X-Fest rocks Calgary
Annual fest makes for a fun experience in the sun
Cheering, applause, laughter and a lot of singing along to favorite songs were the sounds roaring at this year’s X Fest.
The two-day music festival, that took place in Fort Calgary, was presented by the radio station X92.9 FM.
This was the first X-Fest for Seanna Jefferson, the midday host for X92.9 who was helping out with the event. She says that X-Fest has been great for discovering new music.
“Absolutely you are coming for the bands,” Jefferson said. “Obviously there are one, two, three, four, or nine bands that you really want to see. But you’re going to stick around for the ones you maybe didn’t know about. People get to check out these sweet bands they never heard of before. And the earlier bands are a lot of the time local, which helps Calgary with its music scene.”
The festival offers different rock/alternative bands on a grand scale, with 20 bands playing in total over the course of the weekend. Bands included headliners Jack White and the Arctic Monkeys, Calgary’s own The Smalls (who were reuniting for this festival) and Tegan and Sara, as well as many others.
Local band A Day as Wolves had the chance to open the Sunday festivities and play their set after being one of three winners in the Xposure contest that was put on by X92.9. Cameron Dawes, who is a guitarist in the band, says that he has enjoyed his X-Fest experience and that the festival is a good way of showcasing local Calgary music.
“It’s unreal, not just for us but for any of the local bands,” Dawes said. “It gives the hope that one day they can play a stage this big and be exposed to this many people, and get their songs out there and heard.”
A couple of bands that stood out from both days for their contagious energy on-stage were Fitz and the Tantrums and July Talk. Fitz and the Tantrums had wonderful stage presence, with every band member moving around and having a fun with it, which the audience obviously picked up on. July Talk also had a strong showing as they mixed their up-beat song selection with fantastic banter between the two vocalists, as well as a cool moment when the band called upon two members of the audience to come on stage leading to an unforgettable proposal in front of the screaming crowd. The band helped them get even closer with the use of tape and a suggestion to make-out and slow dance to one of their songs.
Foster the People and Cage the Elephant were also notable for their ability to get the whole crowd singing along to most of their songs. With many radio hits, both bands got the audience going, as they were treated with a sea of dancers and crowd surfers.
Whether it be getting a bite to eat at one of the many food trucks, getting a drink in the beer gardens, watching a quick wrestling match, socializing with other attendees, or even just relaxing under the sun, there was no shortage of things to do at the festival.
Travis Dugan, an attendee of the event, says that festivals like these give people a very unique experience.
“We are outside, as compared with something inside, so energy-wise it is going to be different,” Dugan said. “People are out in the sun. You can enjoy the weather. There are good vibes, great atmosphere and people are happy to be here.”
Between the stellar lineup of bands, beautiful weather, food trucks, beer gardens and the ability to meet and interact with a variety of people, this year’s X-Fest was a perfect way to conclude the summer.