Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The City partners in sold out Folk Festival

Almost 50,000 poured into Prince’s Island Park on the weekend to take in the four-day Calgary Folk Music Festival, and it was a huge success, the toughest decision being what you’d have to miss.

This year made history with a complete four-day sell out of the event, the first in the 30 years it’s been going on. The Festival sold 12,000 tickets each day for a total of 48,000. Since this is the park’s capacity, organizers are looking at ideas for growing the event.

Moving these 48,000 people into the area sounds like a challenge, but it wasn’t a problem, says The City’s Beth Gignac, manager of Arts & Culture. It’s less than the number of people who commute into downtown for work, and it helps that event attendance is scattered throughout the day.

The City partners with events like the Calgary Folk Music Festival, providing support in areas like grounds keeping, security, logistics and production services (like tents, staging, power and gear). The Festival also receives funding from The City via Calgary Arts Development.

Gignac says that the Festival is “one of the best run events in the city, and it always is.” Working with the festival organizers demonstrates the benefits to the community when The City works together with community organizations.

An emphasis of the event was partying responsibly – recycling stations, including composting bins, were placed throughout the park, and water bottles were nowhere in sight. People were encouraged to bring their own bottles and fill them up at water stations provided by The City.

Get a sense of this years’ event – and look ahead to next year’s – by checking out the video below. And then gear up for this weekend’s Calgary Fringe Festival, starting on Friday!

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