Calgary Folk Fest has bigger, better beer gardens this year among other new features

Posted by David Bell on 20 July 2016

New skateboard ramp added, but no 'plate kids' this year due to compostable plates

Festival Crowd

Tens of thousands of music fans are expected over the 3-day Calgary Folk Fest which starts Thursday. (Sebastian Hanlon)

The 2016 Calgary Folk Fest beer garden is better and closer to the on-stage action, the festival's executive director tells CBC News.

"Everyone is excited about the beer garden change, because we've increased the capacity and we've also expanded it to encompass Stage 3," Debbi Salmonsen said.

"So, particularly during Saturday and Sunday, people will be able to listen to some music live during the daytime, and then we also are putting a big screen with the feed from the main stage live for those who might want to take a break from standing and dancing, or sitting on their tarps, and go have a beverage." 

Salmonsen said the beer garden is larger this year and it's open to all ages.

calgary folk fest map

The Calgary Folk Fest Big Rock Beer Garden is bigger for 2016 and closer to the on-stage action. (Supplied)

Our beer garden also is family friendly. So, people can come in and enjoy a bit of music, have a picnic on the grass, listen to some tunes and have a drink if they want."

She said on average about 10,000 people, including volunteers and artists come through the gate each day.

Debbi Salmonsen

Debbi Salmonsen says some music fans are in for a treat this year as the beer gardens are bigger and closer to the action at the Calgary Folk Fest. (Allison Dempster/CBC)

As the festival will be using compostable plates this year, "plate kids" are no longer necessary. In past years festival goers would pay a $2 deposit and some children would offer to collect the plates, keeping the deposit as a sort of tip.

Also new this year, there will be a skateboard ramp near the family zone.