As tradition goes, legends are built around campfires.

A contrast from the suntan lotion, cookouts, or pilgrimages to the beach that mark the first weekend of summer, Campfire Festival still promises to heat up listening room Club Passim with some of the hottest emerging acts in New England.

The festival began in 1998 as a way to fill a traditionally tough booking time. Before their rise, artists like Josh RitterRyan MontbleauAnais Mitchell, Regina Spektor, Al Kooper and Peter Woolfe played the festival for recognition and for fun, according to Matt Smith, Managing Director of Club Passim and founder of Campfire Music Festival.

Providence based singer-songwriter, Seamus Galligan, who last week won the Performing Songwriter Competition, is back for his third Campfire Festival. He advises the audience to look at the schedule and pick a few bands to see: “Go with an open mind, there is a nice variety and presentation of artists.”

Daniel Radin, vocalist and guitarist of self-described americana-folk band The Novel Ideas, said, “What differentiates this from other festivals is the vibe of the room, Passim is one of the only real listening rooms in town, and maintains that spirit throughout the festival.”

Both Radin and Galligan noted the most enjoyable and unique part of playing this show is being paired with other performers to play in the rounds. This style, which gives the festival its name, is rare and lends itself to spontaneous collaborations that both artists and the audience might not see otherwise.

Radin added, “It’s a cool way to hear a lot of different songwriters in a short amount of time.”

Campfire Festival will be running Friday- Monday at Cambridge’s Club Passim. Tickets are $10 per day, $25 for a weekend pass, and students get in free with ID.

Though Smith was reticent to say what act he was most excited to see this year, he did mention Monday’s 9 PM closing round is going to be a great one: “They are all females in their late 20s who have been blowing us away. All on stage together, it will be amazing.” The bill is brimming with talent. We recommend you keep an eye out for these artists:


Strangers by Accident

The Western Den


Seamus Galligan

Gretchen and the Pickpockets

Dietrich Strause



The Bombadils

Lay Low Moon

Anthony Savino



The Novel Ideas


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