What to Expect

Every summer in Calgary something amazing happens at Prince’s Island Park. For one weekend each year the serene park, nestled just north of the city’s bustling downtown metropolis, transforms into a vibrant community of musicians, artists, food vendors, volunteers and thousands of eager fans under the collective entity of the Calgary Folk Music Festival.

-Derek Neumeier, Where Magazine 

  1. The festival is comprised of mainstage concerts and collaborative workshops. The mainstage concerts take place in the evenings Thursday - Sunday. The workshops and other concerts take place on smaller stages throughout the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Most of the mainstage artists also participate in a workshop or two.

  2. When you arrive, check the main field for space. Become a tarpie! Seating is on the grass in front of the mainstage. Those in first get the best spots. Bring a tarp (6 X 8 max size), a blanket and short beach chairs to sit on. People use it as their home base for the day; a place for their extra clothes, coolers, etc., and a spot to hook up with friends during the mainstage shows. Feel free to bring a festival chair, but please make sure that it is no taller than 8 inches. If you can roll a basketball under it, it's probably too tall.

  3. There's a dancing and standing area near the front on either side of the mainstage so that you can get close to your favourite artists. There are large video screens to view the mainstage from further back.

  4. Programming for the 6 workshops stages changes almost every hour, so audience members go from one stage to another, setting up in front of the stage as they go. Sessions on these stages bring musicians together in unpredictable and magical collaborations.

  5. Once you have a wristband, you can come and go from the site as much as you like.

  6. There's a variety of reasonably-priced (and delicious) international food on site for sale, but you're welcome to bring your own food (we reserve the right to search coolers to ensure there’s no glass or liquor inside). 

  7. Stay for the day. Alongside the great music, there's a beer garden, a children's play area, a craft market, a record tent, and lots of beautiful sunshine to bask in.

  8. Bring a change of clothes (it's Calgary, after all). During the course of a day, temperatures can fluctuate by 10 or even 20 degrees from the hot mid-day sunshine to those mountain-chilled evening breezes.

  9. Carpool, bike or walk to the site. There’s lots of inexpensive parking around the Eau Claire district ($3 evenings and weekends at the Eau Claire Market). There are also several bus routes that lead to the festival, and secure bicycle parking on site.

  10. Come back next year; all the new friends you'll make will be there too.

Still have some unanswered questions? Read our Frequently Asked Questions