Ashland World Music Festival returns this weekend

The San Francisco Yiddish Combo is among five performing groups set to appear Sunday in Lithia Park for the Ashland World Music Festival.
May 27, 2022

First fully live festival since 2019 features SoundWalk, percussion workshop, storytelling and Lithia Park show

For the first time since 2019, Rogue World Music stages its live and in-person flagship event, the Ashland World Music Festival, with four events over four days, highlighted by five groups performing Sunday afternoon in Lithia Park. All are free to attend.

The event includes a weekend of SoundWalks through downtown Ashland that blending visual art installations with festival music for a self-directed cultural experience. The program will be available to stream from 6 a.m. Friday, May 27, through 8 p.m. Monday, May 30.

Visual art installations for the SoundWalk were created by Ashland High School Honors Art Club, Gabriel Barrera, Nathan Ynancay, The Hearth, Tori Thuy-Trang Bennett, Olivia Rose Blesse and Sophia Blanton.

The SoundWalk map, with each installation point marked, is available online for viewing and, if desired, printing.

The SoundWalk audio stream features seven musical groups from around the world. For information on how to access the self-guided tour and audio stream, go to the SoundWalk page on the Rogue World Music website.

Friday afternoon, May 27, Ghanaian artist Okaidja Afroso will give a percussion workshop from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall at Southern Oregon University.

Saturday afternoon, a HeartBeat Stories story-telling event is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum.

And the feature event is set for Sunday afternoon, May 29, with a  mainstage concert featuring five performing groups from noon to 5 p.m. at the Butler Bandshell in Lithia Park. 

The last fully live World Music Festival in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, brought together more than 1,500 people in multiple Ashland venues to enjoy heritage stories, concerts, workshops, dancing and community spirit. 

In 2020, RWM pivoted to a virtual offering of the main concert event, followed by a hybrid version in 2021.

When the Almeda Fire destroyed more than 2,600 homes in September 2020,  Rogue World Music took action to support the most urgent community need, fire relief, by joining forces with the Phoenix-Talent School District to raise more than $10,000 during the virtual festival in November 2020. For the hybrid festival on Memorial Day Weekend 2021, Rogue World Music collaborated with UNETE to raise $10,000 for its Immigrant Family and Farmworker Fire Relief Fund. 

The 2022 Festival will continue as a fundraiser, shifting its focus to fire recovery efforts led by local nonprofit Coalición Fortaleza.

“Rebuilding after the fire is underway, but the communities of both Phoenix and Talent will require years to fully recover from the impact of this disaster,” said Ana Byers, Rogue World Music’s executive director. “Our organization’s mission is community building, and we are committed to supporting that through creating opportunities for connection and tangible rebuilding efforts.”  

Donations to support the festival can be made at  Sign up for the festival mailing list at

Source: Rogue World Music news release. Email Executive Editor Bert Etling at or call or text him at 541-631-1313.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Email him at

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