I’ll tell you right now that there is nowhere I would have rather spent such a perfect evening then at the Calgary Folk Festival last night.
When I first received the invite to cover this event I was skeptical. I imagined a sea of unwashed hippies rolling around in the grass, making out, and swooning to crap music; much to my chagrin the exact opposite occurred.
This years musicians at the nearly sold-out 4 day event are world-class and have changed my perception of what a ‘folk festival’ actually is. There is something for everyone. A few of the main stage headliners include; Blue Rodeo, K.D.Lang, Buffy Sainte-Marie, The Herbaliser, Joel Plaskett, and my favourite group who I saw tonight: City and Colour.
City and Colour has such a collected calmness about them. Pair that with the sun setting, the warm summers night and the very broad demographic that was in attendance…it was the perfect evening!
City and Colour’s front man, Dallas Green, of the post hard-core band Alexisonfire put it perfectly when he said “I love playing for you, you’re people who don’t really care who we are, you’re people who just like good music.” And to me that is exactly what the Calgary Folk Festival is. A bunch of (really good-looking) people who like great music!
This is the second time City and Colour has graced the stage in Calgary; last time in 2008. They did us right by singing ‘Day Old Hate‘ again. That’s 1 of their top 3 songs for me.
Now getting a close spot to the stage at such a popular event is not as easy as it looks, (mind you any spot on Prince’s Island Park is suitable) but if you want front row centre you’re going to have to work for it. The best moment of the festival post gate opening has got to be the ‘Tarp Run’.
Not much of a run – as that is forbidden – but a brisk skip is allowed. Music fans will camp out all night creating a ‘tarp shanty town’ and then when the gates open, jockey for a primo spot in front of the stage. Picture intense fans of this event quickly scurrying, tarps blowing in the wind, bags and chairs flying, all in order to have the best seat in the house… These dedicated fans certainly earned their spots. Trust me, one day at the festival and you too will consider joining the race the next day.
This is an event not to be missed. Start tarp shopping now and I’ll see you at the races!
Mr. Fab fest