Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Something Folky

We survived the Folk Fest and are back to tell another tale! This festival is a different kind of festival, people get comfortable on lawn chairs and prop up for the day. At other festivals, people who want to stand and dance get prime location in front of the stage, however, here the lawn chairs reign supreme with dancers at the sides. It creates a very laid back approach to the festival compared to others where the main focus is on partying. This makes the Folk Festival stand out amongst the many summer festivals as it provides that little something different.
Another stand out part of the festival are the workshops/sessions. As well as having the artists do a regular performance, the festival also puts on workshops where a group of artists all perform together and take part in each others songs. This gives you the opportunity to not only get to see your favourite artist more than once but to have a much more personal experience in a context you will probably never get to see them in again.
Here are some of my highlights!
Dan Mangan: Obviously a biased review as he is my absolute favourite (other than Said the Whale of course!) but this show was brilliant! It was a little disappointing that he played a very similar if not exact same set as he did at his recent show in Banff, but he is still a magnificent human being. He is an excellent live performer so if you ever get the chance to see him do it, he is currently on tour! Here is my favourite Dan Mangan pose, the Banana.
Tinder Dry Workshop: This workshop showcased Dan Mangan, Whitehorse, Sam Baker and Tom Wilson from Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Not only did it give me another hour and a half of Dan Mangan but it was really interesting to watch. Luke Doucet from Whitehorse may just be the best guitarist I have ever witnessed in real life, improvising solos after hearing 10 seconds of the song and just being plain awesome.  All the artists worked so well together, it was by far the best workshop I saw of the day, I am glad I got to witness the magic.
Rural Alberta Advantage: This was the last performance we saw and it was a great way to end the festival for us. The Rural Alberta Advantage got the whole crowd to their feet and gave their performance a lot of personality and energy. Considering my tiny stature, I couldn't see very much but I still had a good time. AN honourable mention goes out to Crazy Dancer Man, giving it his all and stamping his feet, and to Guy in Tree, who climbed a tree outside the venue so he could see the band and was dancing on a branch. I am looking forward to seeing RAA again when they tour this fall.

Overall, I had a great time at the festival. It shows there is more to Calgary than just a corporate oil city and allows you to get away from all the concrete and skyscrapers and see a different side to the city. I am very much looking forward to next summer and all the festival will have to offer!

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