Feast of festivals - Metro US

Feast of festivals

Virgin Fest, Calgary International Blues Festival and Drenched are just three of the many popular events and festivals descending upon Calgary this weekend.

With so many choices, there is something for every Calgarian to do this weekend, and that is a good sign according to Terry Rock, president and CEO of Calgary Arts Development.

Rock says the amount of festivals this weekend illustrates the vitality and strengths of the arts and music scene in Calgary, but says the sky is the limit for the calibre of events in the future.

“To try and get something else on the calendar, to convince sponsors and people to spend money on a ticket, the quality of the offering has got to be high,” said Rock. “A lacklustre offering isn’t going to cut it.”

Rock said the World Water Ski Championship, being held throughout the weekend, paved the way by adding Drenched Music Fest to their event and brought big-name bands like Hedley and Finger Eleven to their venue.

Another festival that added big names such as Colin James, Joe Bonamassa and Booker T to their setlist is the Calgary International Blues Festival.

“People are attracted to big names,” said Maurice Ginzer, producer of the Blues Festival. “It’s a great feeling when you can pull it off and the economics work,”

Virgin Fest, taking place at Canada Olympic Park on Saturday and Sunday, is bringing headliners Pearl Jam and Canadian group Billy Talent.

Other events happening this weekend include Afrikadey!, Marda Gras, and for those who want to stay indoors and try to avoid the rainy weather there is the conclusion of Fringe Festival, which runs until Aug. 8.

Music lover Tatiana Smith, 25, said she had a hard time choosing what events to attend this weekend, but is happy with her choices.

“If the worst thing is picking between Pearl Jam, Finger Eleven or Billy Talent, then it’s a good weekend,” she said.

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