What To Know Before You Go

What To Know Before You Go

We are just days away! This blog is your one-stop-shop for essential Folk Fest info to ready yourself before you hit the road.


Remember to pick up your provincial park pass before you head out to the festival to avoid a wait at the gate where they will take cash only. Annual passes are $40 and available at Manitoba Liquor Marts and at most places fishing licenses are sold. 

Tarps and chairs for sitting and taking in the music. If you’re bringing a chair higher than two feet from ground to the top of the seat-back, please sit in the back of the seating areas or to the designated area left of Main Stage where you won’t block your fellow folkies’ view.

In a sea of tarps in front of Main Stage, it’s easy to lose track of yours! Many folkies have a tradition of decorating a tarp marker and we encourage everyone to do the same! 

Bring a reusable cup to fill at our water taps, which are gushing with cool, clean drinking water – or purchase a Folk Fest souvenir cup at the Festival Music Store.

Bring clothing for hot days, cold evenings and the possibility of rain. And shoes! Did you know that 25% of the injuries First Aid takes care of is due to people wearing improper (or any!) footwear?

Campers: remember to ensure you bring sufficient shelter and food for the whole festival. We have tasty and healthy food to purchase on the festival site and in the Festival Campground to supplement, but come prepared for the three square meals you need daily to keep your mind and body ready to dance to the music!

Getting There

The festival gates open at 5:00 PM on Thursday and 10:00 AM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Main Gate Box Office opens an hour before the gate opens each day. 

Come on and take a free ride – on the Folk Fest Express! The round-trip, frequent service from downtown Winnipeg to the festival is available free of charge when you show your Folk Fest ticket, wristband or access pass. There is a RELOCATED AND ONLY DOWNTOWN STOP: 389 Balmoral St. between Portage Ave. and Ellice Ave. The buses will be Exclusive Bus Lines coach buses. Click here for the schedule

There is construction along the Highway 59 and the Perimeter Highway, so if you choose to drive, be sure to give yourself some extra time to travel to Birds Hill Park this year. 

To our Festival Campers: there are no lineups on Highway 59. The west gate opens at 7:00 AM and the Festival Campground opens at 8:00 AM. Please arrive when we are ready to welcome you!


Remember this handy phrase: West comes and goes west, east comes and goes east.

The parking lot is divided into two lots. If you enter the park via the east gate off Hwy 206, you will park in the east lot and exit the same way via the east gate. If you enter the west gate off Hwy 59, park in the west lot and exit the same way via Hwy 59. Click here for more information and a nifty diagram.

Get A Lay Of The Land

Click here to review the festival site map.

Click here to see the Festival Campground map

A Few Changes

There is no plate deposit this year, so no need to bring a pocket full of toonies! Plates can be returned at any of our waste stations, a simpler process with no $2 deposit required.

The Festival Music Store on site will be up and running thanks to the volunteer music store crew and our friends at Into the Music. With the closure of our brick and mortar store in the Exchange in late 2015, our inventory of records was reduced and we will be focusing more on festival artists and merchandise. If you make a purchase that you don't want to carry around the festival, Into the Music will bring it back to the city for you! You can pick it up at their store at 245 McDermot Ave. (corner of King and McDermot). Packages will be ready to pick up after noon on Monday, July 11. 

The Corner Store is no more, but you can get everything that you're used to buying there, elsewhere on site. Festival merch will be available for purchase at the Festival Music Store. Snacks and drinks at Gramma’s Kettle Corn located at the back of the Main Stage field as well as at the food vendors. All other sundries like sunscreen, bug spray and assorted toiletries can be found at the Wilderness Supply tent next to the Festival Music Store.

Main Stage Dancing: The Main Stage dancing areas are behind the sound booth at centre field and to the far right when facing the stage. We have found in the last number of years that the power of the music compels many folkies to move, so for the last band’s set on Main Stage only, people may stand up and move to the front of the stage. Please respect people’s space and be mindful of their belongings and tarps.

Unfortunately, the shower truck that offered hot showers in the Festival Campground is no longer in business and we searched high and low for a replacement. Although there won’t be hot showers at the campground this year, Birds Hill Provincial Park Campground has plenty of coin-operated hot showers available – and you can take the free shuttle there. 

Campers: Mind Our Trees and Leave No Trace

We are a leave no trace event and proud of it! Pack everything you bring to the park, out at the end. Bring your own garbage and recycling bags from home or get some from an Enviro volunteer. They are happy to help and stationed at Enviro HQ at Trailhead 2! 

After the festival's over and you're ready to pack up your tarps and hammocks, please remember to remove all rope from the trees. Over time, rope left wrapped around tree trunks and branches strangles and kills the tree and we have already lost trees because of this. Please help keep the beautiful Birds Hill Park forest alive and healthy. 

And watch out for the new, little trees in the campground. Give them the space they need to grow to be big, shade-providing trees!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

In case of weather or an emergency, we are your most up-to-the-minute source of accurate information. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. You can also download our app and subscribe to our notifications so we can send instructions to the palm of your hand.

And join in on the fun on Snapchat! We'll have custom Folk Fest filters you can use near Main Stage, Big Bluestem, the Festival Village and areas of Festival Campground. 

Gate Tickets Available

Tickets are now on sale at Gate prices and are available online or over the phone through Ticketmaster. We recommend you buy your ticket in advance so you can skip the box office line and go right to the wristbanding station. You’ll be in and enjoying the music in no time!

Review the How to Folk brochure you received with your tickets or read our participant responsibilities here.


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The 2018 Winnipeg Folk Fest takes place at Birds Hill Provincial Park, July 5-8.



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