Our Top Picks for This Year’s Calgary Folk Fest

Prince’s Island Park is going to be the most fun and relaxed place to be in all of Calgary starting July 24th. Chad VanGaalen, Rufus Wainwright and The Deep Dark Woods are just a few of the names that will be gracing the stages during Folk Fest 2014, and over the course of four days you’ll have the chance to hear old classics from veteran soul men like Lee Fields and new tunes from artists like Kenna Burima who are just breaking into their solo careers.

To help get you into the groove of Folk Fest 2014, here’s a few of our top picks for this year:   

Great Lake Swimmers
This is exactly the type of show that you’d expect to see at Folk Festival and these guys wont’ disappoint. Songs like Your Rocky Spine off their album ONGIARA have this weirdly magical influence that can instantly remove any stress from your surrounding environment. The Great Lake Swimmers are one of the best folk bands to come out of Canada and have been entertaining audiences with beautiful lyrics and melodies for close to a decade. Think cabin fire music. You’ll love it. 

Basia Bulat
When you think female folk singer, you might think of old Jonnie Mitchell tunes or the heart-shattering songs of Neko Case… but have you ever heard Basia Bulat? This little gal is quickly making a name for herself and is known to wow crowds with her scintillating voice and autoharp. Fun fact: she’s also made an appearance on Hockey Night in Canada during which she sang the national anthem. It doesn’t get much more Canadian than that.

Yamantanka // Sonic Titan
These guys are straight up quirky. Taking pride in their Asian heritage, they’ve cleverly labeled themselves as Noh-wave (instead of New Wave) and they promise a performance like no other. To sum up Yamantanka in as few words as possible, this is prog rock meets an acid trip. If a Chinese dragon appears on stage at some point during the show and you start to wonder if you’ve been drugged, just relax because you’re actually seeing a Chinese dragon. 

Beyond having your line-up picked out, our top festival tips include staying hydrated during the day time, enjoying a little getaway from the crowds at the River Cafe and, if you’re planning to head to the beer garden to enjoy a few jugs of sangria, which you’ll definitely want to do before the big evening performances, be prepared to head to the festival a little early as there’s always a long line.   


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Top photo: Yamantanka // Sonic Titan