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
Marlene McCall – Communications, External Relations & Music/Dance Program

Al Goodwin
  • books food vendors
  • liaises with the Folk Club board and with the school district

Bryan Uhlenbrock
  • runs the raffle

Bob Helliesen
  • assists with Facilities Management and Safety/Security

Bob Semple
  • runs parking

Cathleen Myers
  • books dance workshops
  • manages the dance program

Cheryl MacDonald
  • books dance performers
  • coordinates evening dances

Dale Boland
  • books the family program

David Conrod
  • manages setup/teardown
  • provides security

Ed Hilton
  • runs instrument check

James Brown and Paul Herzoff
  • the official photographers

James Myers
  • runs the dance program with Cathleen

Jim Tepperman
  • assists with Facilities Management and Safety/Security

John Bowman
  • coordinates sound equipment

Kathy Helliesen
  • supervises the greeters

Kim Probst
  • manages the info and sales table

Laura Rice-Hall
  • manages the family program

Lorraine Kostka
  • assists with running the crafts table

Marlene McCall
  • books music workshops
  • creates the program schedule

Melissa Sarenac
  • coordinates hospitality

Melody Cryns
  • creates the printed programs

Nick Holbrook
  • manages the stage crew

Paula Joyce
  • the Facebook coordinator

Pete Kronowitt
  • coordinates the publicity crew

Peter Gill
  • coordinates sound for the dances

Richard Rice
  • books the musical performers

Robin Cohen
  • coordinates volunteers and craft vendors
  • designs the buttons

Roger Sinasohn
  • webmaster

Samuel Roland
  • publicizes to other music communities
  • assists musicians with festival publicity

Susan Neeson
  • assists with running the crafts table

Valerie Rose
  • the web host

Wendy Oschmann
  • proofreads the print program