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A Brief History of the Santa Fe Traditional Music Festival

The Santa Fe festival has a long and illustrious history, beginning in 1974 as the Santa Fe Banjo and Fiddle Contest, and originally run by the Santa Fe Friends of Old-Time Music, later becoming a festival under another nonprofit group, the Southwest Pickers, who moved the event out of Santa Fe in 2016 to pursue opportunities elsewhere. In 2017, the festival was brought back to Santa Fe through the efforts of long-time festival organizers who created a new organization, the Santa Fe Friends of Traditional Music. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, the Santa Fe TradFest was held at Camp Stoney, a beautiful location at 7855 Old Santa Fe Trail.  Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the 2020 festival was held online with 2 ZOOM Workshop "Tents" and 5 hours of performances in a YouTube Premiere.  Those workshops and all performances are on our YouTube channel.  CHECK IT OUT! 

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In 2021, we were thrilled to be able, once again, to present a live in-person festival at Camp Stoney!  We added a new feature for the 2021 festival – a large performance tent offering a spacious new performance area.  2022 TradFest will bring back the Field Tent!

This Festival is a project of The Santa Fe Friends of Traditional Music, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All contributions to Santa Fe Friends of Traditional Music are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

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Paige Pinnell

Paige Pinnell was involved in the Santa Fe music festival almost since it’s inception in 1974 as the Santa Fe Banjo & Fiddle Contest, later becoming the Santa Fe Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Festival. For many years, Paige designed the festival T-shirts and served on the Board of Directors of Southwest Pickers. Paige was the moving force behind reviving the 2017 Santa Fe Traditional Music Festival, and he was an active participant in the Santa Fe Friends of Traditional Music until his passing in March 2017. We miss him — but his inspiration, the twinkle in his eye, and his voice over our shoulders remain with us.  Thanks for everything, Paige.

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