The 15th annual Culturefest World Music and Arts Festival will take over the Appalachian South Folklife Center in Pipestem from Sept. 6-9 with a weekend long immersion in the creative arts featuring music and dance performances, unique artisan and retail vendors, workshops, a robust roster of kids’ activities, camping, and much more.
The unique event is a cornerstone of the dynamic creative community in Southern West Virginia. Three stages feature artists from all around the east coast with styles ranging from Americana and Appalachian Folk to Soul, Rock, Funk and World Fusion; to experimental genres like Quantum Dub, plus performance art, performance poetry, fire dance and more. Workshops are offered in yoga, drumming, belly dance, hoop dancing, up-cycled art and more, plus facilitated discussions called “Conversations at Culturefest” explore topics such as Appalachian art, cultural exploration and finding and following your passion. Astronomer Dave Buhrman of WV Sky Tours will be on hand with his telescopes for star and planet gazing and fire spinners will light up the night.
Artisans will vend their wares from handmade clothing to jewelry to fine art and more. The children’s village will feature two different craft activities each day, special yoga classes, found object art, a kids’ costume parade, a bounce house and other activities. Furniture lounges make relaxing spots to kick back and relax and provide shelter so the fun can continue in case of rain. Guests may camp on site for the weekend and immerse themselves in the colorful experience in the beautiful WV Mountains, or they may enjoy the amenities of nearby Pipestem State Park. The goal of the festival is to promote unity and respect for diversity and bring people together though music and the arts in a beautiful mountain setting.
Organizers say they take great care in curating the performance lineup, searching for musicians who have passion and purpose, unique styles and seasoned skills. This year’s performance lineup is, as always, stacked with amazing talent: Appalatin, The Company Stores, Mystic Warriors, The Parachute Brigade, and After Jack. Other WV acts include Black Garlic, The Charleston Rogues, Kathleen Coffee, CassieRaye, Ball & Chain, The Gin Mills, Independent State, James Hart, Holly and the Guy, Nathaniel Altare & Amy McIntire, Douglas John, Liberty High, The One Voice Project, Jermaine Jay Lane, Samadhi Tribal Fusion, Silly Strings, Ashleigh Surface, Tiffany Freed and Tim & Maggie.
Other out-of-state acts include Lobo Marino, Gypsy Funk Squad, Spaceship Earth, Richie Olivera, Groova Scape, AllTheBestKids, Ignes Proles, Star Baby & The Rolling Oms, LucasTheFlow, J.Q. Yay, Mr. Daywalker and Spunday Morning.
Attendees will also have the chance to participate in music-making during facilitated workshops in West African drumming, Mid-Eastern Doumbek and Mouth Council, a space for free vocal expression as well as drum circles in early evening and at midnight. Late night jams by the fire pit are a popular feature, and guests will encounter opportunities to connect with the performers and workshop providers in a laidback atmosphere throughout the site. A popular Culturefest tradition is the community art boards, which will be available throughout the weekend stocked with paint and brushes, and anyone is welcome to leave their mark. These spontaneous, collaborative works of art are a vibrant centerpiece of the festivities. A variety of delicious food and drink will be available for purchase including but not limited to homestyle Mexican, sandwiches, vegetarian options, specialty teas, coffee and ice cream.
Tickets are available online at culturefestwv.com and at the gate; advance tickets are recommended. A full weekend pass costs $50 online and includes all four days’ activities plus camping. Day passes do not include camping. They are $15 on Thursday, $20 on Friday, $25 on Saturday and $15 on Sunday. Children’s tickets are sharply discounted; see the website for those prices. Kids 5 & under are free.
The event is presented by LLyniuM entertainment and The RiffRaff Arts Collective in cooperation with the Appalachian South Folklife Center with assistance from these sponsors: Princeton Health Care Center, Princeton Community Hospital, Seaver Funeral Home, Star-95, Kiss-FM, WVVA, Ramey Princeton, Princeton Rescue Squad, Adventure Radio, Little Buddy Radio, Princeton Health & Fitness Center, and a host of advertisers. The program is presented with financial assistance from the WV Division of Culture & History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.
Additional information may be found online at culturefestwv.com and by calling 304-320-8833.