ArtsComedyFestivalMusic

Pussy Riot, The Black Angels, Lydia Lunch, Sun Ra Arkestra, OM among first acts announced for Sled Island 2020

“… But I don’t know any of these bands!” (Is no longer an excuse.)

That’s the tagline Sled Island is going with for their 2020 festival, and it’s a brilliant one on a number of levels.

First, well, there’s the fact that over the course of their baker’s dozen events, anyone who has attended Calgary’s pride and joy Sled knows that, sure, while there may be a handful of acts and artists with at least nominal name recognition, the good stuff, the really, really good stuff, you’ve got to dig for. Trust them, your new favourite band is probably there somewhere, performing at midnight or, hell, four in the afternoon at any of the many venues around town during the fest.

Second, look to the first wave of performers announced Wednesday for this year’s fest, which runs June 24 to 28 in the city, there are more than a few bands that you will — or should — definitely know.

Among those are: Dissident Russian feminist rock act Pussy Riot; Austin psych rockers The Black Angels; legendary free jazz trip the Sun Ra Arkestra; iconic New York no wave poet, writer, actress, artist and musician Lydia Lunch and her project Retrovirus; and San Fran drone metal band OM.

Other acts rounding out the initial drop are Nivhek, Delly, Alex Cameron and Roy Molloy, Liturgy, Diet Cig, Control Top, Sacred Paws, JOYFULTALK and previously announced guest curator Sudan Archives.

As for the first acts chosen to attend by Archives (a.k.a. violinist and vocalist Brittney Parks), those are SassyBLack, Show Me the Body, Los Retros, Jamire Williams, Ahya Simone, Sufyvn, Daddy and Sydanie.

Also announced were a pair of comics who will be performing as part of the comedy aspect of the multi-disciplinary arts festival, Joe Pera and Jo Firestone.

And the final reason that you no longer have an excuse, is that for the first time, Sled are having an announcement party on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at Home and Away that’s free and open to the public, where they will be screening videos from all of the first wave of acts, along with trivia contests, drink specials and general fun.

No excuses now.

And undoubtedly an even greater urgency to make sure you attend Sled this year. Passes of different options are currently available from sledIsland.com, with a limited number of single tickets to select shows going on sale Friday, Feb. 28 at noon from the site.