About Us

The San Francisco Free Folk Festival was first presented in 1977 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, we thank the committee members who work behind the scenes throughout the year, and the on-site supervisors who spend all day running the festival. Everyone's efforts are appreciated for their part in making 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 Debbi Moses is the onsite fundraiser
Cheryl MacDonald books dance performers and coordinates evening dances Marisa Malvino and Kim Probst manage the info and sales table
Cathleen Myers books dance workshops and manages the dance program Peter Gill coordinates sound for the dances
Laura Rice-Hall manages the family program David Conrod manages setup/teardown and provides security
Roan Michaels and Jamar Andrews recruit sound volunteers Bob Semple runs parking
John Bowman and Ed Sherry coordinate sound equipment Melissa Sarenac coordinates hospitality
James Myers runs the dance program with Cathleen Samuel Roland publicizes to other music communities
Jeffrey Betcher is our media relations guru Susan Neeson organizes the children's craft area
Pete Kronowitt coordinates the publicity crew Ed Hilton runs instrument check
Misisipi Mike designs posters Nick Holbrook rounds up the MCs
Robin Cohen coordinates volunteers, web content and craft vendors, and designs the buttons Melody Cryns formats the printed schedule
Bryan Uhlenbrock runs the raffle Roger Sinasohn is webmaster
Paula Joyce is the Facebook coordinator Dale Boland creates the Family Program
James Brown and Paul Herzoff are the official photographers Valerie Rose is the web host
Bebo White visualizes and manifests the Film Program