The Champlain Valley FF was a wonderful experience. I sent the following message to the organizers:
To all the folks at the Champlain Valley Folk Festival,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for a great folk festival last week. Since the sixties, I have attended dozens and dozens of folk festivals and am prepared to say that the 2001 Champlain Valley Folk Festival ranks high on my list of all time great festivals.
I thought that the big concerts on both Friday and Saturday evenings were excellent. All of the performers both nights were excellent and the order of presentation was flawless.
I was also very impressed with the daytime concerts and workshops. With so many stages running simultaneously it was impossible to take it all in, but I would like to commend you for seeming to allow concert spots for all of the performers as well as interesting and informative workshop sessions. The mixing and matching of workshop participants was very well done.
Among the artists that I particularly enjoyed were Jane Voss and Hoyle Osborne, RIG, Finest Kind, Anne Hills, Tom Paxton, Joel Mabus, Michael Jerome Browne, Steel Rail, Scott Alarik, Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem, Scuttlebutt and Liz Carroll.
My favorite workshops were the Tribute to Woody and Pete and Songwriters on Saturday and the Gospel Sing and Fiddlers Convention on Sunday.
There were very few performers that I disliked. However, I did think that Deb Flanders style would be more suited to classical music than to folk music. My only other criticism pertains to the man acting as emcee for the concerts in the Recital Hall. He should not keep talking when he has nothing to say. A few minutes without his droning would have been nice. That was not a problem at any of the other stages I visited during the festival. On Sunday, I took to arriving a few minutes late for concerts in the Recital Hall in order to avoid him.
I would also like to say that the festival finale was wonderful. Looking around the people near me, I saw tears in many eyes, mine included.
I am looking forward to the 2002 festival by the lake. This was only my second year at Champlain Valley, so I have never been to your old festival site.
By the way, I first learned of the Champlain Valley Folk Festival a couple of years ago through the folk music radio programs of Mike Regenstreif on CKUT and Robert Resnik on Vermont Public Radio. I now know that Mike and Robert are also the programmers of the festival and would like to say that its obvious to me that the same quality of programming that they put into their radio programs was reflected in their festival programming. Mike and Robert are a tremendous resource.