The Calgary Folk Music Festival returns in July


The Calgary Folk Music Festival is one of Canada’s flagship and forward-thinking music festivals, and it returns to Prince’s Island Park this summer from July 21-24.

Presented by ATB, this year’s event is a four-day, family-friendly cultural and musical showcase featuring 70 artists from Alberta, Canada and around the world. With artist collaborations, an alley of mouth-watering food vendors and a craft market, the ever-popular beer gardens, family zone and more, there’s something for everyone at this diverse grassroots celebration – and children 12 and under are admitted free.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Calgary Folk Fest is the long-standing tradition of the tarp race (or rather, the tarp “jump” – for safety reasons), which sees early-rising participants gather with tarps or blankets ready to claim a plot of land in front of the ATB main stage. It’s a whimsical start for early risers – but night owls needn’t worry, as there are plenty of places on Prince’s Island Park to listen to world-class music and get your groove on during a night out. an impromptu dance party.

The festival features two evening stages featuring top artists and five daytime stages that host one-of-a-kind concerts and collaborative sessions. As they explore the island and hop between stages, festival-goers can grab an ice-cold drink at the Big Rock Beer Garden or browse the Craft Market for delicious culinary options while connecting with friends old and new.

Want to cool off or relax? Dip your toes in the Bow River and treat yourself to a scoop of Righteous Gelato, or take an afternoon nap under a canopy of trees before getting back to the action to enjoy the incredible line-up of performers. The Calgary Folk Fest showcases a host of musical talent, ranging from roots to hip hop, afro-beat, funk, rock, rhythm and blues, gospel, country, psych-rock, l electronics and more. Artists range from fearless, soul-carrying songwriters and must-have indie pioneers to stadium-selling bands.

Thursday’s night will feature Texas psychedelic soul band Black Pumas, swing/jazz revivalists Squirrel Nut Zippers, deep-souled Devon Gilfillian and, from Bahia, Brazil, diaspora African roots Xenia França. Friday Night is built on the poetry of K’Naan, the desperate fiddle of Watchhouse, the quick wit of troubadour Josh Ritter, the virtuoso playing of the Wood Brothers and soul sensation Bette Smith. Saturday Night features the distinctive indie sounds of Spoon after the elegant torch songs of Allison Russell, the expansive and textured jams of the Barr Brothers, the indie sounds of Hey Rosetta! Tim Baker and Kevin Morby’s retro-roots vibe. Sunday night will be capped off by Courtney Barnett with her witty and offbeat lyrics. There’s also blues powerhouse Matt Andersen, dynamic indie folk from Basia Bulat, dark poetry from Ireland’s Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neill and more than 50 other artists performing at Calgary Folk Fest this summer.

For the enjoyment of all ages, the Family Zone features CAOS, Michelle Thrush and Suitcase Theater Arcade, while the shaded and intimate discussion tent hosts comedy, improv and panels hosted by music promoter and publicist Richard Flohill.

For the full lineup, day and weekend tickets, and to save 20% off admission prices with a festival pass, visit and start planning your weekend now.

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