About Us


The San Francisco Free Folk Festival was conceived in 1976 by the San Francisco Folk Music Club, which staged it for the first two years at the Hall of Flowers. It then moved to Fort Mason, where it remained for 13 years, before moving to the John Adams campus of City College until that venue became too small. Several years ago, the festival moved to Roosevelt Middle School where we had a long run. Then, in 2007, we moved to our current home at CCSF's Ocean campus. We've been known to have between 2,000 and 3,000 guests attending the event. It takes about 200 volunteers to stage the Festival.

The festival was co-sponsored for many years by the San Francisco Folk Music Center / Plowshares Acoustic Music Center. We are also grateful for the support of our friends at KALW.

While the festival would be a special event under any circumstances, what makes it unique is the fact that it is an all-volunteer effort. Not only do members of the sponsoring organization - the San Francisco Folk Music Club –serve as volunteer organizers, but all performers and workshop leaders donate their time and talents to the festival as well.

Donations of time or money are welcome!


The festival would not be possible without the help of many people over the weekend, as well as in the months before. In particular, the committee would like to thank the many performers and workshop leaders, all of whom donate their time to the festival for free.

The weekend itself relies upon hundreds of volunteers to help setup, instrument check, parking, front desk, etc. Thank you. Last, but not least, are various folks working behind the scenes throughout the year to make the festival a success.

Karen Imperial is festival director.
Nick Holbrook organizes volunteers and Faith Petric Stage.
Doug Debs handles Setup, Teardown and Hospitality. Charlotte Patterson brings in vendors.
Michael Jones is webmaster. Tirtza Pearl arranges dance workshops.
Barry Pearl organizes fundraising. Richard Rice runs the Woody Guthrie and Seeger Stages.
Marlene McCall co-ordinates music workshops. Robin Cohen manages our front desk and merchandise.
Laura Bajuk works on publicity. Lorraine Kostka was in charge of the craft table.
Roan Michaels works on sound. Laurie Vela ran children's activities and Reynolds stage.
Doug Jones works on sound.