The Calgary Folk Festival has been returning to Prince’s Island Park since its inception in 1980. Each year the festival sees around 70 artists and 52,000 attendees flock to the event grounds for the weekend. The lineup consists of a mix of local and international acts that span across several genres focused primarily around folk, roots, country and indie.
Because it’s a genre-bending affair, Calgary Folk Fest has been able to bring an impressive amount of big names to the province. Over the years the fest has seen acts such as Neko Case, Father John Misty, Terra Lightfoot, the Avett Brothers and Tanya Tagaq.
One of the most popular features of the festival is its “workshop”-style programming, bringing together artists of different bands and genres for a live jam session. Some of the artists performing at the festival also host intensive workshops in songwriting, arranging, vocals and guitar, giving participants the chance to develop their skills over the course of three days. The festival also hosts a songwriting contest leading up to the festival, awarding cash prizes to Alberta artists across different categories.
The festival brands itself as family-friendly, featuring six daytime stages and two evening stages. It also features a “Talk Tent” with stand-up comedians and spoken word artists.