Best Festival: Calgary Folk Music Festival

Captured by  Neil Zeller

Captured by Neil Zeller

This July is the Calgary Folk Music Festival’s 40th anniversary, winning Calgary’s Best Festival for another year in a row. The festival hosts an audience of 52,000 attendees every year with approximately 70 acts spread across 11 stages. Visiting the Calgary Folk Festival, you’ll find not only folk music but also funk, roots, old-time, country, bluegrass and more.

The original Calgary Folk Music Festival hosted acts like Sylvia Tyson, Stringband and Stan Rogers. Since then, the festival has welcomed in new faces like Father John Misty, kd lang, The Decemberists, The Avett Brothers, Iron & Wine, Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Costello, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Feist, Rufus Wainwright, Ani DiFranco and more. The annual festival is put on almost exclusively by its volunteers, numbering nearly 1,800 this past year. A huge aspect of what makes the festival so grand is its inclusion of interactive workshops. In these settings, several artists can come together and jam, have song writing sessions or participate in similarly formatted performances. This year’s Calgary Folk Fest will be hosted on the last weekend of July with a line-up announcement coming April 11th. Stay up-to-date on event announcements by visiting their website here.

FIRST RUNNER UP: LILAC FESTIVAL

SECOND RUNNER UP: BEAKERHEAD