I mean, I always knew that Edmonton had a folk festival, but I assumed that it was on par or below Calgary's. Besides all of the big concerts going to Edmonton...I didn't really think the city had much else going for it. (And that is me being nice...I'm a 7th generation Calgarian, it's basically in my blood to hate our rivals from the north.)
But their Folk Festival - MY GAWD. How have I never experienced this greatness before? OR even heard about how amazing this festival is? RUDE EDMONTON. Hiding all your gems from the Calgarians - so greedy.
It was a stroke of luck that the Calgary Folk Fest had a less than stellar line up this year and Edmonton was bringing in some acts that I had been wanting to see for years (literally - Foy Vance, I have been waiting to see you since 2005). With my Folk quota not filled by Calgary, I headed north.
While Calgary's beer gardens are the cream of the beer garden crop - Edmonton won in pretty much every other area (except travel time, of course). Line up, set up, view, performances...and the kettle corn. Good LORD, the kettle corn! The kettle corn was great. It's not one of my top five moments because I don't want people to think I'm obese...but I do have a list.
Here are my top 5 moments from the Edmonton Folk Festival:
Basia BulatI saw part of her performance when she played the Calgary Folk Festival a couple of weeks earlier, but there is so much more a performer can do when she has the undivided attention of 20,000 or so people...and back up singers like Ruth Moody, Dan Mangan and Jesse Zubot. Gold.
The HillThe festival is in the valley of a park that turns into a ski hill in the winter. Which means...there is not a bad seat in the house. Mind you I did almost slide halfway down the hill because of the incline, but at least I had a good view of the stage!
Old People JumpingNothing beats old people jumping...except maybe old people jumping because Michael Franti's music moves them to.
CandlesThe festival sells candles in little plastic cups that people light once it gets dark out. You know what I call that? Giving back to the performers. How great would that be to look out on a sea of fire while performing? I lit a candle and tried to take 10,000 selfies with it. Each failed. Every. Single. One.
Hudson ParkerFor the love of the Irish! The duo from Ireland stole the show for me on Saturday night. They looked like they just stepped off the set of a high school production of Grease...the one was Kinicky and the
other was Danny. So good. Plus, their music was solid. A+
My biggest regret of the summer is not going for the whole Festival and only catching the weekend shows. I missed Ben Howard and Lucius. This is a tragedy I will not speak of again. It happened, and there is nothing I can do about it now.