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. We were at CCSF's Ocean campus for two years before moving to our current home at Presidio MS in 2009. 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.

Bob Semple runs parking Marisa Malvino runs the info and sales table
Ed Hilton runs instrument check Charlotte Patterson brings in vendors
Michael Jones is webmaster Rachel Levin helps with signs
John Gregorin draws our artwork Ken Hayes liaises with the SFFMC board
Marlene McCall co-ordinates music workshops Robin Cohen oversees festival operations
Jeremy Friedenthal works on publicity Melissa Sarenac runs hospitality
Roan Michaels works on sound Laurie Vela plans children's activities and publicity
Cheryl MacDonald books dance performers Joan & Abe Feinberg recruit volunteers
Cathleen Myers books dance workshops Laura Rice-Hall also books dance workshops
Anita Thomson is the greeter supervisor Nick Holbrook co-ordinates the music & dance program
Jim Tepperman does setup/teardown Al Goodwin books food vendors
Richard Rice finds and sorts performers Garry Wiegand formats the schedule
John Bowman co-ordinates sound See Ellauri is the open mic MC and FP stage manager
Bryan Uhlenbrock runs the raffle