Sunday, July 19, 2009

TWITCH: MODERN MAYHEM MOMENT: Calgary Folk Music Festival Preview

MODERN MAYHEM MOMENT: Calgary Folk Music Festival Preview

By Joelle May


Ah summer.  The smells of flora and fauna, sunshiny days and warm nights, mosquito bites and sunburns, and not only that, but the most important part; its festival season!!  The line-ups for this years western Canadian music festivals are staggeringly good, and truly exemplify the fact that western Canada has mounds of talent hidden in those Rocky mountains and prairie towns.


One of the top festivals in Canada, and likely Calgary’s favorite individual festival, the Calgary Folk Music Festival celebrates 30 years of beautiful music in 2009, and this year’s line-up has as much spunk and diversity as years past, if not more!  Prince’s Island Park sets the stage for such critically acclaimed headliners as Iron and Wine, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Sarah Harmer, Mavis Staples, Loreena McKennitt, The Decemberists and Justin Rutledge, among others.  I spoke to Mark Berube, of Mark Berube and the Patriotic Few, about his upcoming Calgary Folk Music Festival appearance, and here is what he had to say:


JM: What is it you look forward to experiencing most at the CFMF?

MB: A totally different side of Calgary that I haven't seen yet.  Yeah, yeah, yeah it has this reputation of money, and oil, and the Red Mile...etc. I'm hoping to see the heart of Calgary.


JM: Have you attended the CFMF before?   Favorite past experience with CFMF?  Stories you've heard about CFMF?

MB: It will actually be our first time. I'm really excited about it. Kerry and her crew are great people and the festivals in the past have had some pretty fantastic lineups.


JM: What musicians are you looking forward to seeing at CFMF?

MB: Deep Dark Woods, Bell Orchestre, Jolie Holland, Iron and Wine to name a few…


JM: After touring "What the Boat Gave The River" for the last year, whats next on the Mark Berube and the Patriotic Few calendar?

MB: We'll be touring across Canada again this fall, then heading to France and Switzerland in November/December to open a few dates for Emily Loizeau, then touring on our own.  We'll most likely be in the studio for the next album in January 2010.


JM: If you could be anyone else (other than a performer) at CFMF, what role would you choose?

MB: The person who does sign language and translates for the hearing impaired as the artists sing...if you guys have those folks!!


Check out more on Mark Berube and the Patriotic Few (heavily endorsed by yours truly – they are fantastic) at


Although this reporter cannot confirm the employment of translators at CFMF (maybe a good idea for 2010?) the Calgary Folk Music Festival does have an environmental perspective to operate from.  Plate washer is a darn important position as far as volunteering goes, and every plate gets returned without fail as the vendor collects a $2 levy on each plate which is refunded when the plate is turned in to the washers.  Utensils and cups from the beer gardens are made from corn products and are subsequently biodegradable, and there as many recycling bins as there are trash bins throughout the site.  The festival promotes biking or using public transit to get there, as it resides only 5 blocks away from the C-train.  If you plan on attending the CFMF this year, make sure you hike in your tarp, beach-style chairs, snacks and a bit of cash to experience the amazing food vendors and artisan/craft market.  Don’t bring booze!  There’s plenty of it available at the beer gardens, and you’ll just get the stink eye from the volunteers if you get caught sneaking it in.  Most of all though, remember the festival is for everyone’s enjoyment, so have fun and don’t be a butthead.  Nobody likes a butthead.  Enjoy the music and discover your own new favorite artist this year at the Calgary Folk Music Festival!

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