I just had a riveting interview with Lindsay Shedden, the Festival Director for Sled Island. Sled Island is a 4 day music and arts festival in Calgary that kicks off the summer, where hundreds of bands and artists get together to play in venues across the city.
Canada Flocks to Sled Island
Sled Island was founded in 2007 by Zak Pashak the owner of Broken City, a local Calgary bar. When I asked Lindsay how Sled Island came about, she said it was an idea over beers. In its inaugural year more than 6000 fans came out to see local sensations (Chad VanGaalen, Woodpigeons, etc.) alongside international bands (Spoon, Cat Power, Boredoms, etc.). There were 96 bands that played in multiple venues that first year and it was only the beginning. Sled Island has grown every year and the incredible line-ups have included Mogwai, Wire, Deerhunter, The Breeders, Jose Gonzales, Built to Spill and so many more.
This year – June 22-25, 2011
They are expecting over 25000 fans to see the 200+ artists coming to Calgary for this year’s Sled Island Music Festival that will be playing in more than 25 venues across the city. Acts this year include The Buzzcocks, Dandy Warhols, Sleep, Of Montreal, Kurt Vile and more. To see all of the great bands that are coming check out the full line-up. Some of the exciting venues are Olympic Plaza, Glenbow Museum, Republik, Royal Canadian Legion #1, etc.
There’s a place for everybody so take a look at which venues are right for you. There’s every type of music from hip hop to punk; and every type of venue from clubs to all ages shows. And if music isn’t your thing, there’s art, comedy and film. There’s something for everyone.
With over 200 bands coming to town, it’s hard to see all of them so I asked the expert.
Me: Who are you looking forward to seeing?
Lindsay: The Intelligence, Jim Ward, and Zola Jesus.
Me: These bands are a little more obscure than the Buzzcocks or Of Montreal.
Lindsay: That’s the beauty of this festival is discovering these amazing bands that you may not have heard of before.
Me: What do you think is the best venue?
Lindsay: I don’t know about best but I’m really excited about our new venue this year Twisted Element.
Me: Who are the fans that come out to Sled Island?
Lindsay: Music lovers. And it’s not just Calgarians anymore. People are coming from all across Canada. Vancouver, they love Sled Island.
Me: Are there going to be any surprises this year?
Lindsay: Yes, there will be lots.
One surprise Lindsay let me in on is that there will be a new beer garden this year at Olympic Plaza, which was approved by the City of Calgary, a big supporter of the festival. It should be an amazing 4 days of shows. Tickets are available for individual shows starting at $20. The real value is a wristband though which allows you to go to all the 25+ venues and as many shows as you can handle. See what ticket is right for you. Check out their website for a printable schedule, links to all the bands, map of the venues, videos, ticket info and all you want to know about Sled Island.