AU­GUST 18 - 20


BY EL­IZ­A­BETH CHOR­NEY-BOOTH Here’s where to find good beats.

Cal­gary has a lim­ited num­ber of days when con­cert pro­mot­ers can safely plan an out­door mu­sic fes­ti­val, so when the weather is hot and the sun is shin­ing, the city turns into a hub for both big and small scale mu­sic fes­ti­vals. Whether fans are look­ing to get their fix of coun­try, hip-hop, or opera, mu­sic fes­ti­vals abound all sum­mer long.

One of the new­est—and big­gest—fes­ti­vals to hit the Cal­gary mu­sic scene is COUN­TRY THUN­DER (page 36), a three-day coun­try mu­sic ex­trav­a­ganza tak­ing place Au­gust 18 to 20. The fes­ti­val, which also has out­posts in Ari­zona, Wis­con­sin, and Saskatchewan, de­buted in Cal­gary last year to a sold-out au­di­ence. For 2017 the fes­ti­val has made some im­prove­ments to its venue at Prairie Winds Park in Cal­gary’s north east, in­clud­ing a bet­ter flow for those look­ing to get food and bev­er­age and more ad­van­ta­geous sight­lines. The line-up is the real draw here, with 20,000 fans get­ting to see some of the genre’s big­gest names like Blake Shel­ton, Brad Pais­ley, and Thomas Rhett.

“It’s a spe­cial fes­ti­val be­cause it’s a city fes­ti­val as op­posed to the camp­ing fes­ti­vals we do in other lo­ca­tions,” says Coun­try Thun­der’s Gerry Krochak. “You get to go and have fun all day in a fes­ti­val en­vi­ron­ment but you’re not sleep­ing in a tent at night. It’s our bou­tique Thun­der—our small­est and most in­ti­mate one, with au­di­ences at the 20,000 mark.”

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