Calgary bands go from folk musicians to folk royalty

Posted by Aaron Chatha on 31 July 2017

Garage band Forbidden Dimension was everywhere – from the main stage, to reading scary stories to kids.




Garage band Forbidden Dimension was everywhere – from the main stage, to reading scary stories to kids.

For one weekend, Calgary’s local musicians are elevated up a few tiers and treated like royalty.

The Calgary Folk Music Festival is becoming known for it’s eclectic mix of artists, and the promise that you’ll probably walk away with a new favourite song or band after the weekend is done.

On the grounds at Prince’s Island Park, artists wear special passes, which really make them stick out. Golf carts ferry them to and fro, and fans stop them for questions, pictures or just a solid wide-eyed smile.

All-around, it’s a great time of year for a performer.

“I felt like I was living my dream – so it just makes you want to dream bigger,” said Calgarian Yolanda Sargeant, who made her Folk Fest debut this year.

“It’s nice to be recognized within the city you live in, at a festival that brings in artists from around the world.”

With local ground like Forbidden Dimension, it was also a chance to workshop with other artists who play completely different styles of music – and riff off each other on stage.

“We’ve been around for 30 years and there are people from around here that still haven’t heard us or seen us,” said band member Tom Bagley, who goes by Jackson Phibes on stage. “So that was really good.”

Bagley is also pretty sure his band was responsible for a few noise complaints. Although the festival does stretch the definition of folk music a bid, Forbidden Dimension very much skews closer to a full on garage rock band.

“We were jumping around and I don’t think anyone was quite prepared. I think we were responsible for one or two noise complaints, so, mission accomplished,” he laughed.

True to Folk Fest’s eclectic style, Bagley was also elected to read scary stories to kids in the family zone before capping off the night with a cold brew.

The Calgary Folk Music Festival will return next year.