BUTTE — Before you can get down on the dance floor, somebody’s got to put the dance floor down—and that’s why volunteers are working hard this week in Butte getting ready for the Montana Folk Festival.
“It takes a lot of work, and I don’t think the people who come actually understand how much work goes into it before,” said volunteer Jim Keane.
Volunteers and paid crews will spend the next few days hammering, drilling, and carrying heavy objects to set up the six staging areas for the free, three-day music festival in Uptown Butte.
One volunteer comes all the way from Plains, Montana, to help set up.
“I just started out with the National Folk Festival and continued on with this. It’s fun,” said Bob Hackman.
The festival first started in Butte in 2008 and has been held each year until Covid-19 forced the festival to shut down in 2020 and 2021. Some longtime organizers say they’re experiencing a wide range of emotions.
“Excited, exasperated, flustered, and trying to remember everything you forget over the two years,” said festival organizer Bernie Shelton.
A four-man crew from Commercial Tent Rentals in Canada is responsible for setting up all the tents for the festival. It’s a big job, but they can handle it.
“We got the go-to-er, get-er-done attitude, you know. We do like 20 tents a day, maybe, if we can. Today’s a beautiful day, so we’re going to try to put in as much time as we can,” said Grant Tedford of Commercial Tent Rentals.
Organizers say they could use more volunteers, so if you want to help out, call Operations at (406) 490-6677.
The festival begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 8 and continues until Sunday.