Folk in the Field shows that the folk fest is more than just four days

New project takes bands out into the community and films them recording acoustically in iconic Calgary locales.

It’s meant to promote four days a year, but also remind about the other 361.

Well, remind people that the Calgary Folk Music Festival and its folks are active for most of those other days that they’re not congregating on Prince’s Island Park — they promote shows, have the winter mini-festival Block Heater and are heavily acting promoting music, live music, local music, in the community.

That’s one of the reasons behind the Folk in the Field video project, which features bands — many of which the fest has worked with or are just fans or friends of — performing live in different locations around the city.

The first video, dropped today, is band Scenic Route to Alaska performing Long Walk Home outside in Olympic Plaza, which you can find below.

The plan is to roll out the rest of them this week, then gradually over the coming weeks.

Matt Olah, the man behind Folk in the Field, spoke to theYYSCENE before the launch.

Q: What’s the idea behind Folk in the Field?

A: Well people were always asking me, if I said I worked at the folk fest, “Well, what do you do the rest of the year?” And I think a lot of staff here have that issue and maybe that’s the problem with the festival, is that they think we are just four days of the year. So Folk in the Field is one of the many ways we’re trying to dissuade people from thinking that we’re a seasonal organization, by doing cool, relevant things around the city throughout the year — one of them being (this) where we take artists from either the festival or after playing one of our shows (we promote) and we take them to iconic locations in Calgary and we film an acoustic video of them … We did them at the folk fest last year, some at Block Heater, some through the (concert) season this year.

Q: It launches Wednesday and then what?

A: We’re doing the first one on Wednesday and then we’re going to have … Lisa LeBlanc on Thursday and Lemon Bucket Orkestra Friday and then about once a week-ish from there will roll them out.

Q: So this will be an ongoing thing?

A: Yeah. We have Big Rock sponsoring it, so we’re committed to doing 33 and we have about 20 in the can right now.

Q: How receptive have the artists been?

A: Pretty much everyone we’ve asked has agreed to do it. And why not? Because it’s a free video that they can use to promote themselves. It’s another another arrow in their quiver, it’s another promotional avenue for them. We push them out, hopefully the artists push them out, hopefully their labels push them out and everyone gets a push from it.

Q: Who are some of the other ones coming up?

A: Oh Pep!, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, we did one with Jason Famous and Le Fame and we’re doing one with The Darcys at the Big Rock Brewery June 14.

Q: What are some of the other locations?

A: We did one on the roof of (Festival Hall), Lisa Leblanc is in the abandoned car wash, Penguin Car Wash, in Inglewood, we did one with Jenn Grant at the Rundle Ruins with an actual wedding going on behind it — it was shooting a love song, it was perfect.

Q: Are they all acoustic?

A: Well, acoustic or as acoustic as can be — depending on the artist.

Q: Can artists approach you or are you keeping it to specific acts you’ve targeted?

A: I’m sure that will come, but … I don’t think a lot of people know about it yet.

Q: Where will people be able to find it?

A: We’ll put a link to it on our website, it’ll be on YouTube, and Big Rock and us, we’ll be sharing it on our social media channels.

The Calgary Folk Music Festival runs July 27-30 on Prince’s Island Park. For passes and tickets and more information on Folk in the Field please click here.

Mike Bell has been covering the Calgary music scene for the past 25 years with publications such as VOX, Fast Forward, the Calgary Sun and, most recently, the Calgary Herald. He is currently the music writer and content editor for Follow him on Twitter/@mrbell_23 or email him at