Things will look a lot different at a drive-in event, especially in the COVID-19 era. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions and important things to know before you go. Tips and guidelines for a smooth, safe, and healthy festival experience—for everyone.

@ Portage Fairgrounds
@ Portage Fairgrounds
Music 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm
Gates Open at 5:00 pm
Music 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm
Gates Open at 5:00 pm

UPDATE: The 2020 Festival is still proceeding as planned, with reduced pods and required use of personal protective face coverings at the event.


***Following three months of monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Manitoba and communicating with Government of Manitoba health officials, multiple local stakeholders, and the festival's major funder, the 2020 Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival has received the green light to proceed as a drive-in event on Friday, August 28th and Saturday, August 29th!

Organizers have deemed the event safe for the public as long as COVID-19 cases remain low in the province. If COVID-19 cases should significantly spike and/or the Province of Manitoba reverts back to Stage 1 of its Restoring Safe Services plan, the festival will be cancelled. 

All attendees must be aware of the rigorous health guidelines in place during the event and that plans are subject to change with short notice as COVID-19 developments and public health orders continue to evolve.***


  • VENUE: Portage Exhibition West Grounds, north of MNP Building, accessible via Island Park Causeway and to the right, past Stride Place toward Portage Golf Club. Follow signs/arrows and directions from volunteers on site.

  • Two nights of stellar, live musical performances enjoyed from the comfort of your vehicle on Friday, August 28th and Saturday, August 29th, 2020. The music runs from 6:30 pm - 11:00 pm with three 60-minute performances and one 30-minute opening act each night (30-minute intermissions between each main performance). Simply drive in and park in a space assigned to you upon your arrival.

  • Physical distancing of two metres (or six feet) must be observed at all times when outside the vehicle for essential purposes, such as to use the washroom, with a minimum of two metres between individuals when outside of their vehicles/pods. Physical distancing will be enforced by volunteers and security at all times.

    • ​Physical distancing of two metres must be maintained for those waiting for washroom facilities.

  • All attendees are encouraged to wear a mask (medical or non-medical) when outside the vehicle.

  • STAY HOME if you are feeling unwell, sick, or symptomatic, even if your symptoms are mild (visit manitoba.ca/covid19/about/index.html for a list of symptoms). Please use the self-assessment tool or contact Health Links-Info Santé for information on getting tested.

    • NO entry to anyone exhibiting symptoms of illness or who is self-isolating or in quarantine (having travelled to the United States or Eastern Canada, excluding NW Ontario in the previous two weeks prior to the event).

  • Remember to maintain proper hand hygiene (bring along hand sanitizer if you can) and refrain from touching your face as much as possible.

  • In keeping with the environmental and sustainability initiatives of Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival, and given this year's drive-in version, we ask you to keep your vehicle's engine turned off when lined up at the entrance gate and when parked in your pod. We appreciate your cooperation in allowing all festival attendees to enjoy the music and breathe clean Manitoba air. There is no shade at this year's festival site. Come dressed for warm and sunny, and possibly cooler evening temperatures. Please don't idle your vehicle. We're all in this together.

  • All vehicles must arrive and be parked by no later than 6:15 pm each night. If a vehicle must leave before the end of the night, it should do so only during one of the 30-minute intermissions out of courtesy for the musicians and other festival-goers.

  • Flash headlights for applause! Otherwise, keep vehicle lights off during the performances.

  • Please bring a vehicle of LOWER roof height to the festival (small or medium-sized car if possible)! Higher vehicles will be asked to park along the rear and periphery of the site (limited spots will be reserved for these types of vehicles, i.e. minivans, smaller trucks, and SUVs). No large or oversized trucks, vans, etc. will be permitted on site.

  • In 2020 only, admission to the Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival will be by donation, with an automatic fee of $10 per vehicle per night.

    • A limited number of "pod passes" to secure your vehicle's spot will be available ONLINE (on a first-come, first-served basis) beginning at 12:00 noon CDT on Saturday, August 8th, 2020.

  • ALL occupants of each vehicle (or, "pod") are required to register in a group and secure their pod passes in advance when festival passes become available ONLINE on Saturday, August 8th (one transaction per group). NO WALK-UPS (i.e. drive-ups) on the days of the event!

    • During online registration, all festival attendees will be required to provide their name, phone number, and e-mail address for COVID-19 contact tracing purposes. All personal information will be kept confidential (except when required by Manitoba Health officials) and stored for 21 days before being deleted.

    • To help keep Manitoba COVID-19 cases low, NO attendees from outside Manitoba are encouraged to attend the festival (nobody from the USA or Ontario east of Terrace Bay will be permitted on the grounds).

    • At the gate, all occupants of each vehicle will be checked-in using a mobile device or printed ticket and briefly screened for COVID-19 symptoms, travel outside the province within the last 14 days, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

    • A waitlist will be set-up should pod passes sell out and a spot later becomes available. Therefore, refunds are permitted with enough advance notice.

  • Each "pod" constitutes a 20' x 20' space for one vehicle and a small open area to the left of that vehicle to stand or sit on

    • All occupants of each pod/vehicle (max. 6 people) must stay in their pod at all times—unless to use the restroom—and cannot intermingle with people in other pods.

    • All members of each pod must be from the same household or same common 'bubble' or social network.

    • No pod, no admittance. If pod passes sell out, you may park outside the venue to hear the music but donations to the festival are still encouraged to support live music and art in Manitoba. 

    • People socializing in-person together are advised to physically distance themselves from members outside of their household, except for brief necessary exchanges. Traditional greetings such as handshakes, kissing and hugging should be avoided. As has always been the case, members of the same household do not need to physically distance from each other.

