By: Shayla Lee
Edmonton Folk Fest was a weekend filled with great music, fun people, and questionable weather. The first two days were comparable to a smoky Sahara Desert and Saturday and Sunday felt like a mud bath in October. Aside from sporting garbage bags and ponchos to protect themselves from mother nature’s wicked games, nobody seemed to mind about the weather too much; the music took precedence and people had a blast in the smoke, heat, rain, and mud. I share some of my favorite moments and photos from the weekend below!
Day 1 – Thursday
There is no better feeling than returning to a festival you love when you’ve been looking forward to coming back all year. Feelings of nostalgia and happiness set in the second I crossed the gates but my mind was set on the Padmanadi food truck. I hadn’t had it in 11 months and I had tunnel vision to get my vegan ginger beef. After I was fed and happy, I walked up the hill to see the skyline. It was a hard climb and made me realize how out of shape I actually am but the view was worth the struggle. I finished my first day by watching Buffy Saint-Marie and The Decemberists.
Day 2 – Friday
Friday was another scorcher – 36 degrees and smoky. I saw Tash Sultana, one of my most anticipated acts, and the set completely blew my mind as usual. I could see Tash a thousand times and still be stunned. On Friday night we saw Neko Case and Lord Huron both were great sets!
Day 3 – Saturday
On Saturday the weather turned on us. It was cold, we wore garbage bags because we didn’t have ponchos, and it became a muddy pit. At some point you just have to accept the mud and the mess and just go with it. I’m actually surprised that my friends and I didn’t fall at any point on the rainy days. I had my third day of Padmanadi and it was also a great day for music. We caught full sets of Mt. Joy and Anderson East and we wandered around the grounds checking out other artists throughout the day.
Day 4 – Sunday
The last and final day was also the coldest and wettest – again we wore our garbage bags. My magical “festival moment” happened on Sunday when City of the Sun performed. It was pouring rain, they sounded incredible, everyone was present and grateful to be there, I was with people I love, and it was such a special moment in time. We also saw Shakey Graves (after missing his set last year due to the thunder storm), Nick Mulvey, and The Milk Carton Kids. Sunday had incredible artists and it was a great way to finish off the weekend.
The laid back nature and the great music always make Folk Fest a blast. I had a great time, as I always do, and I can’t wait to do it all again next year. Follow Folk Fest on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date and if you’re in the mood to discover new folk musicians, check out the official playlist below!