Fest photo by Lisa Schaffer

Philadelphia Folksong Society

The Philadelphia Folksong Society (PFS) is a non-profit organization based in Philadelphia, PA. We present the Philadelphia Folk Festival, one of the oldest and best known outdoor music festivals in North America!

Our Mission

The Philadelphia Folksong Society (PFS) is dedicated to preserving the past, promoting the present, and securing the future of folk music and related forms of expression through education, presentation, and participation.

Our Vision

Preserving the Past – PFS will preserve artistic expression by offering programs that encourage participation in traditional folk music and educate the public of its history.

Promoting the Present – PFS will be recognized among the vanguard of emerging trendsetters and innovators within folk music. Diverse programs will encourage artistic development and experimentation.

Serving the Future – PFS will continue to promote folk music in its traditional and contemporary styles and continue to educate with our classes, concerts, workshops, and support of our musical community. 

Our History

The seeds of the Philadelphia Folksong Society were planted in the 1950s at a Rittenhouse Square coffee shop known as the Gilded Cage, home to many of the Society’s first SINGs and meetings, both official and unofficial. The vibrant Folk community of the Gilded Cage were the founders of our organization.

The Philadelphia Folksong Society was founded in 1957, and since that time the organization has offered programs of presentation, participation, and education throughout Greater Philadelphia and the nation. These programs present a cultural history of society and provide enjoyment to thousands of people of all ages.

The Philadelphia Folksong Society contributes to the preservation of a vast variety of musical styles and historical perspectives. PFS has garnered international recognition and local acclaim through popular programs such as The Philadelphia Folk Festival, Fall Fling, and Spring Thing.

Seasonal programming of workshops, community service programs, concerts, PFS Presents, Sings, and the Odyssey of American Music education program have served a diverse range of participants, who include our community at large, volunteers, artists, students, partner organizations, and PFS members.

PFS programs range in scope from a small group of friends singing together to tens of thousands of patrons gathered for concert presentations. A network of thousands of dedicated volunteers has allowed PFS to execute these programs in an unprecedented way since the organization’s inception over 61 years ago.

Donate or Join PFS Today!

photo by Sue Deckhart