CALGARY -- It might not be happening in person but the Calgary Folk Music Festival is still putting on a show to be enjoyed from the comfort of home.

Normally upwards of 50,000 people come out to Prince’s Island Park, but the 41st edition of the event will be held entirely online this week. 

The festival is broadcasting livestreamed concerts, memorable archival footage and interviews. 

The headliners this year include Calgary’s Copperhead, Alberta’s Corb Lund and Amythyst Kiah of Our Native Daughters.  

Other performers include:

  • Angelique Francis
  • Birds of Chicago
  • Bobby Bazini
  • Mexican Institute of Sound
  • Jr. Gone Wild
  • Lakou Mizik
  • Lightning Dust
  • Lucy Davis
  • Moontricks
  • Patrick Watson
  • Sebastian Gaskin
  • Villages
  • Vox Sambou
  • William Prince 
  • Xenia Franca

CKUA and CJSW Radio will play music of current and past folk fest performers as well throughout the weekend. 

On Friday, the Palomino Smokehouse is hosting a Folk Fest DJ Session from 7:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. with limited capacity for the public. 

Despite the event’s cancellation, organizers are still trying to offer viewers a cultural experience from around the world. 

Cancelled and postponed events continue to hurt the local economy

Cindy Ady, CEO of Tourism Calgary, says the city received a $2.5 billion economic boost from its tourism industry in 2019. She adds that one-off events like the Grey Cup and the Canadian Music Awards alone brought in just over $150 million. 

"The impacts have been enormous in 2020, especially when you cancel major events like the Calgary Stampede and Folk Fest," said Ady. 

Right now, 54 of our partners that had shut their doors are back in business and obviously with severely reduced capacity — you have to spread everybody out — but they’re trying to make it safe and they’re trying to see what they can do from a creative standpoint."

Ady is encouraging Calgarians to take a "staycation" this year and do what they can to contribute to local businesses including the hotel industry that faced occupancy rates as low as three per cent in recent months. 

"Thankfully we’re seeing some uptick and over the weekend some hotels have gone up to 50 per cent occupancy with a lot of the guests being Calgarians."