Calgary Folk Fest wraps up
Despite flood, 68 shows took place across 6 stages
After four days of music, and perhaps a little less sunshine than some had hoped for, the Calgary Folk Music Festival came to an end Sunday.
More than 15,000 people packed Prince's Island Park each day to sit and listen to artists from around the world. Thanks to the help of hundreds of volunteers, the park went from flood-ravaged to fun-ready in time for the 68 scheduled shows.
"Four or five days after the flood, parks asked us to come see it," said Les Siemienuk, the manager of Folk Fest. "I was skeptical we could be here."
Despite the setbacks, volunteers came out in droves after last month's flooding to help clean up depris and get the park ready for festival-goers.
Even with the clean-up efforts, the north side of the island was still closed to the public.
The area normally hosts the artisan market, which had to be moved indoors to Eau Claire Market.
Some vendors said the move took a big bite out of their bottom lines.
"We're seeing probably about 10 per cent of the traffic that we would normally see at the Folk Fest," said Julie Morrison. "It's a little disappointing."
While business might not be the same as last year, many Calgarians would say the fact that the Folk Fest happened at all is cause for celebration — and there was plenty of that this year.
"With some re-jigging, it worked out better than we expected," Siemienuk said.