Interstellar Rodeo launches in Hawrelak

New music festival hopes to draw people in with Americana and rock music, food pairings
A new music festival that took off Friday night in Hawrelak Park is aiming to find a spot within Edmonton’s crowded summer festival schedule. 1:51

A new music festival that debuted Friday night is aiming to find a spot within Edmonton’s crowded summer festival schedule.

Helen Britton, one of the festival organizers, says they worked with the Calgary Folk Festival to bring bigger international acts to the province. (CBC News)

Interstellar Rodeo, the three-day music festival in Hawrelak Park this weekend, will feature performances from Canadian and international artists like Blue Rodeo, Hawksley Workman and Randy Newman.

"It is more kind of Americana-based, loosely, but we do have a couple of rock bands and Cadence Weapon, which don’t really fit that mold," said festival organizer Helen Britton.

"We just wanted to do something in that direction, but with a bit of a twist."

Edmonton-based rock musician Michael Rault played the opening act of the festival Friday night. He says he’s excited to see more festivals which showcase local artists.

"There’s a thriving music scene here in Edmonton. There are a lot of people around here doing very cool stuff," he said.

Britton says with a packed summer schedule, it is sometimes difficult to gain attention compared to more established festivals.

Michael Rault, an Edmonton-based rock artist, played the opening act of the new festival. (CBC News)

She says they hope to set the event apart from other festivals by marketing it as a place where food and music come together.

Organizers have paired each of the 16 acts with a different wine that complements their style.

"We’ve sold a lot of tickets already … we do find that Edmonton is always an enthusiastic  music market," she said.

Britton says organizers have teamed up with the Calgary Folk Music Fest, which is happening the same weekend, to bring in some of the larger international acts.

"If we can both book an artist and bring them in from the US and give them a great weekend in Alberta where they can play for lots of fans, it’s easier to bring them in."