Tarpies rejoice as Calgary Folk Music Fest forges on

Posted by Katie Turner on 25 July 2013

With a lineup of hundreds snaking through Prince’s Island Park hours before the gates to Calgary Folk Music Festival opened, it may be difficult to tell the festival’s location was underwater just over a month ago.

The annual running, or fast-paced walk, of the tarpies (those that stake claim in front of the main stage with a tarp or blanket), was in full force with some lining up early in the morning to be there for the 4:30 p.m. gate opening.

When asked what time she arrived to snag a spot near the front of the line, Marlene Augsten said “early,” adding she doesn’t reveal her secrets to getting a good position.

“The city has come together to make the festival happen so we definitely wanted to support it,” she said. “It’s going to be one of those history making years.”

Volunteer Candice Giammarino said while a few things are different on the island, including a stage being moved to Eau Claire, and wood chips blanketing some areas of the island to soak up moisture, she was hopeful the spirit would be the same.

1,700

Calgary Folk Music Festival has 1,700 volunteers that commit anywhere between 16 to 40 hours to make the festival happen.

“I’m excited,” she said. “It will be interesting to see how things play out with the changes but it’s always a great time.”

Mike Hanrahan and friend Rob Sheedy have been coming to folk fest for 15 years and were confident festival organizers and city staff would make it happen once again this year.

“We wait all year for it so I’m pretty happy,” said Sheedy. “I knew they’d do it”