Seattle, Washington is home to the amazing Northwest Folklife Festival. It’s a four-day, free festival which features music, dance, art, spoken word, craft booths, lousy, overpriced “festival food” and…. people. — I always go to Folklife. I’ve attended around forty. I’ve performed at seven.
I found a subculture at Folklife I’m not real familiar with. I tried to talk with some of the folks depicted here; but no one had a lot to say. I did learn that most everyone makes their own clothes out of whatever they can find, because they don’t have the money to buy new clothes. I like how they came up with their own striking style. I hope big business doesn’t co-opt it and keep all the money. This is definitely not grunge; it’s not pure punk. There seems to be an anarchistic spirit happening here. I don’t know what it is. But these kids dominated my Folklife 2016. I found them more interesting than any band or group of dancers. — I hope you enjoy the photos. Years ago I worried that Folklife would not last; young people would not be interested in it. I no longer have that concern.
Notice how these young folks’ outfits are carefully assembled. I took a lot of photos of backs, because a lot of people used their backs to display their art.
This is not the colorful hippie crowd of days gone by. Many people wore vests which they created by cutting the sleeves off of denim jackets.
Drab colors seem to be a touchstone.
Lots of cigarettes being smoked. And weed.
Most every group included at least one dog.
Black, gray, brown.
No, this is not the same group. It just looks the same. I saw hundreds of people who seemed to be in the same tribe.
This must be their daddy or something. Yes, he’s colorful; but he made the majority of his outfit. I asked him if I could take his photo. He allowed me to. Afterwards, he started to take off his coat; and he asked me if I would do him a favor. I ran away.
Here he is from the back. I wouldn’t crop out the chain link fence if I could. I think it fits right in.
Oh, dang. I never, ever publish blurry photos. But Dude’s clothes were too out there to not show you. I shrunk the size some, so it would be a little clearer.
Doing some hard travelin’.
Once in a while someone adds a little blue to the color scheme. As in blue denim.
Or they go all out, with eye-popping, colorful, frightening graphics.
So much character in his face.
Believe it or not, this is not the same guy. But they need to meet. Make that trip to Alaska.
This young woman was dancing and throwing/twirling some kind of stick, for tips.
These performers were almost too well-dressed for this story; but they did a great job in keeping the drab color scheme going, so they got past my wall.
Is this what they mean by casual-chic? — I didn’t think so….
“Mary had a little overdose.”
Now, this was a tough bunch. Two of them gave me the OK to take the photo, so I did. The mean looking guy on the right then demanded payment. That didn’t happen.
Skull motif #1.
Skull motif #2. How odd that she is with a dude sporting a unicorn and rainbow.
Since few wish to break the rule regarding the color of their attire, color is sometimes added by doing something to the hair.
Another example of using colorful hair to break the monotony. Well, she had on a bright red skirt, too. — The band looked a lot like the audience.
The guy was like, “What are you looking at, old man”? They were sitting on dirt, just feet away from a nice lawn.
This fellow told me that he indeed makes his own clothes. I asked if I could take his photo. He said I had to “Ask Charlotte”. So I did, and she said “OK”.
Everyone looks so serious.
I wonder if that’s his Mom, coming out of the restroom?
Where do they come from; where do they go?
One last photo. I went up to this young woman and told her to go home and change. I said, “You’re not even trying to fit in! What are you, some kind of rebel”? (I didn’t.)
Here’s a YouTube video for you which fits perfectly with my story. This fifty year old song did a great job of predicting the future.