payment by card. 

"We're outdoors, that'll help. We'll be looking at shuttle vans and points of contact. We're mask friendly. But we won't have any restrictions for the audience. Just advice and signage. If you're going into the porta potty, I'd wear a mask. Maybe two," Wickham joked. 

The festival has maintained a dynamic health policy, so protocol could change if organizers deem it necessary. But they're hopeful they won't. 

"It's time to celebrate, time to come back together as a community," Wickham said. 

"You know, I think this town needs the folk festival."

Tickets to the 43rd festival go on sale online June 4. Ticket prices are available online

Organizers announced in February the festival would happen after being cancelled for two years.