July festivals preview

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This summer, our Festivals Coordinator Simon Rock will bring CJSW to over 35 fantastic festivals and events. At the start of each month, he will break down some key events to check out to make your summer even more magical. Simon’s July picks include cycling, slamming and good ol’ folky fun. 

Cyclepalooza Bike Festival (July 14 – 23)

Here in the wild west, the trusty mechanical steed is essential to urban survival and has recently become even more accessible with the introduction of personalized roadways and more stables to be utilized by those galloping about the town square. So what better way is there for us bipeds to show appreciation for our bipedals than a 10-day cycling festival? Young or old, new or experienced with bikes, money to spend or not, there’s something for you in and around Calgary’s downtown core this mid July at Cyclepalooza. Cyclepalooza promises everything from casual social rides around Calgary to tours of local breweries, family picnics, nighttime parties, gender empowerment in mechanics and the illustrious 7th Annual Bike Prom. Head to cyclepalooza.ca for more information.

Slam Festival (July 15 – 22)

Chaka, Calgary! A brand new festival graces YYC this July with a week of absolutely killer events and some most excellent live bands. Slam Festival is a river surfing, skateboarding, music and art festival. Opening with a bowl jam in Huntington Hills, then a concert series and game of S.K.A.T.E — emceed by yours truly — at the National on 8th, the festival will also feature talks and info sessions on the Alberta river surfing scene, a graffiti art battle — also emceed by yours truly — and the first ever North American River Surfing Championship on July 22. Grab your homies, keep an eye on the groms, and get yourself pitted for a great week at Slam Festival. Check out slamthefestival.com for a full list of the week’s events.

Calgary Folk Music Festival (July 27 – 30)

Folk Fest promises a blissful weekend of live music and positive vibrations at Prince’s Island Park, directly north of the city core. The lineup tends to host bigger names than the average YYC festivity, and don’t let the title fool you — while folk music is properly showcased from every conceivable angle, the lineup is diverse in it’s sound, reflecting the social mosaic that is our city. Past memorable Folk Fest sets include turntablism featuring hundreds of paper airplanes, Yiddish rap and a Mexican dance party in a dust bowl. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Folk Festival are the jam sessions scheduled throughout the weekend, where three to five acts are billed together with nothing planned and take turns leading musical jams that bring out the festival’s most unexpected moments. Whether you can make the whole weekend or only have time for one day, come experience one of the best festival experiences this city has to offer. Head to calgaryfolkfest.com for full schedule and details.