The Woody Guthrie Coalition, organizer of the annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help defray the cost of the 20th annual festival taking place July 12-16, 2017 here in Woody Guthrie’s hometown of Okemah.
The last several years have been a challenge financially as the costs of travel and lodging have increased. After 17 years of being able to provide a free festival, in 2015 the Coalition was forced to charge an admission fee for the first time, and the festival still struggling to stay afloat. As the group began to plan for this year’s festival, it became apparent that they can’t move forward without help.
The Coalition is confident that there are at least 3,000 persons who would be willing and able to donate $20 to keep the festival going and the Coalition solvent. Meeting this goal would erase current debt and provide a healthy starting point for the 2017 festival.
“I’ve long been fueled and inspired by my relationship to Okemah and the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. They need our help to keep the door open. It’s always been a festival that tried to be true to Woody’s ideals of free everything which has always been financially precarious… The festival has also long been a place to reconnect with your own music, Woody’s music, and the community of friends that are so vital to American folk music,” Ellis Paul, WoodyFest regular and Advisory Board member wrote on his Facebook page. “If you’ve been, if you are fan of Woody’s legacy, your life is better for it. Please help support this festival by most importantly contributing and Sharing This Post…”
Also supporting the festival’s GoFundMe campaign page are Joel Rafael, Mary Reynolds and David Amram. You can view the page at www.gofundme.com/woodyfest.
The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, which attracts attendees from around the world, is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Oklahoma Arts Council. Sponsors include the George Kaiser Family Foundation and BancFirst. The Coalition is always looking for new sponsors so please check the festival website for sponsorship opportunities. For a complete listing of sponsors and other information, please visit the festival website at www.woodyfest.com.