Calgary Folk Fest Etiquette 101: The dos and don'ts for newbies

Posted by on 22 July 2016

Calgary Folk Festival 2016

The Calgary Folk Fest is a great place to relax in the sun with some great tunes, but there are some unspoken rules that will keep your neighbours happy. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

The Calgary Folk Fest is now underway and thousands of people are sharing the space down at Prince's Island Park.

So here's what to keep in mind when attending the festival if you want to be a good neighbour.


Walk on the edges of the tarps when making your way back to your seat at the main stage, and don't run.

The atmosphere on the island is pretty chill, so roll with it. 


Don't linger on the green strip in the tarp city when having conversations as people are trying to enjoy the music. If people have to strain to hear the tunes while you talk about that nasty case of worms your dog has, you may have more than one problem.

Also, find some place to chill other than the food area. It's like a salmon stream, so move along.

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Talk to your neighbours when setting up your tarp or picking your spot in front of the main stage for the day. You could make some great friends, and then you have an ally if someone looks to squeeze in on your spot.

Keep your stuff confined to your tarp but don't freak out if other people's stuff spills over onto yours. Relax! It's good to share. And don't bring a massive tarp, as you might be seen as a space hog.


Yell the hits at the artists — they hate it and we don't want Calgary to have a bad rap.

Someone once said patience is a virtue. And just like a good skateboard trick, it won't happen right away.

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Be aware of your surroundings. So that means don't smoke around small children, or block those lovely people chilling on the ground behind you with your awesome dance moves.

There are places to dance, so follow the beat to the right or left standing areas of the stage.


Lean a chair against a table to save your sweet beer garden spot for more than 15 minutes. You will find another one, one day.

Also, don't cut in line at the beer tent or porta potties. That's just rude. And remember — this year the beer gardens is all ages, so watch out for the little ones.

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Use the right festival chair, which is a low-rider that doesn't block the view of those behind you.

You could also bring a blanket, picnic and a water bottle to refill at the stations located around the festival grounds.


It's awesome to ride your bike to the festival. It's environmentally-friendly, good for you and there's lots of places to lock up your wheels.

But think about other people's bikes when locking up yours and don't make it impossible for others to free their bikes.

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Get crazy when it comes to wardrobe. It's a chance for those who aren't big on cowboy boots and hats to opt for floral head wreaths, fedora hats, ponchos, scarves, shawls or Birkenstocks.

Just stay away from the headdresses, or anything that could be considered cultural appropriation.