    • Vehicle windows and sunroofs may be open; doors and trunks should remain closed if possible.

    • Picnics are only permitted within each pod. You can bring your own snacks, food, water, and non-alcoholic beverages to share among members of your pod (no food vendors on site)!

    • Feel free to decorate your car and/or pod to celebrate the festival spirit! :)

    • Dancing is permitted within your pod only! Yay!

  • No common areas or gathering places like picnic tables, play areas, activities, games, vendors, etc. will be permitted on site. Remember to stay in your pod at all times, unless to use the restroom in your designated section!

  • No camping or tents are permitted on site. Limited campsites for self-contained units only will be available at the Portage Ex Campground next door (no tents here either). Campgrounds A & B are partially open to accommodate physical distancing requirements; public washrooms and showers are NOT open. There will be no picnic tables on the grounds or campground. Again, no campers or visitors from the United States or provinces east of Manitoba (excluding NW Ontario west of Terrace Bay). Again, NO entry to anyone exhibiting symptoms of illness or who is self isolating or in quarantine (having travelled to the United States or Eastern Canada, excluding NW Ontario in the previous two weeks prior to the event). ALL campers must be PRE-REGISTERED and PRE-PAID. No drop-in camping.

    • Please remember that you can only attend the event in a vehicle, so you are responsible for unhitching and parking in time for the show. Contact the campground office at 204-857-3231 to inquire about camping spots.

  • LEAVE NO TRACE! Please respect the environment and others by leaving the site exactly as you found it.  Take all garbage home with you, or put it in its place in the appropriate bins on the festival site. 

  • Enjoy the festival, have fun, be well, and stay safe! See you at the 9th annual festival on the weekend of August 28th, 2021!


Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival is a positive space for all, and a community built on the eight pillars listed above.  




Whoop and Hollar Folk Festival and all its events welcome everyone to share our free spirit of creativity, diversity and inclusion; to join together to help ensure a safe space free of bullying and discrimination. 
Anyone feeling uncomfortable or unsafe at any time at Whoop & Hollar events can immediately notify one of our volunteers to resolve the situation as soon as possible. 




The festival requires that all attendees remain personally and fully responsible for their actions at all times: when socializing, when conducting themselves, and when arranging their transportation to and from the festival site.


Be respectful of the performers and your fellow audience members. Refrain from honking your car horn unless directed to do so by an emcee (i.e. for fun celebration). Feel free to flash your car lights as an alternative to applause at the end of a song or performance!


Rowdy behaviour is tolerated (away from the music, of course), obnoxious behaviour is not! 


Be kind and considerate to others. Just be yourself, follow all guidelines and health protocols outlined above, and get what YOU want out of your festival experience—just be a good sport and keep the positive energy flowing.


  • Lawnchair and/or groundsheet for open area beside vehicle (no sunshades, tents, etc.)

  • E-ticket on a mobile device or printed ticket (no transactions on-site!)

  • Bottled water, food, snacks, picnic cooler, etc. (enough for you and your pod)

  • Bug spray (or light, loose, long clothing to protect against mosquitoes)

  • Dress for the weather (i.e. rain gear, sweater)

  • Earplugs (optional)



Whoop & Hollar values sustainability and respect for the environment. "Leave No Trace" means that we expect you to leave the festival grounds in the condition they were before you arrived. Please put garbage, recycling, and compost in its place at the corresponding stations located around the grounds, or keep it within your pod/vehicle.


NO LITTERING (this includes cigarette butts)!

Take home all your belongings upon leaving the festival (a lost and found will be assembled after the festival if articles are accidentally forgotten).


Also, please refrain from having your vehicle idle on or around the festival grounds. It is summertime. The air we breathe is sacred and pure and must remain that way in order to maintain the health of humans and the planet.



One pet per vehicle, please. All pets must be on a leash at all times and cleaned up after!


At Whoop & Hollar, our definition of a folk festival is an inclusive celebration of the music, art, food, dance, fashion, and stories of people, their cultures, and their world perspectives and philosophies—across time and space. "Folk" is a broad term that includes far more than just music, let alone folk music in particular.


Folk festivals are community-oriented and community-driven events with great intention and purpose. They are connected to the land and aim to promote peace, tolerance, and respect for all people and the planet. They incorporate interactive activities and programming meant to educate, inspire, challenge, engage, and broaden one's horizons.


At a folk festival, you can expect to hear all kinds of music, meet all kinds of new people, and learn all kinds of new things. Plus, these festivals provide fun, meaningful, and enriching experiences that are not to be missed—think of a music festival with even more perks! Come as you are without expectations.



  • Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival's name is a play on the name of its locale, the famous "Hoop & Holler Bend," which has a 100-year history of live music and country dances. The moniker depicts fun, joy, and good times.

  • The festival's logo/mascot is a free-spirited 'whooping' crane, tying together the themes of music, art, and nature.

  • Festival-goers are affectionately called 'whoopers'.

  • If you are having a good time 'whooping' it up, be sure to chant "Whoop at the Hoop!" or give a "Whoop, Whoop!"

  • Fun Fact: In 2013, Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival began as an outdoor concert to showcase an armada of Winnipeg musicians touring down the Assiniboine River by canoe. How much more 'Portage' la Prairie can you get? 

  • Another Fun Fact: The festival site is located on the historic line of the Manitoba Great Northern Railway that connected Portage la Prairie with the USA, from 1903 until the mid-1920s.




Rain or shine, the show will go on! Come prepared. There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. In the event of torrential rains immediately before or during the festival, it may be cancelled.

© 2020-21 Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival Inc. All rights reserved.

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