The third annual festival -- in its second year at the Zorthian Ranch in Altadena -- brings together diverse musicians and fans of new folk.
by Erika McCarden
It’s the event that features everything, including the kitchen sink! The third annual New L.A. Folk Festival held up to its strong reputation of combining folk music and eccentric art at the Zorthian Ranch, located at the very top of Fair Oaks Avenue.
After parking at the foot of the mountain, guests hiked about 15 minutes up a windy road to the secluded ranch, where they were greeted by live folk music, fresh smells of assorted eats, and a hidden world of art comprised of lots and lots of interesting…junk.
A TV Log line for the New L.A. Folk Festival might read something like, “It’s The Renaissance Fair with a Burlesque and 70s twist!”
One thing for sure, it was a major attraction for the Altadena community, attended by families and folk fans of all ages, some dressed Renaissance style, others with a dash of Carnival, and the remaining in casual, California beach attire.
“My wife used to take gardening lessons here, so I’d been hearing about the ranch for a while,” said David Brandvik, sitting poolside with his family. “This event is so much fun, we’re really enjoying it, and I’m very surprised at all of the things around here -- some pretty interesting stuff.”
Doors opened for the event at 1 PM and guests partied on the hill until 1 AM, on four stages, graced by 26 popular folk bands including Geronimo Getty, Yellow Red Sparks, Cowboy and Indian, and Triple Chicken Foot.
“My boyfriend is Aaron Kyle, the lead singer of Geronimo Getty. This is such an awesome event, and this place is truly amazing,” said Valerie McCann, who also performed a duet with Kyle.
Kyle added, “Wow! This is an actual ranch! Unbelievable! It’s really great to see so many people come out to support us.”
James Cartwright cofounded the Festival with his former coworker, Daiana Fever.
“We love folk music, and thought it would be really cool to start a festival, but we wanted to make sure the event was a unique, memorable experience, so the venue was very important for us,” said Cartwright. “Years ago, Triple Chicken Foot had performed at a wedding here at the ranch, and we thought it would be the perfect place for the Festival.”
By late afternoon the crowd kept growing, and by nightfall, outdoor lights trailed up the path to help the evening festival goers find their way up and into the ranch.
“When we started this Festival, we only had one stage, now we have four stages. And the number of band performances and attendance have pretty much tripled,” said Cartwright. “I’m very happy.”