Set for another weekend of live tunes, CFUR's Music Department is packing up its festival attire (i.e. tie-dye scarves, cowboy boots and a Camelbak) and heading down to the 36th annual Calgary Folk Music Festival, which runs July 23-26. If you've never been, Calgary's folk fest takes place on an island park in the downtown called Prince's Island. Festival-goers stay for the day and the keeners (called tarpies) line up bright and early each morning with their maximum 6' x 8' tarps to grab a much-desired spot in front of the mainstage. As well as a mainstage (obviously), festival amenities include six workshop stages, food trucks (including mini-donuts), a beer garden serving Calgary's own Big Rock on tap, an artisan marketplace, a bike parking lot, and approximately 12,000 friends to party with.
The lineup is fabulous this year, taking a bluegrass/country/roots edge. Here is a list of CFUR's must-see artists. See if you can match them with the one-word descriptions on the right.
- 1. Petunia and the Vipers Legend
- 2. The Wooden Sky Plucking
- 3. Kid Koala Calgary's-own
- 4. Father John Misty Wacky
- 5. Pharis and Jason Romero Saxophone
- 6. Dragon Fli Empire Kazoo
- 7. Socalled Grammy
- 8. Colin Stetson Canadiana
- 9. Esperanza Spalding presents Emily's D+Evolution Scratch
- 10. Buffy Sainte-Marie Hazy
1. Old-Fashioned, New-Fangled: Seems like a wild mix, but oh man, this workshop could be legendary. Dragon Fli Empire, Leftover Cuties, Petunia and the Vipers, Kid Koala.
2. Provincial Boundaries: I'm guessing this is because the artists are all from different provinces? EMBASSYLIGHTS, Hawksley Workman, Frazey Ford, Jenn Grant.
3. Strung Along: Strings of many shapes and sizes. Pharis and Jason Romero, EMBASSYLIGHTS, The Crooked Brothers, SÖNDÖRGO.
4. The Girls Next Door: Pretty self-explanatory, a girls-only jam :) Sera Cahoone, Jenn Grant, Leftover Cuties, Scarlett Jane.
Some friends are volunteering there this year, so if I'm lucky, I will tag along as their guest to the famed volunteer after-parties held every night after the site closes. One of my most memorable festival moments was seeing C.R. Avery's volunteer after-party back in 2011. In the "quiet" room, C.R. Avery had none of that and got everyone up dancing and crowd-surfing and rocking out into the wee hours while the sound guy slept, zonked out in his chair. Epic night. Time for a repeat.