The beautiful city of Edmonton is host to many fantastic music events throughout the year, but the summer music festivals are not to be missed. With many incredible venues throughout the city, exceptional artist line-ups, and enthusiastic crowds it is impossible not to thoroughly enjoy any of these events.
Edmonton Folk Music Festival
Probably the best known summer music festival in Edmonton is the Edmonton Folk Music Festival which has been running for 30 years. For 4 days, Gallagher Park is filled to capacity with incredible live music from around the world. Some of this year’s Mainstage highlight acts include Ben Harper, John Prine, Calexico, and Sarah Harmer.
One of the unique aspects of this festival is that on Friday, Saturday, Sunday the artists participate in side stage workshops, often with musicians they have not met previously. This makes for some amazing musical surprises and sets the stage for future collaborations among the artists. This year the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, www.efmf.ab.ca takes place August 5th to 8th.
Edmonton Summer Opera Festival
On a completely different note, Opera Nuova presents Canada’s only Summer Opera Festival. This festival features 3 Mainstage Operas based on the characters of William Shakespeare. This season they will be Romeo and Juliet, Falstaff (The Merry Wive’s of Windsor), and Beatrice and Benedict (Much Ado About Nothing).
The Opera festival takes place from May 21st to June 27th at the University of Alberta’s Convocation Hall and the Timms Centre for the Arts. In addition to the Mainstage events, there will be Enlightenment Events including a series of Song Soirees, Master Classes, and an Aria Extravaganza. For more information go to www.vocalartsfestival.com.
Edmonton International Jazz Festival
Beginning on June 25th, Edmonton will be filled with the sweet sounds of Jazz! The Edmonton Jazz Festival Society has put together yet another stellar line up of international acts that will makes this year’s festival one of the best ever.
Chick Corea will start things off with a solo piano concert that is sure to be incredible. June 26th features Jazz in the Park which features Edmonton drummer Sandro Dominelli, Nils Landgren’s Funk Unit, Afro-Cuban jazz vocalist Will Campa, soul-jazz singer Ola Onabule, and the big-band sound of Edmonton Jazz Orchestra. On June 30th there will be a Salute to Benny Goodman that is sure to delight all jazz afficionados. For a complete line-up go to www.edmontonjazz.com.
Edmonton Labatt Blues Festival
Dedicated strictly to Blues, 3000 fans will gather for 3 days to absorb the distinctive sounds of world renowned Blues musicians. Included in the line up are Willie Smith (formerly of Muddy Waters), James Harman and Steve Kozak, and legendary master blues pianist Henry Gray. This amazing event will occur from August 20th to 22nd, 2018 at the Heritage Amphitheatre at Hawrelak Park in Edmonton’s beautiful River Valley. Check out www.bluesinternationalltd.com for more information.
Anyone that enjoys music is sure to find a concert in one of the many festivals that will draw them in and make them want to sing, dance, or close their eyes and absorb it all. No one should miss out, the amount of talent and the ticket prices are unbeatable, and the memories are priceless. For a complete schedule of all the summer festvals in Edmonton go to http://www.edmonton.com/for-visitors/festival-calendar.aspx.