EDMONTON - A rare concert appearance by Joni Mitchell yesterday has helped boost ticket sales at this year's Edmonton Folk Music festival, organizers say. "We are set to take in $500,000," says Terry Wickham, producer of the 15-year-old festival. "We've never broken $400,000 before, it'll be the largest box office of any arts festival in the history of Alberta." With competition last year from a country music festival and a controversial bill, the folk festival failed to increase its audience for the first time since 1985 and barely broke even. This year, Wickham went after more headline acts to draw the uninitiated to Gallagher Park. "Obviously, Joni Mitchell has been a big factor as far as publicity goes. Last year we made her the exact same offer and she turned it down. This year we got lucky. Taj Mahal, Blue Rodeo, Richard Thompson, Ruth Brown - these acts were all bonuses. "I remember thinking last year the music has to get better and I think it has."
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