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.

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.

Co-Directors
Robin Cohen – Festival Operations; Richard Rice – Program; Marlene McCall – Communications
Marlene McCall books music workshops and creates the program schedule Al Goodwin books food vendors and liaises with the Folk Club board and with the school site
Richard Rice books the musical performers and coordinates publicity and sound volunteers Barry Pearl is the onsite fundraiser
Cheryl MacDonald books dance performers Marisa Malvino manages the info and sales table
Cathleen Myers books dance workshops Richard Adrianowicz manages the sales table
Laura Rice-Hall coordinates the family program Jim Tepperman manages setup/teardown
Roan Michaels coordinates sound volunteers Bob Semple runs parking
John Bowman coordinates sound equipment Melissa Sarenac coordinates hospitality
John Myers coordinates sound for dances Anita Thomson is the volunteer coordinator
Jeffrey Betcher is our media relations guru Lorraine Kostka organizes the children's craft area
Jeremy Friedenthal coordinates online publicity Ed Hilton runs instrument check
Misisipi Mike creates posters John Gregorin draws our artwork and makes the buttons
Robin Cohen coordinates web content and craft vendors Garry Wiegand formats the printed schedule
Bryan Uhlenbrock runs the raffle Roger Sinasohn is webmaster
Wendy Steel is the Facebook coordinator Margaret Hall is a greeter supervisor
Doug Norman is the grant writer Kim Probst is a greeter supervisor
James Brown is the photographer Valerie Rose is the web host
Kevin Barnard is the videographer