So here I am back on my Northern Canadian soil, and once again, at the annual ‘Folk on the Rocks’ festival in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I love attending any folk fest I can, and well music festivals in general, but particularly this one. Not to be Bias just because I am from this neck of the woods;) But seriously, its stunning up here, and nice that I always get to catch up with old friends. This time around, it was a little up in the air if the roads from my side of the lake to Yellowknife were going to be open, as there are over 180 forest fires burning around the NWT at this moment, and alot of them in this area, and the roads were being closed and opened, as they fought and contained the fires. The roads were super smoky!! So everything was happening moment to moment. I kept on top of checking the highway conditions.. And when it came time for me to hit the road, all signs pointed to GO! So off I went equipped with my tunes, and my keen sense of adventure, ready for an epic weekend.
The drive itself is fantastic, and it’s pretty much a given that you will see Buffalo either on the highways, or beside them, and if you’re lucky, a bear, or some other spectacular species of Canadian wildlife. I kept pulling over to check things out that looked of interest to me during the drive. It never fails, I always act like a traveller even back home. You can’t ever appreciate life too much. Just take it all in:) 5 hours later, and I pulled into the ‘Fred Henne’ campsite in YK, to meet up with my crew, and get my tent all pitched and ready to go. We had three campsites booked, and a group of phenomenal peeps, can’t ask for much more.
Friday night we went to a free performance in Sambe Ke Park, by this amazing group called ‘The Jerry Cans’, from all the way up in Iqaluit, Nunavut. The music was amazing, and I love that they include some tradition throat singing into the mix, as well as country rhythms, blues, and reggae. Incredible. They definitely had everyone up dancing, and the Park was an absolute beautiful setting. The Friday night before Folk begins, is always one of the best nights to go out, as all the bands are playing at various bars, so you can bar hop and check them all out. It’s fun, but there are lines at places, that can be the only un-fun part. However well worth it!!
Hello “Folk on the Rocks”!!
Let the party begin. Ok, so it began the night before… So let the party continue! The set up is pretty awesome there are 6 different stages, including a cultural one and a children’s stage, artisan vendors, food vendors, and of course Beer Gardens!(which I became well acquainted with)… Haha, as you do, If you are wise(which we like to think we are), you will head straight to the main stage on arrival to Folk to lay your blankets in a prime location for later on in the evening.
Strategy is always key:)And it fills up fast!! Inside the beer gardens you can get food, like hamburgers, etc.. your typical festival beer food, and, in case you didn’t guess.. Beer! or coolers..I don’t really drink either of those things, but during Folk fest, it becomes a different story.. And well, when the sun is beaming and the tunes are flowing, it all works very well together. The stage in the beer gardens always has good bands playing, so you also get to do some dancing, while you mingle with friends old and new, and just love the vibes. There was a super great line up of artists this year, and a few of my favorites were, Matt Mays, The Strumbellas, Yukon Blonde, and Harlan Pepper, The Jerry Cans(as mentioned before), but really there were many great performers at the festival. Saturday proved to be just as awesome as we had anticipated. If you seen a puff of dust in front of the stage, that was me, dancing up a storm! Every so often people would come by giving little nick knack’s away, and we scored some Bandana’s!! “what color would you like?” wow! I even get a choice. How spoilt. Haha. Hmmmm, but ok, ‘I shall take Blue.’ But really now, Bandana’s have their advantages, and will come in handy when you least expect it. I also got some chap stick and bug spray, two northern Essentials!! The beers gardens are shut at 9, which then means Main stage is where it’s at. We were there till about 1130pm, then the day was done. Off we went. I really like that the city had a bus just for the Folk Fest! Very freaken handy after a day of festivities, and when you are ready to head back downtown to do some bar hopping.
Sunday morning, after a big Saturday, we all had the craving for a good hearty breakfast to top us up for another day of Sunshine, tunes, and bevy’s! Otherwise known as ‘Sunday Funday’. So we went to a well known local called, “Gold Range Bistro’. It is your typical diner style restaurant… But with its northern flare of course:) The food was good, and the company was obviously awesome! Between the Bailey’s/Coffee, and a plate full of fuel to start our engines, we were ready for anything! Anything entailing, live music, dancing, sun, sand, and beer gardens that is.
I have to say, I loved my Folk Crew!! They are all super awesome, each and every one of them, the weekend would not have been the same without the whole crew, because everyone added their own dynamics to it. I love when a group of awesome people come together.
Being out and about in the hot sun, checking out different stages, you do tend to work up an appetite! So luckily there are all those handy food vendors there. Fries anyone?
A little later on during our ‘Sunday Funday’ adventures, I had the pleasure of running into, and having a beer with the group called Harlan Pepper. They have an awesome rock groove going on, have been friends since kindergarten, and are constantly growing in popularity.
I have to say, not only are they great performers, but also a very nice bunch of guys. For sure enjoyed that encounter.
Photo Credit for this one goes to Jared Monkman(Bottom left), whom is a very talented northern photographer:)
Main stage again in the night was going off! I loved how all the different groups/artists jam together at the end of the day, and love it just as much as everyone else.
It was the place to be. The place to finish another unforgettable folk fest. “Folk on the Rocks 2014!!”.
One of those hilarious moments, where you think you are posing for a photo, and a guy in the background is trying to photo bomb, and its on video!