Organizers of Folk on the Rocks (FOTR) have announced the first batch of performers who will be performing at the 2023 festival July 14 to 16.

This year’s headliner will be Serena Ryder, a seven-time Juno Award winner and past FOTR performer, having done so on the main stage back in 2006. Lemon Bucket Orkestra are also making a return appearance to the FOTR stage for the first time since 2016.

The announcement on Friday also included the reveal of folk band Status/Non-Status; Mexican band BuenRostro; Hyaenas, an indie rock/synth pop band out of Vancouver; acoustic guitarist Matt Andersen from New Brunswick and; Edmonton-based rapper K-Riz.

There were several Northern acts announced on Friday and they include Erica Dee Mah, a contemporary folk singer and guzheng player based in Whitehorse. The guzheng is a 23-stringed Chinese zither. Yellowknife’s Brendon MacIntosh and Friends will bring their punk rock set to the stage, as will JDBS, a rap group also out of Yellowknife. Mariel hails from Yellowknife and had the chance to write the song ‘Farewell’ for her Grade 7 class at Ecole St. Joseph School.

The annual performances by such groups as Bella Beats, the Yellowknife-based high-performance dance troupe, and the always popular Yellowknives Dene Drummers were confirmed on Friday as well.

According to organizers, this year’s festival will have a mix of rap, rock, R&B and even Balkan punk. Drum dances and hand games demonstrations are also scheduled to be part of this year’s festivities.

The second wave of performers will be announced on April 14, with the final wave being introduced on May 19.

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