I find small venues and festivals superior to large ones because
1. I don't like to use amplification if I can avoid it.
2. They simulate more of a true folk music environment like a back porch or living room.
3. The audience is closer to the performer which is more folk-like.
4. Large venues and festivals often require production values like more instruments or dynamic show people. Folk music works against this in my opinion.
5. For me, small venues are more fun.