Two memories from this year’s Edmonton Folk Music Festival will carry me through to next year.


On Thursday night, Ben Harper was closing the main stage as the sun was setting behind downtown’s skyscrapers. The thousands of candles lighting up the hill noticeably moved him.

He commented between songs about never wanting to play another festival if there aren’t any candles.

If you haven’t seen it before, taking a look back at the hill from the stage will blow your mind. As Harper said, it’s quite possible that Gallagher Park could be seen from space.

The second memory came on Saturday night.

Brandi Carlile was singing a haunting rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the crowd was so quiet you could have heard a guitar pick drop.

Carlile said it was the quietest festival crowd she had ever played for and she thanked everyone. She seemed to be honestly appreciative of the silence while she sang.

I think that’s the magic of the festival. Every year Edmontonians are spoiled with some of the biggest names in folk music, and beyond.

We know how to treat an artist, how to properly enjoy a special performance, and it’s the reason why this festival attracts the best.

For five days I’ve walked up and down the hill, I’ve sat in the smouldering heat trying to catch a break from the sun in the overflowing beer gardens, and I’ve enjoyed every artist I was able to catch.

It was another amazing festival and every year I go away thinking how on earth they’ll be able to top it next year, but I know they will, and I’ll be there rain or shine.