ArtsTop Picks

Top picks for getting out July 4 – 10 including The Rural Alberta Advantage, Feist, Dolly Fest and The Sadies

Festival season is all upons! Currently we’re staring down the barrel of Stampede, and although there are a million (give or take) great things to do on the grounds this year, there’s also a Metric (see what I did there) truck-load of things happening not on the grounds. Want proof? Here!

Thursday: Get yourself down to the Wildhorse Saloon on 4th St. and 6th Ave. Ave. S.W. to check out The Rural Alberta Advantage, or maybe I’ll see you over at The Palace for Trixie Mattel‘s delightful brand of drag, comedy and music with Nice Horse and Mariya Stokes? Guaranteed to be a great time — not just ‘cuz I’ll be there. Trust me.

Friday: Do you know what is the opposite of country-themed? The Decimate Metalfest which is happening over at the Border Crossing & Blind Beggar Pub this weekend! Metalheads gather and … uh … throw some horns? I just lost all of my street cred there, didn’t I. Aaaaanyway … over at the Wildhorse Saloon it’s The Watchmen (remember them?), The Palomino hosts Landos, The Pits Planet Earth and Figaro, at Broken City you can take in their Anti Stampede Queer Dance + BBQ and then down on the Stampede grounds it’s Feist gracing the Coca-Cola Stage.

Saturday: Wow. Friday was nuts. Rest up a bit and then head down to the King Eddy for Mariel Buckley, or maaaybe you trek down to the Deerfoot Inn & Casino to catch Streetheart! Options! Another option is Steve Pineo over at The Blues Can, or Sarah’s Last Day playing at Gravity Espresso & Wine Bar.

Sunday: It’s the original Dolly Fest over at Broken City – an all day affair celebrating the smoky mountain nightingale featuring a stacked lineup of bands, Dolly Drag performances, an all day art show featuring Dolly paintings and more. Bring a children’s book and donate to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library! If you’re down on the Music Mile, hit the Ironwood for “Man I Feel Like Shania” with Shannon Smith & Lisa Dodd, or catch The Blake Reid Band at the King Eddy. Over at the Big Four Roadhouse you can enjoy some Stampediness with Corb Lund, The Sheepdogs, Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, The Sadies (The Sadies!) and Whitney Rose. That’s, like, the best Sunday EVER.

Tuesday: Down at the Coca-Cola Stage you can catch King Princess, while over at The Palace it’s August Burns Red 10 Years of Constellations Tour with Silverstein and Silent Planet. Matt Mays is also playing! Where? At the Wildhorse Saloon!

Wednesday: Dustin Bentall will be over at the King Eddy! And I feel bad posting this for those of you who didn’t get tickets because it’s sold out, but the Roundup Music Fest hits Shaw Millennium Park with Billie Idol, The Headstones, Doug & The Slugs and, a little band that helped shape me into the sassy young(ish) woman that I am today, Blondie. A great alternative to that, however (because, you know, sold out) is catching Metric over at the Coke Stage! My intense girl-crush on Emily Haines is making my Wednesday choice very very difficult, let me tell you. It’s kinda nice to be spoiled for choice, isn’t it, Calgary?

There is so much more going on in this city than you can imagine. Check out all of the listings to plan your week ahead!

Kari Watson is a writer and former Listings Editor of FFWD Weekly, and continues to work within the Calgary arts & culture scene to promote the city’s numerous and varied events. Contact her at