Your Guide to the 40th Annual Calgary Folk Music Festival

The annual Calgary Folk Music Festival is back in Calgary for another year, and better than ever! Get ready for four days packed full of world class musicians taking the stage to show you what they’ve got. This year, you will see over seventy different artists over eight stages in our very own downtown Calgary.

Folk Fest has been running since 1980 at Prince’s Island Park. It is one of Canada’s flagship festivals with local, national and international talent alike. After thirty-nine successful years, Folk Fest is ready to throw a festival like you’ve never seen before. Last year alone, the festival saw 53,000 people attend, eager to see musical favourites, budding locals and international legends.

Attend the festival on the weekend and expect to see six daytime shows per day and two evening stage concerts. If at any point you need a break from the sun, there will be Tent Talks where comedians and spoken word artists will be performing or shaded beer gardens where you can quench your thirst. Don’t forget to explore the artisan market and indulge in the global culinary delights available. Folk Fest isn’t just about the music, but about how artists come together to create fun collaborations, share stories and bend genres in ways you will only see at this festival.

And of course, what would the festival be without the artists? Here is a sneak peek into the bands and solo acts who will be taking the ATB Main Stage this Thursday night:

  • Tal National, a band from Niger, blends highlife, afrobeat, touareg blues and North African hip hop to create their sound.
  • Tune Yards will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of their album Bird-Brains. This album was originally released on cassette tape and put them on the map.
  • New York’s Sharon Van Etten’s“breathy and darkly operatic voice melts around your eardrums, and her wilful self-consciousness and well-placed humour add levity to the often-dark songs that span her dense and rewarding catalogue” (Calgary Folk Fest, 2019).
  • Belle & Sebastian from Scotland have continuously evolved, releasing new music and, against the odds, stayed young.

Some other big acts that you’ll want to catch at this year’s Folk Fest are:

  • Yissy Garcia & Bandancha
  • Ndidi O
  • Rheostatics
  • Sheila E
  • Half Moon Run
  • Ranky Tanky
  • The Garifuna Collective
  • Asleep at the Wheel
  • Lucius
  • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
  • Della Mae
  • Valerie June
  • Colter Wall
  • The Strumbella

For a full list of musical acts, visit the Calgary Folk Music Festival website.

With another seven stages to choose from, you can’t go wrong with spending the weekend on Prince’s Island Park at the Calgary Folk Festival this year. The music, food and welcoming atmosphere makes this a can’t-miss event of the season. Grab your blanket, lawn chair, sunglasses and hit the road for a weekend of fun in the sun.

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