Falcon Ridge Festival Overview:
Located at Dodd's Farm in upstate New York, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival is one of the biggest, most well-attended festivals in the U.S. It boasts three stages, workshops, and a children's area, which includes the playing of instruments as well as arts and crafts. The food at Falcon Ridge is some of the best festival food I've ever had. As is typical of Folk festivals, prepare to be nice.
Music at Falcon Ridge:
Thanks to Falcon Ridge's history and staying power, it's been able to get everyone from Ani Difranco to Railroad Earth. Arlo Guthrie showed up for the 15-year anniversary show. That was really something else! Sunday morning features a gospel wake-up call, which is not to be missed. Bands run the gamut from old school bluegrass to the most rocking folk-rockers.
Dancing at Falcon Ridge:
The dance tent is open til quite late at night. Contra and square dancing callers are some of the best around, and the dance tent bands are always outstanding. If you're not a contra dancer, oh come on ... give it a shot! Otherwise, there's plenty of room on the sidelines to just sit and enjoy the music.
Camping and Lodging at Falcon Ridge:
Camping is first come, first served, with RV camping available in designated areas. There are a total of five camping areas at Dodd's farm, as well as offsite camping and lodging available. As is typical with festivals, song circles and jam sessions can be found all over campsites, although there are quiet campgrounds available and you should ask for assistance if you feel like you've chosen the loud campground.
Food at Falcon Ridge:
Food at Falcon Ridge is some of the best festival food. These folks don't mess around The majority of the festival "village" is full of food trucks, with plenty of options for vegans, carnivores, and everything in between.
Volunteering at Falcon Ridge:
Volunteers are what make this festival great. I volunteered one year, and found it to be the most fun I'd had at Falcon Ridge. Volunteers get free passes to the festival, camping, and three free meals a day. Everyone is super nice and enjoys themselves the whole time. If you're interested in volunteering, you definitely should. You can choose your work hours around what shows you want to see, which is great.
What to Bring to Falcon Ridge:
If you're going to camp on site, of course you'll need a tent and all your camp stuff. There's a shower, but there's typically a very long line. You may be better served taking a dip in the nearby rivers and springs. I'd recommend bringing some toilet paper because the port-a-potties just might run out. Rain gear is always good. Something to sit on—either a chair or blanket (whichever you're more willing to carry around).
What to Expect at Falcon Ridge:
Be prepared to hear music and drumming well into the night. If you're a light sleeper and you don't like hearing music while you're trying to fall asleep, it may be best for you to stay in one of the nearby bed & breakfasts. Expect long lines for the showers.