I’ve been to many festivals over the years, but none quite like Folk on the Rocks.
Although the festival is behind some of its’ Canadian cousins in terms of star power, it was easy to tell that it wasn’t lacking in talent.
The weekend opened with an all ages Warm the Rocks event at Somba K’e park on Friday, featuring a few of the artists who would be playing the next two days at the festival. That night the Lawson Lundell Beer Gardens of Folk on the Rocks also opened a 19+ Warm the Rocks event.
Friday showcased some of the local artists including The Bushman NT. He came into the CKLB studios in the weeks leading up to Folk, and we were very excited to see him bring his otherworldly, dynamic music to the stage.
Two ladies from Vancouver brought some hard, uncut Rock and Roll to the stage to really get the people warmed up. The Pack A.D have been around for about a decade and can definitely please any fan of garage or punk rock.
Saturday night brought a whole new wave of artists, with no shortage of variety.
Chances are, before this weekend, festival goers had never seen a someone work a sitar into a rock band. Rishi Dhir is the lead singer of the psychedelic rock band Elephant Stone who played the main stage Saturday and the Beer Gardens on Sunday. He told me Elephant Stone was originally supposed to be a solo sitar project, an instrument he’s played for over 20 years, but transformed into this psychedelic pop-rock group that features the traditional Indian instrument. Glad he made that transformation, because it gave us something really, really cool to listen to this weekend.
The Dead South came from Saskatchewan to bring some nice bluegrass tunes, perfect for the hot, sunny Saturday whether you wanted to get up and dance or just sit back and listen.
The likes of Northcote, The Trade Offs, Moe Clark, Nick Jackson and many more made Saturday a lively, upbeat affair. And you couldn’t ask for a better day to enjoy the shows.
Iqualuit’s The Trade Offs
Jason Collett has played extensively with Toronto super group Broken Social Scene, and brought music from his four albums up North with him to treat the Yellowknife crowd.
Hip-hop got a little bit of love from the Folk Festival as well, as rapper/broadcaster/fun times provider Shad took over the main stage as Saturday’s headliner.
And finally ending things on the Saturday night, the Operators kept everyone dancing in the Beer Gardens.
Sunday was quite a bit chillier of a day, the clouds loomed above ominously but after hours of dancing away the cold blues, the sun peeked its’ way out.
One of the biggest takeaways from Sunday afternoon was that Toronto’s Justin Nozuka can sing!
We were excited to hear Megan Nash & The Bears of Hazenmore after interviewing her last week!
The NWT’s own Digawolf played two awesome sets this weekend!
Finally, to close the weekend came the big fish. I was RIDICULOUSLY excited when I saw City And Colour’s name on the Folk lineup. St. Catharine’s Dallas Green used to sing for post-hardcore band Alexisonfire, but has changed his tune over the last decade or so lending his sweet voice and smooth guitar playing to softer, indie-rock. Dallas has collaborated with artists like Shad, Pink! and Gord Downie, and finished off the Folk on the Rocks weekend with his Gord Downie collab: Sleeping Sickness.
Below is my personal favourite by City and Colour: Hello I’m In Delaware.
A great weekend of music, food, beer, games, art and most of all, fun at the 37th Annual Folk on the Rocks Festival.