Leonard Cohen Performs At The 1967 Mariposa Folk Festival

The 1967 Mariposa Folk Festival

Founded in 1961, the Mariposa Folk Festival1 has been (and continues to be), despite shifts in artistic direction, an annual showcase for folk singers.

Leonard Cohen – Mariposa Folk Festival: Aug 13, 1967

The seventh iteration of the Mariposa Folk Festival in 1967 at Innis Lake Campground brought together a number of artists who are now musical legends. “Mariposa Folkfest to Roll,” an article published in the July 15, 1967 issue of Billboard announced that performers that year would include

Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tom Rush, the Staple Singers, Bonnie Dobson, the Buddy Guy Blues Band from Chicago, Ritchie Havens, Canadian poet Leonard Cohen, Louis Killen, the Lily Brothers and Tex Logan. [emphasis mine]

It is worth noting that Leonard Cohen is specifically described as “Canadian poet Leonard Cohen.” (Joni Mitchell, by contrast, is listed in a separate paragraph along with other “local folk artists.”)

Leonard Cohen not only performed on Aug 13, 1967 but also teamed up with Joni Mitchell to co-host a Songwriter’s Workshop (also participating: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Murray McLaughlan, and Gordon Lowe) the same day.


Credit Due Department: The Mariposa Festival ad was originally published in The Broadside July 5, 1967 and was found at the excellent Joni Mitchell Chronology (marking done by me). The photo citations, except the identifiers, are identical: York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, F0433, Photographer: John Sharp, The identifiers, in order (top to bottom) follow: ASC01709; ASC01707; ASC01708.


Comment From Original Post

Jamie Zubairi March 22, 2012: Can you imagine attending a songwriting workshop given by Leonard and Joni? Wow! Do you know if anyone attended? I wonder if they knew that they were at a masterclass? I guess Joni was yet to write her ‘best stuff but the fact that she was so prolific back then is tribute to the fact that it was her practise as an artist to simply just write.

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Mar 18, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.


  1. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, “The name ‘Mariposa’ was taken from Stephen Leacock’s book Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, in which the ‘little town,’ a thinly disguised Orillia [Orilla, Ontario was the first site of the Festival], was called Mariposa.” []

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