Answers to frequently asked questions and things to know before you go. Tips and guidelines for a smooth festival experience—for everyone.
FESTIVAL DATES, TIMES, & LOCATIONS
FRIDAY, AUG 23
SATURDAY, AUG 24
SUNDAY, AUG 25
@ Main Festival Site
@ Island Park
Free Tent Camping
@ Main Site
Tent campground open
at 4:00 pm
Gates Open at 11:00 am
Gates Open at 11:00 am
NEW IN 2019: 2 DAYS, 2 VENUES!
Due to municipal zoning issues (first year as a weekend festival), Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival is moving its Sunday programming (August 25th) to Portage la Prairie's Island Park for 2019. The Saturday program (August 24th) will remain at the usual festival site on Highway 331. Click here for a map of all relevant points of interest you need to know about.
PEACE, LOVE, RESPECT, COMPASSION, DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, JOY, SUSTAINABILITY
Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival is a positive space for all, and a community built on the eight pillars listed above.
SAFER SPACES POLICY
Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival welcomes insightful conversation, freedom of expression, and individual creativity. The festival also embraces human diversity and values the safety and respect for all people, regardless of race/ethnicity, colour/size/appearance, age, mental/physical ability, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity (or non-identity), socioeconomic status, or religion/culture.
Speech or actions that discriminate, oppress, threaten, or hurt others WILL NOT be tolerated. For the safety of festival-goers, promoters, volunteers, performers, and to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, anybody who violates this policy will be asked to leave the premises. If you feel unsafe at any time during the festival, please reach out to the information/first-aid tent or find one of our many volunteers around the festival site. We're here to help.
FOLK FEST ETIQUETTE
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. "If you 'D,' don't 'D.'"
Be respectful of the performers and your fellow audience members. If you are planning on making some noise and socializing during performances (which is totally fine), please find a place further away from the stage.
Rowdy behaviour is tolerated (away from the music, of course), obnoxious behaviour is not!
Please note that each festival venue is located in a neighbourhood, so being respectful and courteous to our neighbours and surrounding yard sites is also very important. In the festival campground or along the site boundaries, please do not cross over the fences or property lines - watch for the 'No Trespassing' signs! Thank you for understanding.
Be kind and considerate to others, and if you have a pull to do so, welcome new folkies to our festival community and lend a hand if you see somebody in need. Be yourself and get what YOU want out of your festival experience, just be a good sport and keep the positive energy flowing.
Please note that all transactions at the festival are CASH ONLY: box office/gate, food vendors, handmade village, music/CD purchases, and festival merchandise sales. Nearest ATM is at Royal Bank in Portage la Prairie, about a 10-minute drive away.
TICKETS & CAPPED ATTENDANCE
Find out admission prices and get your tickets here! As Whoop & Hollar is now a weekend-long event and our folk fest community is quickly growing in size, attendance will be capped at 500 paid weekend passes to preserve the intimate, small-festival experience we all love. We also want to keep festival-goers safe, healthy, and comfortable on a 5-acre site with limited services and capacity. Get your passes early and make sure you are part of the Whoop & Hollar experience!
WHAT TO BRING (FOLK FEST ESSENTIALS)
Lawn chair or groundsheet
Cash (remember, all festival sales are cash only)
Refillable water bottle (drinking water stations on-site; no bottled water sales at the festival)
Tent and camping materials (if you are camping)
Cooler (optional: picnic food and refreshments/beverages of your choice are welcome)
Food vendors will be at the festival both days, so you can also buy food!
Dress for the weather (i.e. rain gear, sweater)
Musical instrument (for jamming/open mic)
Earplugs (for camping; optional)
ACCESSIBILITY / WHEELCHAIRS
Whoop & Hollar believes everyone should be able to access the site and enjoy the festivities.
The festival grounds, as is the case with other outdoor folk festivals, are predominantly grassy terrain with some uneven and sloped areas. The overall flatness of the site aids wheelchair accessibility. However, navigating the grounds can be a challenge; minor assistance can be provided by one of our volunteers if necessary. Electric wheelchairs and scooters are strongly recommended over manual wheelchairs.
Wheelchair-accessible parking and washroom facilities will be located on both sites. A few disability-friendly parking spots will be available at the north end of Venue 1 (through Gate C) and behind the mainstage at Venue 2.
At each venue, a drop-off and loading zone (for passengers with disabilities and their belongings) is located near the main gate (signs will be posted).
RESPECT THE LAND: LEAVE NO TRACE, NO IDLE ZONE
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.
Take home all your belongings upon leaving the festival (a lost and found will be assembled during the festival if articles are accidentally forgotten).
We'd ask that you put any waste (non-recyclable or non-compostable items like plastic chip bags) in the garbage bins, cigarette butts in the butt-out pails or firepits, recycling (beer and pop cans, plastic water bottles, etc.) in the recycling bins, and compost (food scraps) in the compost bins. Please do not put compostable materials other than food in the compost bins as they take too long to break down. Don't litter; respect others and the environment.
Also, please refrain from having your vehicle idle on or around the festival grounds. It is summer time. The air we breathe is sacred and pure, and must remain that way in order to maintain the health of humans and the planet.
