How To Folk
Everyone has a fun, relaxed time when they know what to expect.
Here are some of the really important things we need you to know as a Winnipeg Folk Fest ticketholder.
Keeping Our Community Safe & Happy
The Winnipeg Folk Festival (a.k.a. “Folk Fest” or “WFF”) is a community that comes together in celebration of folk music and culture every July at Birds Hill Provincial Park. When you join us at Folk Fest, our Festival Campground and/or Quiet Campground, you are agreeing to the rules outlined in this section.
Please be considerate of other festival attendees and volunteers. As an organization, we encourage creativity, freedom of expression and respectful discussion, but not at the harm of others - regardless of attendees’ intentions. We believe that every individual no matter their gender, ability, age, ethnicity and sexuality should feel safe and comfortable in our environment and free from any negativity or harm due to others’ actions or words. Any form of discrimination, harassment, disorderly conduct or any behaviour – verbal or physical – that demeans or marginalizes another will not be tolerated.
If you feel someone is behaving in a disrespectful manner or is negatively affecting your or another’s festival experience, please bring your concerns to a blue-vested safety volunteer as soon as possible so that we can address them in a timely manner. Folks who don’t follow these guidelines and create an unsafe atmosphere are subject to removal from the festival without refund.
It is also important to remember that the festival and campgrounds are subject to provincial and federal laws. Please respect the valuable work that law enforcement officers and our own safety and security volunteers do to keep everyone in our Folk Fest community safe.
Let’s support each other and ensure our community continues to be one of inclusiveness and respect!
Wristbands must be worn at all times and shown for entry into Folk Fest campgrounds and the festival site. Wristbands are non-transferable and non-exchangeable. If your wristband is removed or tampered with, it cannot be replaced and you will not be allowed entry.
You consent to receive first aid. You consent to have medical treatment and/or transport that may be deemed advisable in the event of injury, accident and/or illness during the event. You release the WFF and all persons participating in any such medical treatment of all legal liability for any such actions.
NEW FOR 2020! Professional photography equipment, defined as any camera with a detachable lens, monopods, tripods, etc. is prohibited. Small digital cameras, of a size that can fit in your pocket, are permitted on the festival site. Gate personnel have final say on whether a camera is professional or not.
Photography at Folk Fest. You acknowledge that people are using video and photographic cameras at the event and that your image may be captured on video or in photographs, which may subsequently be displayed or disseminated without your consent or payment of compensation to you and you release the WFF from any legal liability for such filming, photographing or dissemination. You understand and accept that other than for personal use, images, film or video you obtain at the event may not be used without the prior written permission of the WFF.
No personal vehicles are allowed. Due to the high density of pedestrians in the area, we are unable to accommodate the use of personal motorized vehicles anywhere on our premises except for motorized scooters used for accessibility reasons. Bicycles are not permitted on the Folk Fest site (a bike lockup is available just outside the festival entrance) and should be used with caution in the festival campgrounds. Please walk your bike on all trails you share with pedestrians.
Disorderly conduct is not tolerated at Folk Fest. This includes drunkenness, rowdy or otherwise disorderly conduct, obscene, crude or abusive language, taking inappropriate or non-consensual photographs or video and/or failure to follow directions from festival staff and volunteers.
Take only the space you need and don’t block others’ views. If you have something that could impede someone’s view (e.g. higher lawn chairs, shade umbrellas, etc.) please sit at the back of the seating areas. Tarps can be a maximum size of 8 by 10 feet.
Main Stage accessible seating is on the left side facing the stage. Please respect this space and keep it open for those that need it.
Be patient and follow the directions of our traffic volunteers. The parking lot is divided into two lots – east lot and west lot. If you park in the west lot, you will have to exit via the west gate towards Highway 59. If you park in the east lot, you will have to exit via the east gate towards Highway 206. No exceptions after 9 PM in order to get everyone home quickly and safely.
