The Folklife Festival experience is incomplete without a toy piano band.
Enlarge Icon
The Folklife Festival experience is incomplete without a toy piano band.
Credit: Flickr Photo/Megan (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Why Seattle's Folklife Festival might not return next year

Organizers of Seattle’s Folklife Festival don’t want you to take their annual event for granted: There’s a chance it won’t return next year.

The Northwest Folklife Festival is known for bringing together all sorts of local vendors, music and arts in Seattle since 1972. But Foklife’s interim executive director Mark Crawford said the organization has faced rising costs over the years and has compensated by cutting their budget.

“You reach a point where you just can’t cut anymore,” he said. “So it’s really time to ask the community to make a decision. Will the people who come to Northwest Folklife, the festival, be willing to make contributions for the days that they’re there to ensure they can go forward in the future? It’s really that simple.”

The festival was once free to the public. In recent years, they’ve asked attendees to chip in but have come up short.

Now they’re asking for $10 a day for individuals and $20 for families.

They’ve been collecting donations in their Count Me In campaign. At this year’s festival, they want to raise at least $350,000.

“Well, I think it’s a completely doable goal,” Crawford said. “The important thing is that everybody understands is that everybody’s little will add up to enough. And that’s what we’re looking for.”

Folklife begins Friday and runs through the holiday weekend.