Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Albuquerque’s Folk Art Festival is hosting the first in-person event since the pandemic

“It’s hard to compare because it was a virtual festival instead of a personal festival and you can’t fake the personal energy and the real audience when you’re playing in front of a camera, it’s not the same energy,” said Eli Wrankle, 3hattrio -Band member.

And they are not alone, almost 20 different artists will be on stage throughout the day, some for the first time.

“It was kind of a lifeline for the musicians because a lot of their events were canceled and we could pay them to keep them on a float for a while and then guarantee them a position for this festival so they could look for something.” happy, ”said Bill Miller, president of the festival.

The festival usually takes place in summer, but this year they really wanted to be there in person – so they waited.

“We thought June was too early with COVID and now everything would be fine. But what we find out is that we still have to be careful with the Delta Variant, ”said Bill Balassi, co-director of the festival.

So they made a few adjustments, like moving workshops outside – and required everyone to be vaccinated or tested negative for COVID.

“We are grateful to be here again and to have the safest festival we can,” said Balassi.

“One of the bands here has a song called ‘Better 6 feet apart than 6 feet under’ so that’s the motto,” Miller said.

But not only artists and organizers are happy to be there again.

“You know, some people have had COVID babies, I have a COVID banjo,” said Loria Ellison, festival goer.

Festival goers look forward to seeing others face to face again, especially in a safe environment.

“I’m so glad and excited that they checked my vaccination card and that masks were optional, but I loved that they checked my status because I work in healthcare and it’s just so terrifying that they check that I was like yes! ”Said Elsion.

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