Gagetown community celebrates the last Folly Fest, for now

·2 min read
The Folly Fest welcomed over 40 musicians to the stage this weekend.  (Aniekan Etuhube/CBC News - image credit)
The Folly Fest welcomed over 40 musicians to the stage this weekend. (Aniekan Etuhube/CBC News - image credit)

New Brunswickers enjoyed the last Folly Festival this weekend, after more than a decade of bringing the local community together through live performances and camping.

In Gagetown, N.B., about 60 kilometres southeast of Fredericton, the festival hosts over 40 musicians and some local artists.

The site includes an expansive field area for festival goers to camp.

Paul McAllister, executive director of Feels Good Community Inc., which is responsible for Folly Fest, said it's been "heartwarming" to be at the festival one last time.

"It's been really great, classic Folly, really," he said.

McAllister said the first day of the festival was met with a downpour and thunder, but shifted to clear skies for the remainder of the weekend.

He said the festival began as a partnership with Picaroons in an effort to promote local musicians and artists.

The original festival was held in 2009 on Crabbe Mountain in the middle of a hurricane with a crowd of 40, said McAllister.

Aniekan Etuhube/CBC News
Aniekan Etuhube/CBC News

Every Folly Fest since has been held in Gagetown.

"It's changed a lot since then," said McAllister.

He said the festival has always been a not-for-profit event and, when it began more than a decade ago, the organizers were in their early 20s and 30s.

McAllister said this will be the last Folly Fest because the original organizers have careers of their own now and no longer have the energy to keep it going.

"We're running out of the time and energy it takes to put on an event like this and we're hoping it opens up a space for the younger generation," he said.

McAllister said this likely won't be the last Folly Festival, but the team needs a few years to find the time to put it together again.

"The space isn't going anywhere, the people are all here and it's a really great community," he said, "so it wouldn't be too hard to bring us all together again."

A nostalgic Folly 

Ovide Mazerolle has attended the festival for many years and is sad to see it go.

"I think a lot of people that have been coming over the years are going to be feeling a bit of something missing in the next year," said Mazerolle. "I'll feel that way for sure."

He said he's glad the festival ran one last time after the pandemic halted it for two years.

Aniekan Etuhube/CBC News
Aniekan Etuhube/CBC News

Mazerolle said festival goers this year are trying to make the best of it.

Artist Juele Hortie painted at the festival.

She said there was a nostalgic feeling among the crowd this year as they enjoyed their last Folly Festival.

"It's a little sad I guess, but I know all good things must come to an end," said Hortie.

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