Why Folk & Forage?
Intimate: Community is one of the most important pillars of Folk & Forage, and that is why we will forever be an intimate festival. By staying small, we’ve created a space where people can make genuine connections, and feel a sense of belonging by the end of the weekend. Though small, we are mighty and offer an incredible experience with sounds, lights, and wonders on par with larger festivals.
Educational: Folk & Forage was created around the idea of honing skills, learning from each other, and gaining knowledge about both the natural world and the musical realms. At Folk & Forage, we put just as much emphasis on our workshops as we do our musical performances. We wanted to create a safe place for families and friends to experience, explore, ask questions, and learn together.
Interactive: One reason Folk & Forage is special is because of all the contributions that our attendees bring to the festival. There are so many opportunities to interact with the festival, and we encourage the community to participate and add a sprinkle of magic. Whether at the Makers Market, costume contest, campfire jam, open mic, stone soup, or Night Cap, there are plenty of opportunities to share a little bit of yourself with the community.
World-Class Talent: We feature some of the best musicians and naturalists to create an exceptional experience for you. It’s pretty much unheard of to see this caliber of talent at a festival this size. And because Folk & Forage is intimate, you get to spend the weekend dancing, learning, eating, and experiencing alongside talented musicians and educators.
Fun: We are more than a little biased, but Folk & Forage is just about as fun of a weekend as we can imagine. Beautiful campsite, incredible music, interactive workshops, welcoming community, campfire jam sessions, family-friendly atmosphere, costumes, and communal events. Whew! We sure do pack a lot into one weekend…..
Hello! My name is Austin, and together with my wife Kaela, we have been planning and producing events for close to 10 years now. Whether producing events for others or creating our own, we have always enjoyed curating experiences that showcase and connect the talented community around us. Community is incredibly important to us and we love to bring people together through shared outdoor, food, and musical experiences.
Festivals have played a huge role in my life. I grew up attending bluegrass festivals with my dad in the South East, fueling my love of music and turning me into the banjo player that I am now. As a touring musician, I’ve experienced a whole new side to festivals, and I’ve long been nurturing a dream to create my own festival. This dream included more than music, with an equal focus on art installations, food, and education. This dream was just waiting for the timing to be right….
While a global pandemic doesn’t quite seem like the right time to launch a large group gathering, it just so happened to provide the perfect opportunity. It allowed for an intimate test run and took the pressure off of selling tickets and having to promote a festival. It enabled us to do what we wanted in our own way and offer something unique. So in May of 2021, we crawled out of our hidey holes and held our first gathering. We rented a USFS Group Campground and gathered 40 friends for a weekend of foraging all day and playing music all night. We shook off our isolation, cautiously dipped our toes into being social, and finally basked in the warm embrace of community. It was exactly what we needed, and Folk & Forage was born.
Since then, the festival has been handed off to the mycelial network. Strangers that would soon become close friends joined our team. More and more myco-musical folkx came out of the woodwork with a shared passion for wild food foraging and music. We learned that we were not alone in loving these elements, so we grew and expanded to be able to include more people in the Folk & Forage community. People continued to add their brand of magic, knowledge, and weirdness to this special gathering and we knew that this little festival was here to stay. We hope that you can join us at Folk & Forage for a weekend of new friends enjoying all that nature and music has to offer.
Meet the team
Kaela Fox - Communications & Volunteer Coordinator
Kaela wrangles the Folk & Forage volunteers and sends all of the attendee communications. When not supporting F&F or Serenade, Kaela is the Events Manager for the non-profit, SFF Presents, producing Big Ponderoo and Sisters Folk festival. Most commonly found chasing after her and Austin’s daughter at Folk & Forage….
Favorite Mushroom: Mia
Austin Quattlebaum - Festival Founder & Director
In addition to producing Folk & Forage, Austin tours the country performing on his banjo, produces Banjo Rama at Hama Hama, and is one half of Serenade. He also works as an illustrator and artist, creating all of the Folk & Forage posters and merch as well as designs for others.
Favorite Mushroom: Chanterelles! Because they’re easy to find and delicious.
Dana Rivkin - Production Manager
Dana ensures that the Folk & Forage schedule runs smoothly, and takes great care of our artists. When not at Folk & Forage you can find Dana working as the Production Director at Trout Lake Hall, teaching yoga, or leading sensory retreats to Costa Rica.
Favorite Mushroom: No favorites, just enjoys being in the forest foraging
Nathan Hanley - Operations Manager
Nathan keeps all of the behind-the-scenes elements running smoothly and can fix just about anything. He’s a co-creator of the Night Cap, and if you don’t know what that is yet, you are in for a real treat… Nathan is evangelistic about hot yoga and never misses an opportunity to dress up.
Favorite Mushroom: Lion’s Mane