Watching fans in T-shirts surfing the pit at the Royal Canadian Legion; scoping the black leather-clad performer in front of the church’s pipe organ; being close enough to the guy singing at a legendary hot dog hole in the wall to pass him the ketchup, and losing yourself and maybe your little brother at an all-ages block party . . . Calgary’s Sled Island is all that, and, well, more.
The five-day festival at the end of June sees several thousand happy fans strap on their colourful wrist bands and take in 250 gigs, art installations, film-screenings and comedy acts at 30 different venues in central Calgary.
This year’s musical lineup included Spiritualized, Bob Mould, Rhye, Killer Mike, Chelsea Wolfe, Rocket from the Crypt, St. Vincent and Touché Amore, playing at rock venues such as the Ship and Anchor, Broken City and Tubby Dog, which are mainstays of the Calgary music scene.