Annual downtown festival kicks off Calgary’s musical summer
The craziness that is the 10 days of Stampede is now over, with all of the deep-fried goodness consumed to the max and bank accounts completely drained. While the city is recovering from the constant daze of plaid and alcohol, we at the Calgary Journal would like to remember the five days of musical and artistic glory that overcame the city just a few days before the smell of sweat and manure – Sled Island.
The eclectic music festival, which took place from June 24 to June 28, saw music lovers and stylish Calgarians alike take to the streets in pursuit of artistic adventures, and has only multiplied in popularity since its introduction in 2007. It is held right here in Calgary in various venues all throughout the city, spanning from bars to churches to music venues to restaurants, with bike racks set up along the streets just for the occasion.
Bands from across Canada and the world join local musicians for the few days spanning across multiple music genres. Critically acclaimed national and international headliners like rapper and activist Mykki Blanco, electronic group Major Lazer, hip hop trio formed in the 80’s De La Soul, electronic young, local talent Beach Season, to the 80’s indie trio of Yo La Tengo, and this year’s curators of the festival, the much anticipated orchestral post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor from Montréal.
But not only does Sled Island focus on music; there is also a strong presence of art, comedy, film and performance art including WRECK CITY presents DEMO TAPE, the hilarious Bridget Everett who has appeared on Inside Amy Schumer and so many more.
Sled Island is a perfect kick-start to the Festival season in Calgary. The vibe and energy is contagious – between fans, performers and organizers a like, and is still fresh in our minds because of all the amazing moments that it brought.
Here are some of our favourite memories from the world-ranging musical talents that were brought right to the doorstep of our great city.