Not On the Road Again

This is our ‘down’ weekend. The Edmonton Folk Fest isn’t until next weekend, so this is the first Saturday in a month that I haven’t woken up rather early and hauled a blue tarp and bag of evening clothing to a main stage before settling in at a side stage with my earplugs in, sunscreen (and/or raincoat) on and camera fully charged -I don’t know what to do with myself.

The driving portion of our project wrapped up this past Monday morning when we rolled into Edmonton minutes after CBC R2 morning shifted over to Tempo. According to the odometer we had traveled 9,974 km since setting off to Mariposa on July 2nd, but it sure felt like it was further. Our journey out to Ontario followed by B.C. seems a bit like a dream and I can honestly say that I met some really interesting and friendly characters along the way.

Each city has its own flavour and that is reflected in the folk festivals as well. In Vancouver the passion for music, community and life in general was palpable. As we camped out on the shores of English Bay people were not only interested in the music on stage, but chatted with those around them. Fast forward a week and the same could be said of the Calgarians packed onto Prince’s Island, but in Calgary there was a distinct Alberta-ness (the exact nature of which I can’t quite describe, I mean there was probably as much, if not more, country music programmed at the Winnipeg Folk Fest than in Calgary so it wasn’t like there was a run on cowboy boots or hats that made Calgary seem very Albertan).

Although the road trip is over, and I might have neared music saturation with over 16 days worth of live music. I am excited for the EFMF 2014. Excited to see my hometown festival through the filter of the four proceeding festivals, to see some of the artists that I caught at earlier festivals again, to have the emcees shout ‘Edmonton’ rather than one of the other cities, to discover new music which has to last me until the next festival season but most of all to sit on the hill with my family and friends watching the sun set on the Edmonton skyline while all around us lights up with thousands of tiny candles. It’s an indescribable moment.

I’ll see you on the hill.

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