Leave no trace and pack out everything you bring in. Campsites must be kept clean. Anything that has a larger impact (e.g. digging holes, using lumber) must be pre-approved by the WFF. Make sure water taps are turned off when not in use and make sure to remove any ropes you tie to trees when you leave. Take all of your waste to the receptacles provided.
Prohibited items. Vehicles and bags are subject to search by festival staff and volunteers for prohibited materials. We do not allow and may confiscate: glass, household furniture, amplified music, drum kits, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)/drones, print materials for distribution, unauthorized generators, pets (service dogs welcome), illegal drugs, binge drinking devices, laser pointers, firearms/weapons, sky/Chinese/Kongming lanterns, fireworks and other explosives. Commercial vending is also prohibited. Alcohol is only allowed on the festival site when purchased from, and consumed in, the Folk Fest taverns.
Open alcohol is only allowed in the campgrounds and in the taverns, not throughout the festival site, parking lots, on trails, roads, Pope’s Hill or anywhere outside the festival site or campgrounds.
No smoking or vaping of any kind (including medical cannabis) in seating areas, including taverns or under tents. If you do smoke, please stand away from crowded areas. In Manitoba, smoking or vaping non-medical cannabis is illegal in all public places, including Birds Hill Provincial Park. For more information, please refer to the Cannabis and Manitoba Provincial Parks Questions and Answers document from the Government of Manitoba.
You are responsible for yourself. You assume full responsibility and liability for your participation in and attendance at the festival. This means you also assume all risks and dangers incidental to the WFF, including loss or damage to property, personal injury or death, and hereby forever release, discharge and hold the WFF, its officers, directors, employees, volunteers, contractors, agents or representatives harmless from any claim arising from such risk, even if arising from the negligence of the WFF, its officers, directors, employees, volunteers, contractors, agents or representatives, or by third parties.
Take conversations away from seating areas. Please be respectful of performers and other folkies and have your conversations (in person or on the phone) away from the crowd.
Dance to your heart’s content on the right side when facing the stages. People may stand up and move to the front of the stage for the last band’s set on Main Stage. Please respect people’s space and be mindful of their belongings and tarps.
Camp and picnic in the campgrounds, not by your car. We have two beautiful campgrounds and Birds Hill Provincial Park has many picnic areas. Our parking lots are high traffic areas and we do not allow camping or cooking on camp stoves, BBQs, etc. there at any time. There is no overnight parking in our lots.
Ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges will be issued for any reason, even if the event is terminated early or cancelled due to accident, nature, government regulation or conditions beyond the WFF’s control.
Campground-Specific Participant Rules
Campers 17 years and younger must be accompanied and supervised by a parent or guardian who will be held solely responsible for the actions of the minors under their care. We reserve the right to ask for proof of age.
When setting up your tent please ensure at least one foot of clear ground space all around your tent or RV in case of emergency to allow first responders to safely assist you and/or your neighbours.
Birds Hill Provincial Park has rules in place to reduce the risk of fire.
• Fires are only permitted in the park’s metal and concrete pits. No fire pits from home.
• Flames must not exceed 1.5 feet from the top of the pit and must be supervised at all times.
• Do not collect wood from the grounds – it destroys animal habitats.
• Fire sticks, tiki torches, batons and fireworks are prohibited.
All of our camping areas are unserviced and generators are not allowed.
- Only units registered as: motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheels or tent trailers are permitted. Truck/SUV tents, designed specifically to attach to your truck/SUV and convert it into a living space are permitted. Sleeping in any vehicle not specifically registered as a camping vehicle is not permitted.
- Once inside, camping vehicles must not be moved except when vacating the campground.
- There are no in/out privileges for vehicles in the campground.
- In the Festival Campground, vehicles pulling trailers must leave the camping area after parking their trailers. The exception is trucks providing power to fifth wheels.
- In the Quiet Campground, vehicles pulling trailers can stay in the camping area with their trailers as long as they do not move for the remainder of festival.