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Folkfaces Fest V features charismatic storytellers, regional roots bands


Now in its fifth year, Tyler Westcott’s annual Folkfaces Fest at Cherry Hill Campground in Darien Center has become a fall tradition for the upstate New York roots music scene. Westcott has assembled 40 different musical acts — including his high-octane Americana-blues-jazz-punk band and festival namesake — to play over four days, from Sept. 30 through Oct. 3.

The festival’s headliners are loaded with characters and charismatic storytellers — from ordained minister and country-blues-punk musician Scott H. Biram (aka The Dirty Old One Man Band) and J.D. Wilkes of Legendary Shack Shakers with his cabaret-tinged blues-folk songs to the old-time Appalachian roots musician Bruce Molsky and the Westcott-fronted Folkfaces.

The festival also features plenty of Rochester and Finger Lakes bands familiar to local audiences, including Dirty Blanket, Subsoil, The Brothers Blue, Ruckus Juice Jug Stompers, and Woven Home.

But Folkfaces Fest is more than just music. This year’s sci-fi-themed celebration offers a square dance, art installations and an artist village, food vendors, a beer truck, and yoga, as well as a songwriter circle, open jams, a film tent, and a costume contest.

This little-festival-that-could shows no signs of slowing down, and if you’re looking for one last crazy camping weekend before the cold comes, there’s still time to join the party.

“Folkfaces Fest V — 2021: a folkface odyssey” runs from Thursday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 3, at Cherry Hill Campground, 1516 Sumner Road, Darien Center. $95 presale, $100 at door, $200 RV pass (one festival ticket, no hook ups), $40 day pass (no camping), $25 puppy pass. For more information and tickets, go to

Daniel J. Kushner is CITY’s arts editor. He can be reached at