Festival’s North Carolina debut brought record crowds to downtown Greensboro

Greensboro, N.C., September 22, 2015  — Over 102,000 people are estimated to have attended the 75th National Folk Festival, presented by Belk, and related events from September 10 through 13, 2015, in downtown Greensboro. While 2015 marked the Festival’s 75th anniversary, this was its first time ever in North Carolina; it will be presented again in Greensboro in 2016 and 2017.

Approximately 300 artists—musicians, dancers, puppeteers, storytellers, potters, and craftspeople—participated in the 75th National Folk Festival, with 40 different groups performing on seven outdoor stages throughout downtown Greensboro. Related events included late-night concerts and events as well as performances and exhibitions that took place along South Elm Street and at The Railyard, Hamburger Square, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, and the Greensboro Historical Museum.

Because the National Folk Festival is a free and unticketed event, co-producers ArtsGreensboro and the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) collated figures from the Greensboro Transit Authority; Greensboro Department of Transportation; Greensboro Police Department; Downtown Greensboro, Incorporated; other venues; and aerial photographs to arrive at the attendance estimate.

“The 75th National Folk Festival was a smashing success, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the turnout,” said NCTA Executive Director Julia Olin. “The festival attracted a very diverse crowd, which was wonderful to see, and was so enthusiastically embraced by those who attended. Our hopes and expectations for a great launch in North Carolina were met and exceeded.”

“We’re so pleased that more than 100,000 people—from across the Triad, across the region, and across the country—decided to come to downtown Greensboro and find out for themselves what the National Folk Festival is all about,” said ArtsGreensboro President and CEO Tom Philion. “With all the positive feedback we’ve been getting, I expect that we will grow this number significantly in the years to come.”