The 2016 Jasper Folk Music Festival was the chillest folk fest I have ever been to. Unlike the Edmonton and Winnipeg folk fests where a chimerical community of folkies rise up out of the mosquito spray haze and find one another for a few days during the year, you don’t necessarily know your festival friends in “real life”, in Jasper everyone seemed to know one another. Jasper’s festival was a celebration of a year-round community of musicians and music lovers, making it unique as it wasn’t the imaginary city of the larger prairie folk fests. Although the weather was a bit rainy, and a tiny bit on the cold side (I was wearing enough wool that I could have been mistaken for a sheep and ALL of my Welsh rain gear) nothing seemed to dampen the Jasperite’s need to dance and sing. All and all it was a fantastic time, and I’m already rounding up friends for a return roadtrip next year.
Highlights from the weekend include:
Awesome MCs: I’ve never been at a folk fest where the MCs both sang – “Colors of the Wind” (Disney) and “For he is an Englishman” (Gilbert & Sullivan) – for the crowd. Both MCs were fantastic at keeping the audience informed of what was happening and providing a little bit of entertainment between sets. It’s a typically thankless job, so let me say a big thank you!
Local Talent: The number of Jasper musicians (or previous Jasperites) was great. The festival really supported the local acts, giving them a venue to showcase their awesome talents.
Sound Guys: Jasper had some of the best mixed live music at a folk fest that I’ve heard. It is something you notice when it is bad, but not necessarily when it is great – again, a huge thank you is deserved.
Roving Packs of Children: Jasper kids know how to party and were always at the hoola-hoops, jamming with Kiki the Eco Elf’s musical instruments, or dancing their hearts out. It seemed like it would be a great event to bring a family to.
Atmosphere: Can I state one more time how relaxed the festival was? Stress – what stress?
… and a few more photos …