The American Folk Festival started early for some sponsors. Thursday night, volunteers and benefactors were the guests of honor at a kick-off event along the Bangor waterfront. They enjoyed food, drinks, and live music too. Since the first festival in 2002, admission has been free. The event carries a hefty price tag though. Fundraisers look to collect nearly $900,000. The “bucket brigade” will help defray the cost over the weekend, using creative ways to ask visitors to chip in. One volunteer, Bill Hiscock said, “It is like this and then I have a sign on it. I say please don’t forget the bucket. That way I don’t really, they don’t want you asking for money, but that way I don’t have to ask. My hat asks for me.”Organizers of the folk festival suggest a donation of $10.