by Nele Van Aerde
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As a festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival is truly a force to be reckoned with, and 2014 was no different. Throughout the 4 days, an army of volunteers and festivalgoers faced it all — rain, wind, heat-exhaustion inducing sun, and chilly evenings – and all with a smile.

Photo by Frank Gasparia

Photo by Frank Gasparik

I sadly missed Thursday evening because I have no seniority in my real-time job and live 300km from Edmonton – however, I packed more than enough music into the remaining 3 days to make up for it.

Photo by Frank Gasparik

Photo by Frank Gasparik


I arrived in Edmonton on Friday evening, thankfully after the deluge in the early evening. True to their form, folk festers were all in great spirits despite the wetness and dropping temperatures. Chicano rock band Los Lobos were on the main stage and the party was in full swing. These are the Grammy award-winning fellows behind the song ‘La Bamba,’ and they had a sizable amount of the crowd dancing along. This is the picture of Edmonton folk fest at its finest: people of all ages dancing (from kiddos dancing to their grandparents doing the Meringue together), electric hoola hoops, the tarp area starting to light up with the dots of candles, the moon just starting to peek out from behind the hill, and the delicious smells as people bring their food-truck goods back to the tarps.

Photo by Frank Gasparik

Photo by Frank Gasparik


Rose Cousins took the stage for a short set during mainstage setup. She started with a piano cover of “If You Could Read My Mind,” originally by Canada’s own Gordon Lightfoot. She also played “The Darkness” from 2012’s You Have Made a Spark. I got to chat with Rose on Saturday as well as see her set on Sunday so more to follow on her!

Photo by David Kennedy

Photo by David Kennedy


The sun set, the moon rose, and James Vincent McMorrow took the stage. Talk about a perfect fit for folk fest; if you aren’t familiar with him, think Bon Iver but with an Irish accent and less guitar. Simply put, his voice is gorgeous and he cast a spell on the hill. He played majority of tunes from this year’s release “Post Tropical” but did include some from his earlier release. [T I have a short vid clip of the song ‘down the burning ropes’ that if you want could go here] “Thank you for letting me sing for you,” JVM said to the sold-out Edmonton crowd … but I think we all knew that the pleasure was all ours.