Festival season superlatives

I attended a lot of festivals this summer, and as I mentioned in a previous post, I’m now an expert attendee. Both Calgary and Canada offer some pretty amazing experiences, anywhere from underground alt-rock to electronic to mainstream pop. Each festival, in my mind, had uniquely differential qualities that make them amazing. This is when I got a bright (or maybe not so bright) idea to award all the festivals I’ve been to thus far superlatives, much like you see in high school yearbooks. Imagine each festival as a senior graduating from high school, and you will understand this article. For your reading pleasure, here are some “most likely to’s” for my summer music experience.

X-Fest – Most likely to date someone way younger than them

A sea of Twenty One Pilots fans. Photo by Kennedy Enns. 

A sea of Twenty One Pilots fans. Photo by Kennedy Enns. 

The crowd at X-Fest was young, to say the least. This is probably in part due to the headliners on the second day, Halsey and Twenty One Pilots. Regardless, everybody was so young. This might be a strategic move by X-Fest to try and fill up the crowd following their disappointing cancellation last year, because the amount of ski masks and red hats of TOP fans were probably 5:1 in the crowd on Sunday. If X-Fest were a man, he’d be the kind of man you look at uncomfortably and ask, “is that his daughter or his girlfriend?”

Osheaga – Most likely to overdose on drugs

Osheaga was a blast. It’s the kind of place you travel to, unlike some of the festivals in Calgary, whose attendees are made up of mostly locals. This brings a kind of freedom to the festival, an anything goes sort of attitude. To be more specific, people doing drugs openly, everywhere. I’m not talking about smoking a joint, because that can be expected at any festival. I saw a group of people take out a sheet of paper and literally snort lines of coke straight up in the middle of the grounds. If Osheaga was a person, it would definitely OD.

The dreaded bag. 

The dreaded bag. 

Calgary Folk Music Festival – Most likely to become a vegan

I’m sorry, I had to make the joke. CFMF was actually very fun, despite the vegan cuisine. The amount of white people dreads I saw were astronomical. All jokes aside, CFMF was great. The acts get better and better every year. However, if I see one more of those inflatable lounger bags that seemed to infect the grounds, I’m going to throw a tantrum.

Sled Island – Most likely to be famous

Sled Island was a blast, an amazing experience that I wish I could have more than once a year. Of all the festivals I attended, Sled Island is definitely on the top of my list. Sled had a pretty diverse lineup this year, and even had the one and only Peaches as their guest curator. I can see big things in Sled Island’s future and I can’t wait for next year’s lineup, which they’re already working on.

Circle the Wagons – Most likely to join the circus

The concept for this festival was super strange. First of all, it was run by YYC Food Trucks, which is quirky in itself. But besides that, the theme of the festival was a carnival, and it was in the middle of the university district (which at this time is a big empty field). It also had a pretty strange lineup, including electronic music, indie-pop, and a random DJ stage. The amount of people walking around in circus attire, accessorizing with ribbons and hula-hoops was very high. It made for a strange experience that I haven’t really come to a verdict on yet. But they did have a weiner dog race, which definitely gives this festival a few points.

Overall, there is really nothing like getting to attend a ton of festivals and see acts you love and ones you’ve just started to love. Despite my criticisms and jokes, all these music festivals were great simply because they bring some great music together and people get to experience things they love, whether that’s a carnival themed-festival, some drugs in a field, or finally seeing the headliner you have waited all summer for. I can’t wait to see what they all bring next year.