For the past four days, Calgary has been inundated with the best folk and country music that this entire world has to offer. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this festival shows the best that Calgary has to offer. If every Canadian could see it, I’d day a relatively happy man, which is saying something.

I thought I would celebrate this year’s Folk Music Festival with a special award-themed blog post.  The results have not been tabulated by a jury, nor are they fair in any way.  Rather, they are just my way of summing up what was four amazing days of music, nature and fantastic people.

Best Beer: Rock Creek Dry Cider.
If I ever end up on Intervention, it will be because of this cider that kept me refreshed on the hot Folk Festy days.

Best Food:  BBQ Chicken from Calgary Slow Foods.
People kept stopping and staring, watching me eat the BBQ chicken. Lord knows they weren’t looking at me.  And no, I didn’t share a single piece.

Best “Why isn’t my mom here?” moment: Blue Rodeo
Is there a Canadian band that is more cross-generational and beloved more than Blue Rodeo?  Mom, can you please come to Folk Fest next year?  BR won’t be there, but seeing them made me miss you too much! (Plus, I know you have a secret crush on the ol’ J.Cud.)

Best Trend: Making friends.
No where has it ever been easier for me to make friends and hang out with them for the rest of the day than at Calgary’s Folk Music Festival. Everyone is so friendly and looking to have a good time.  Oh Folk Fest, where were you in High school?

Most annoying trend:  Child plate collectors.
When you order food at the fest, you get a nice place that can be redeemed for $2 if you bring it back.  Well, if you want that two dollars back, you better hold on to it tight because there are a handful of kids that go around and collect your plate “for you”, thus snatching up your two bucks in the process.  Some might call them entrepreneurs, but I’d much rather see that money go to their schools or a charity then into their Gap Kids-sized pockets.

Best schwag:  Trees!
On the way out of the gates, guests were given trees that were donated by Cenovas Energy.  I quickly planted it in my yard, already proving itself more useful than iphone screen cleaners and rusty buttons.

Best musical discovery: TIE.  New Country Rehab and Coeur de Pirate
With more than  68 artists playing the festival, you’re sure to find new bands that you can’t believe you don’t already have on your iTunes playlist, and New Country Rehab and Coeur de Pirate are my favourite discoveries of this year.  NCR is an amazing band from Toronto that not only remind me of Mumford and Sons, they rival them.  Old school country fans will love them and their Hank Williams inspired tunes.


Coeur de Pirate
is a fantastic solo act from the wonderful city of Montreal.  Her voice is pure perfection and throughout her many appearances at the festival, developed a following that followed her from stage to stage, culminating in a outstanding performance on the Main Stage on Sunday night.

Buy either of their albums, it’s the easiest money you’ll spend this year.

Worst use of tarp:  These guys.
With only thirty minutes left of the entire festival, this tarp, which was only a few rows from the front, remained lonely and empty the entire day.

Best people in the world: Volunteers.
The entire festival is run by more than 1200 volunteers and while I wish I could and be amazing like them, I’m way to busy doing and loving all of the above.

Best “Yeah, she’s that good.”: k.d. Lang.
For not only living up to the hype, but taking it to a new level.  Yeah, she’s that good.

Mike Morrison


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