The Woodstock Folk Festival in northern Illinois is taking a new approach this year by inviting the audience to share their own stories alongside the music.

The theme for this year’s festival is “What’s Your Story?” inspired by singer and writer Jamie O’Reilly, who uses music and poetry to tell her family’s history. Carol Obertubbesing, the president of the festival, was inspired by O’Reilly’s program and the stories shared by attendees during a previous presentation.

“We had people sharing their own family stories, and it was such a powerful experience,” Obertubbesing said. “I thought it would be a great theme for our next concert.”

In addition to musical performances, the audience has the opportunity to submit their own short stories. These stories will be read during short interludes, providing a unique and personal touch to the event.

Obertubbesing emphasized the importance of sharing stories as a way to connect and build understanding among people. The benefit concert will take place on April 21 at Unity Spiritual Center of Woodstock, with proceeds supporting the upcoming 39th annual Woodstock Folk Festival. The suggested donation for the concert is , offering a meaningful way to support the festival and enjoy a day of music and storytelling.

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