Tubby Fest ready to fill your August long weekend with music, beer and dogs

Music, beer and hot dogs.

It’s what every August long weekend needs.

So it’s a natural that it should be this one that the excellent folks at Calgary tubed-meat emporium Tubby Dog chose to launch their inaugural Tubby Fest.

The four-day event, which kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday, features almost 20 mostly local acts performing in the 17th Ave. institution, with the final day a karaoke after-party with some DJs warming things up.

Always a strong supporter of the music scene — many of the restaurant’s employees are actually in local bands — owner and proprietor Jon Truch wanted to throw a summer bash to celebrate and say s’long to some of that staff.

“I think it’s three of these guys are now moving on with their lives — going to away to school in New York and Vancouver — so we thought we’d throw a festival almost like a sendoff to them, because they’ve worked her for a while and they’re really good guys,” he says, explaining that it’s been a team effort putting it together.

“And it will also be the last time their bands are playing … so it will be a last hurrah — a house party all weekend just celebrating all of our friends and family.”

The lineup of indie rock, punk and nu wave ’80s-esque pop was put together by manager Keaton Pridham and features names that will be recognizable to most who are fans of alt side of the scene, including Melted Mirror, Empty Heads, Aiwass, Sunglaciars, Erector Set, Bog Bodies, Vancouver’s Dead Soft and Edmonton’s Rhythm of Cruelty.

All four nights are open to any age, but for those of 18 and beyond who want to wash down a dog with something sudsy, fellow arts champions and thirst-quenchers Big Rock have come onboard as a sponsor for the event.

And perhaps future possible Tubby Fests will be more of an actual festival, with passes available for the entire thing, but right now, to keep things simple, they’ll just be charging cover at the door for each band-filled evening, with Thursday and Friday running you an easy $15 and Saturday a cool $20.

“We’re just doing night by night because we don’t know what’s going to happen because it could either be really successful or a piece of shit. I’m trying to keep it as affordable as possible for everything,” Truch says, noting that they planned on doing something similar several years ago in Tomkins Park but that it was far too onerous a proposition with way too many costs and variables.

“We’re just trying to see how it goes the first year and if it’s successful maybe we’ll do it again next year, but we’re just keeping it low-key.”

Tubby Fest runs Thursday through Friday at Tubby Dog (1022 17th Ave. S.W.). For the complete lineup and schedule 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 theYYSCENE.ca. Follow him on Twitter/@mrbell_23 or email him at mike@theyyscene.ca.