WATER STATIONS / PLATE RETURN
As part of the Whoop & Hollar's sustainability mandate, the festival has successfully eliminated all sales of bottled water on site. Drinking water stations are conveniently located around the grounds. Bring your own refillable water bottle to the festival, or borrow one of the reusable cups or tumblers provided.
Also, a reusable plate program has been successfully implemented at all food vendor stations, to eliminate disposable plate and cutlery waste (and unnecessary energy that goes into manufacturing 'compostable' alternatives). A plate return and compost station will be set-up beside the food vendor area, with a food-grade dishwashing station run by volunteers. Reusable cups/tumblers are also to be dropped off at the plate return after use.
Click here to learn more about the festival's sustainability initiatives.
FREE, HOP-ON SHUTTLE SERVICE
Are you coming from Portage la Prairie and need a ride? On Saturday, shuttle departs downtown Portage la Prairie (Herman Prior Activity Centre, 40 Royal Rd. N.) for the main festival site via the RV Campground, and return. The shuttle will run at 2-hour intervals between 11:00 am and midnight (or every hour if needed). Sunday shuttle service between Venues 1 & 2 will be provided, only by demand.
Herman Prior departure times: 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm, 7:00 pm, and 9:00 pm
Festival Site departure times: 12:45 pm, 2:45 pm, 4:45 pm, 6:45 pm, 8:45 pm, and 12:00 am
On Saturday, at Venue 1, traffic coming from the west will park on the west side of Road 34W. Traffic coming from the east will park along the west side of Mary’s Lane (east access road). Additional overflow parking (though not recommended) is available on the north side of Highway 331, with parking prohibited on the south side of Highway 331 and the north side of the highway in front of the festival site.
On Sunday, at Venue 2, vehicles will park along the left sides of Brandon Avenue, George Hill Drive, and International Drive along the Island Park circle drive. Overflow parking will be located at the Stride Place Parking lot, about a 10-minute walk away.
No alligators or elephants, hippos on leashes only, singer PETula Clark invited but not attending, and whooping cranes must come feathered! In regards to our "Leave No Trace" agreement and respect for the property and other folkies, please clean up after your pets, keep pets away from garden areas, and at all times, have your pets on-leash! Like people, if your pet is obnoxious or aggressive, please leave them at home. Pets (dogs_ are admitted free of charge.
INFORMATION / FIRST-AID / LOST & FOUND
If you have any questions or concerns, require first-aid, or have misplaced an item or loved one, head on down to the brown tent behind the stage for assistance.
SMOKE-FREE STAGE (TOBACCO & CANNABIS POLICY)
For health and courtesy reasons, smoking is not allowed in the immediate mainstage area, inside buildings/shelters, around activity areas, or in other confined public areas. A designated smoking area will be located toward the back of the site with white butt-out pails available to help keep litter in its place. CANNABIS must be confined to the campground areas on Venue 1 (Cottonwood Acres) and is NOT permitted at Venue 2 (Island Park).
At Whoop & Hollar, you may have noticed that we intentionally choose not to have a beverage garden. Alcohol is banned from Venue 2 on Sunday, as this is a public park. Although alcohol is not forbidden from Venue 1 on Saturday and can be enjoyed responsibly (you can bring along your drink of choice concealed in a cooler or other container), we want to promote 1) a safe festival culture that welcomes those who choose not to drink or are recovering from addictions and 2) the joy that goes along with sobriety in a family-friendly setting. Again, any obnoxious behavior is not tolerated at either venue.
WHEN DO GATES OPEN?
Festival gates open to the public at 5:00 pm on Friday, 12:00 pm on Saturday, and 12:00 pm on Sunday. The festival campgrounds open at 4:00 pm on Friday.
ENTRY & SECURITY
At Venue 1 (Cottonwood Acres), all festival goers purchasing tickets must enter through the Main Gate/Box Office (Gate A) off Highway 331 or the North Gate (Gate C). Tent campers are asked to enter through Gate C. Passholders (those who have already purchased tickets) are permitted to enter through either gate. Gate B, a designated exit path, is for passholders only. Volunteers will be providing security at Gates A, B, and C.
At Venue 2 (Island Park), all festival-goers are asked to enter through the main gate tent; the rest of the festival site will be cordoned off with rope and tape. Security volunteers will be patrolling the perimeter of the Island Park.
IS CAMPING FREE?
Yes, tent camping is free with weekend admission. RV Camping is paid at nearby public, serviced campgrounds. Tent campers must purchase a weekend pass. Click here to learn more about new changes to our festival camping before you arrive.
WHAT IS A FOLK FESTIVAL?
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.
WHAT'S WITH ALL THE WHOOPING & HOLLERING? SOME FESTIVAL TRIVIA
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. The Red Barn, Big Top tent, and tree canopies are great places to seek refuge from the elements.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Enjoy a full lineup of great bands on two stages. Walk the nature trails, explore the prairie pollinator garden, participate in a variety of workshops and activities, check out the Artisan Alley handmade village, join an open mic or jam session, try some delicious food, dance, meditate, camp beneath the stars...the adventure is yours to discover!