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.”