Calgary Folk Festival hopes warm weather will help improve ticket sales
WATCH ABOVE: The soggy start to summer dampened spirits at this year’s Calgary Stampede. But as Gil Tucker shows us, bright skies are now bringing big smiles as people prepare for another major outdoor event in the city.
It was just a few days ago that Drew Hudyma was getting soaked setting up party tents for events during the Calgary Stampede.
“Worst Stampede ever, for sure,” he said, recalling his many muddy moments. “If you can imagine putting up giant steel poles in thunderstorms – not ideal.”
But Wednesday, Hudyma and his co-worker Joel Gusdal were smiling in the sunshine, setting up tents for the Calgary Folk Music Festival.
“This is awesome,” Gusdal said. “Finally, the weather’s turned around.”
It’s a sentiment shared by hundreds of paid crew and volunteers preparing for the event at Prince’s Island Park.
“Oh, it’s been pretty soggy for sure,” said Sol Aragones, who helped put up the lighting and audio rigging on the main stage. “(Now) I get to work on my tan at the same time. It’s nice.”
The damp start to summer may be keeping people away – the festival’s advance ticket sales are down from previous years.
Setting up her perogie stand, Rainey Eng-Fisher said there’s another challenge.
“Because of the economic situation that’s in Calgary right now,” she said “We have our fingers crossed that [people] will be able to have a little bit of extra spending money to come and enjoy the weather with their families.”
And even if another storm does roar in, Eng-Fisher’s husband Steve is fine with it.
“It’s a folk festival,” he said. “This thing’s got a long history of soldiering on, even when it’s raining.”
Preparing the tent where she’ll be selling Indian food, Nazma Adatia was optimistic.
“You can’t beat this. The sun is out, no more rain. Perfect for Folk Fest.”
The Folk Festival runs from Thursday, July 21 through Sunday, July 24 at Prince’s Island Park downtown Calgary.