Sep 20 2012

The Spawning of Winterfolk

In a recent flashback moment, as I was pondering about the upcoming Winterfolk XI, and how it grew from a simple 'dream'. But then I realized that Winterfolk was spawned as the result of an unthinking and spontaneous response, and the 'dream' part didn’t come till later.

I’ve learned that all things are connected, and more so everything happens in its own time at exactly the right moment. Well, eleven years later I still emit a minor chortle whenever I recollect how it all began. I’ve told this story before – Im not proud –  and I certainly think it is a fitting opening to my new blog.

Winterfolk was born from a random impulse. I had a ‘Eureka’ moment was like a lightning strike in a storm, a flash in the midst of what seemed like a personal disaster.

It was 2002 and I was invited to audition for the Mariposa festival, so with high hopes, I did the drive to Orillia with my sister Bonnie and Tony Quarrington.

I had just released my first album a few years earlier and I was pretty new to the music business, and was looking for prestigious performance opportunities – same as everyone else. I had applied to about 200 festivals the old fashioned way – prior to EPK’s or electronic submissions – and had about 200 rejections.

I felt certain that we had a pretty good shot at this one.  Here were only nine people competing for six spots, so I really thought we couldn’t miss. But when they sluggishly announced the winners – I didn’t hear my name called. It was literally my 200th rejection by a festival – perfect timing.

Suddenly it hit me: ‘Eureka’ if I wanted to play a festival, maybe I was going to have to start one! There were a bunch of other artists in the room where we were auditioning so I started walking around the room asking them “Do you want to play at my festival?” (I didn’t have a name for it yet, obviously) and I just started telling people they were hired to play!

A few months later I realized I had made a commitment to a few artists sans any same method of pre thought, and ‘what do I do now?’

It was a knee jerk reaction really. I didn’t have anything worked out at all. But that’s probably why it actually happened, because now I was committed to it and realized opportunity was knocking – I sensed something vital and new was on the verge of creation.

I’m sure Winterfolk was started for all the wrong reasons, but has survived and grown for the right reasons. Sometimes life is an adventure, and you just have to turn off your brain, tune into your instincts, and just follow where they take you. That’s what I did. So that’s the story of Winterfolk.

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