The pandemic postponed many festivals across the state. But one group of northern Illinois folk festival organizers found a way to give back to its past artists.
The Woodstock Folk Festival is a one-day summer event that started in 1986. It normally takes place on the third Sunday in July but not this year.
Carol Obertubbesing is the president and secretary of the festival. She said Woodstock Wednesdays, a weekly video performance, gives some musicians and storytellers a platform to showcase their talents.
“We're encouraging people to purchase merchandise from the musician and to support the musician in other ways,” she said. “And in some cases, it also means going to online concerts that the performer has.”
She mentioned how one artist ended up getting a contract from a school district to do more videos after he performed on Woodstock Wednesdays.
Obertubbesing shared that new performers may be added next year.
“We'll probably be adding some performers that we have never had at the festival, because now we can get people from around the country a little more easily,” she explained.
Obertubbesing stated that Woodstock Wednesdays will continue at least through the spring but it depends on the pandemic. She explained that some digital component for the festival could remain even after things go back to normal.
These video performances take place every Wednesday at 7 p.m. on the Woodstock Festival’s website. Past performances are available. Recent artists include Robinlee Garber, Joel Mabus and Claudia Schmidt. This week's episode features Tricia Alexander who does what's called "Trishmas Carols."
- Yvonne Boose is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.