Music festival madness
Our cool, summer music experiences
Kennedy Enns, Arts Editor
Amber McLinden, Contributor
Robyn Welsh, Features Editor
Summers in Calgary have become defined by our different music festivals. From Sled island to Folk Fest, X fest to this weekend’s One Love, there is a music festival every month for every genre. No matter what kind of music you’re interested in be it electronic, country, pop or alternative there’s a festival for you. It doesn’t stop there either, we’re just a few hours drive or a quick plane ride away from many more. Here the Reflector hopes to give you a taste of what you might have missed and what to look forward to next summer. Showcasing some of Mount Royal student’s music festival favourites, firsts and stories about everyone’s favourite summer showcases.
I went out of province to Osheaga because, there isn’t a lot of festivals that are in Alberta that appealed to me. Osheaga is one of the biggest music festivals in Canada, and it was worth the trip. I’m a student so I did it on a student budget; my flight was discounted, I stayed with a family friend, and I took transit everywhere. I had quite a few friends who also went to Montreal for the festival, which definitely made me want to go more. Of course, the music was a factor. I’m a big hip-hop fan, so seeing people like Future, Skepta and Logic was amazing, and their shows were all a great experience. I decided to go mainly for the experience of going to a festival that wasn’t local, and it was absolutely worth it.
Most of a student’s life is trying to do things for cheap, and that’s exactly what I had in mind for Sled Island this year. I volunteered to be able to go to the festival, but in the process I actually met some pretty cool people and had a different festival than those that paid for passes. I got to meet employees at Sled, meet lots of like-minded volunteers, and even artists. I did pass pickup simply because I thought it would be the easiest way to get a pass, but after it was over I know I would definitely want to pick something a little more involved, like working at venues. If you’re a student who doesn’t have 200 dollars to drop, or if you just want to get more involved in the local music scene, I definitely recommend volunteering.
I went to X-Fest this year with very low expectations – there were a few artists that I wanted to see, but none that I was extremely excited about, or that I hadn’t seen before. Though the festival seemed to be almost half the size of previous years that I’ve gone, I was pleasantly surprised. The fewer number of people made for shorter food truck and port-a-potty lines and less pushing to get where you wanted to go. And many of the artists did not disappoint. The Naked and Famous, The Arkells and The Lumineers all put on amazing performances. Halsey did as well but the bass was so overpowering that you could hardly hear yourself think! The highlight was definitely Twenty One Pilots. If you ever get the chance to see them perform live, take it because they are definitely worth the hype. From drummer Josh Dun crowd surfing with his drum kit, to Tyler Joseph running on top of the crowd in a giant inflatable ball, their energy never faltered. Overall, X-Fest this year was definitely not the best festival I’ve been to, but it was a lot of fun. If there are artists that you are excited to see, it is worth it to go. Besides, if you’re not enjoying the music as much as you thought you would, you can always head over to the beer gardens and get drunk- the music will sound a whole lot better and you’ll have more of an excuse to dance like an idiot.