Back for its 44th year, the Calgary Folk Music Festival is returning to Prince’s Island Park with some of the top names in folk, indie, pop, country, and jazz to name a few.
From July 27 through 30, 70 artists from Alberta and the world will be performing at the festival.
“Emmylou Harris, Jeff Tweedy, Bahamas, Matt Mays, Calexico, Andrew Bird – so many really cool artists from different generations in different styles of music,” said Kerry Clarke, artistic director for the Calgary Folk Music Festival.
“There’s lots to uncover because, you know, depending on what kind of music you follow and where you listen to music, you may have heard a lot of the artists.”
For fans of country music, the mainstage will feature a pair of legends with 14-time Grammy Award-winning and Grand Ole Opry member Emmylou Harris, and country music hall of fame inductee Tanya Tucker.
Also taking to the mainstage this year were last year’s fan favourites The Wood Brothers, the alt-rock meets old-time sounds of Amythyst Kiah, Jeff Tweedy with his evocative songwriting, and intimate storytelling through Julia Jacklin and Ondara.
The festival will be capped on Sunday night by Canadian singer-songwriter and sardonic hit maker Bahamas.
“He’s got a full band with him, and Jeff Tweedy is solo. We have the finale that goes on right after and so that’s quite participatory, and Bahamas is just a lot more kind of primed for that,” said Clarke.
The 2023 Folk Fest will also have a large number of artists from across Alberta performing.
From Calgary’s own hip-hop humanitarian Tea Fannie, to Edmonton’s AV & the Inner City, there will be performers for lovers of ballads and storytelling, indie rock, roots and country, and more.
Big Alberta lineup for 2023, and much more
The Alberta lineup will be rounded out by Carter Felker, Colleen Brown and Major Love, Cynthia Hamar, Florida BC, Ghostkeeper, Kyle McKearney, Lucky Sonne, The Lovebullies, Ryland Moranz, and Sammy Volkov.
Clarke said that the Alberta artists are always primed to play Folk Fest.
“They all love to participate. We’re proud of paying them really decently, and the idea of the collaborations is we’re looking for people that are really ready to be on a stage with artists that have really long careers,” Clarke said.
“We’re also looking for the diversity there.”
Returning again for 2023 is the popular artisan market, along with family-friendly activities for the younger folk fest visitors CAOS in the Park and Rattle and Strum with The Kinkonauts in the family zone.
Clarke said that last year’s experiment with opening the entire venue to attendees having a beer or a cocktail outside of the beer tent was a great success and that policy would be back for 2023.
“It went really, really well. Better than we had ever thought,” Clarke said.
“We have the Big Rock beer garden, and you can wander the site or stay within that area if you want, but you’re not caged in.”
Early bird sales for weekend passes and single tickets start at noon on April 20, at calgaryfolkfest.com/tickets.
“We’ve done really well with all of our pre-sales. There’s been a lot of excitement, and we encourage people to buy early and plan, because nothing else you want to be doing on the last weekend of July but coming down to Prince’s Island Park.”
Full 2023 Calgary Folk Music Festival Lineup
Bold denotes mainstage performance artists
- Abigail Lapell
- Adam Baldwin
- Amythyst Kiah (Friday mainstage)
- Andrew Bird (Friday mainstage)
- Art Bergmann
- AV & the Inner City (From Alberta)
- Aysanabee (Thursday mainstage)
- Bahamas (Sunday mainstage)
- Beats Antique
- Boy Golden
- Carter Felker (From Alberta)
- Calexico (Friday mainstage)
- Colleen Brown and Major Love (From Alberta)
- Courtney Marie Andrews
- Cynthia Hamar (From Alberta)
- Del Barber
- Digable Planets (Thursday mainstage)
- The Dip (Friday mainstage)
- Dominique Fils-Aimé (Sunday mainstage)
- dumama + kechou
- Emmylou Harris (Thursday mainstage)
- Fantastic Negrito (Saturday mainstage)
- Florida BC (From Alberta)
- The Garrys
- Ghostkeeper (From Alberta)
- Hurray for the Riff Raff
- Ibeyi (Thursday mainstage)
- Inn Echo
- Jeff Tweedy (Sunday mainstage)
- Jenn Grant
- Jim Bryson
- Julia Jacklin and Ondara (Saturday mainstage)
- Josh Q and the Trade-Offs
- Kacy & Clayton
- Kalàscima feat. Andrea Ramolo
- Kassa Overall
- Kyle McKearney (From Alberta)
- The Lovebullies (From Alberta)
- Lucky Sonne (From Alberta)
- Matt Mays (Saturday mainstage)
- Nina Nastasia
- The Paper Kites
- Raùl Monsalve y Los Forajidos
- Rich Aucoin
- Ryland Moranz (From Alberta)
- The Sadies
- Sammy Volkov (From Alberta)
- Shawnee Kish
- Sierra Ferrell (Sunday mainstage)
- The Soul Motivators
- Tanya Tucker (Friday mainstage)
- Tarta Relena
- TE KAAHU
- Tea Fannie (From Alberta)
- Wendy McNeill
- The Wood Brothers (Saturday mainstage)