What you should know about the 2024 Tucson Folk Festival

What you should know about the 2024 Tucson Folk Festival
Hundreds of people watched bands on the main stage of the Tucson Folk Festival, known as Plaza Stage at Jácome Plaza. The festival has six stages around downtown Tucson.

Last weekend, my family and I went to the Tucson Folk Festival for the first time. My parents met us there, and we spent a beautiful afternoon in downtown Tucson.

Even though this year's folk festival is over, this event has been going on for 38 years and we're already looking forward to the 39th when next spring rolls around. I had such a good time I bought one of the festival's T-shirts.

To help you get excited and plan your visit to the 2024 Tucson Folk Festival, I've compiled a list of things to know about the festival. I'll update this post as more details about next year's folk festival are released to the public.

Where is the Tucson Folk Festival?

The Tucson Folk Festival is held annually in Tucson, Arizona. It takes place in and around downtown's Jácome Plaza and typically features over 100 musical performances across six stages.

Here's the address of each of the stages:

  • Jácome Plaza 101 N Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
  • 200 N Church Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
  • 196 N Court Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
  • 200 N Court Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
  • 44 N. Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
  • Jácome Plaza 101 N Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701 (on the grassy hill just west of the library)

These locations are subject to change, so be sure to check the Tucson Folk Festival website before the event if it's important to you to know where each stage is.

One of the side stages

In general, it's fun to walk around to each of the stages and keep moving.

Quick story on that: When we went we pretty much just sat at the Jácome Plaza stage. We didn't know any of the musicians performing at the fesitval so we didn't have much reason to stage hop. And we definitely enjoyed the bands we saw. That said, we walked around just before we left and it was fun to notice the different vibe of each stage. For example, there wasn't much dancing at Jácome, but the Court stage was alive with strangers of all ages moving together.

Here's the site map of the 2023 festival:

What's the 2024 Tucson Folk Festival schedule?

Next year's schedule hasn't been announced yet. Stay tuned.

What kinds of bands perform at the Tucson Folk Festival?

The festival celebrates Americana and folk music traditions, including bluegrass, blues, country, jazz, Celtic, zydeco and various styles of music. When I was there, I saw RISO, John Coinman Band, Ramsey Roberson and Kyshona.

Is the Tucson Folk Festival free?

The Jácome Plaza stage

The Tucson Folk Festival is completely free to enter and enjoy the music. That's thanks to the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association (a local nonprofit that's been putting on the event since 1986) and the hundreds of volunteers, sponsors and donors who make it possible.

Of course, if you want to buy food and drinks at the festival, that's not free. But everything was very reasonably priced. You won't pay $10 for a can of beer and $8 for a bottle of water. The TKMA takes pride in keeping the event free, family friendly and accessible to all.

What about parking?

When we went, I found street parking in front of the Tucson Museum of Art at 140 N. Main Ave. And since it was a Sunday, parking was free. But there's plenty of parking, and the festival provided ample parking information here.

Who puts on the Tucson Folk Festival?

The Tucson Folk Festival is a project of the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Associations, which started as a group of friends and became one of the country's largest and longest-running free folk festivals.

You can find the bios of the organizers and board members here.

Can I bring my kids?

Absolutely. I did! They complained about being bored quite a bit, but it's easy to let them run around and play while having a beer and listening to the music. Just be sure to bring lots of sunscreen, water and maybe some small toys or books to keep them occupied.

My wife and kids at the Bookmans table. The kids were allowed to play with the instruments! (Bookmans is probably my favorite store in Tucson.)