Folk Fest 2008: Fantastic!

Oh wow. What can I say. I spent the last four days at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, and as usual it was amazing! This year was my seventh in a row, and it just keeps getting better and better. Even when I'm freezing cold or scorching hot or tired or grumpy or dirty or hungry, even then it's always the best four days of the year.

First and foremost it's about the music. Don't even get me started. If you want your ear talked off, ask me about the music at folk fest.

This year's top 5 for me were:

1. Michael Franti - dancing on the hill rocks!
2. Yves Lambert and Le Bebert Orchestra - I always love the Quebecois bands!
3. Luke Doucet - 'Long Haul Driver' was in my head all weekend.
4. The Sadies - oh man, they can play guitar.
5. Bellowhead/Dervish - the 'across the pond'ers didn't disappoint.

Anyways, I didn't mean to post about the music. Ask me about that later.

Something that really struck me about folk fest this year was how much I really noticed and appreciated the familiarity. I don't mean the site or the whole organization: after seven years of course I know my way around and feel comfortable with everything. (The EFMF is probably the best folk festival in Canada, maybe the world, not just because of the music but also because of the organization, volunteer crew and general laid back feeling.) Mostly it was the familiar faces: Judy and the Greeting Gang from the North Gate line up (even Martin the mega-phone man), Weird Hat Guy and Purple Hair Lady from the corral, Lily the Crazy Goth Girl (who was in the journal, that's how we know her name), Tom the Dancing Boy (who's name I got from sneaking a peak at his volunteer tag), Granola Baby Momma, Stage 5 Set Up Man and Crew, and so on. I guess I never think about them during the year, and just expect them to be there during folk fest. It's just comforting. I look forward to seeing them all next year too.

There were a few new things this year. They added a couple more shade tents by stage 5 (so necessary in the +30 heat) but got rid of the stage 5 Green Onion Cake vendor (boo!!). And I've never seen such a long sink/water line (could it have been the +30 temperature?)! The weather in itself was new. It is usually always cold and rainy with a smattering of scorching hot. This year it was scorching hot the whole time. Too hot. Hence the brief thunder and lightning that rolled through Saturday night, but thankfully left before Michael Franti (evidence of the power of prayer!) I did learn a couple things also. I found a wicked shade spot at stage 2 and will never wear my good khakis to folk fest again.
It was great. Fabulous. Awesome. Wonderful. 360 more days...