June 14th, 2024

Lethbridge Folk Club hosting outdoor festival next month


By Al Beeber on July 16, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The Lethbridge Folk Club is ready to start the music playing again. The club will be hosting an outdoor free folk festival Aug. 14 at Legacy Park, according to president Tom Moffatt.
The festival will feature three local acts and three visiting performers.
Charging admissions to outdoor events isn’t allowed in Lethbridge, says Moffatt, however donations will be graciously accepted.
The festival kicks off at 1 p.m. in the Belvedere Amphitheatre and runs until 7 p.m. The folk club is arranging to have food trucks on site. Music fans will have to bring their own lawn chairs for the event.
The folk club just had an outdoor event July 11 in the John Martin Recreation Area in Pavan Park so this will be the second affair of the summer they’ve been able to stage.
Because of the pandemic, the club wasn’t able to hold its regular indoor events, said Moffatt Thursday.
“We had to see what we could do under health restrictions so last year we started planning. We figured we may be able to do outdoor events. At that time, when we started planning, outdoor events were permitted with various measures in place. So we made some reservations to try to get some outdoor locations for the following year.
“We got that John Martin Recreation Area which is a beautiful spot and we’d be tempted to use that again. And then Legacy Park has a new Belvedere Amphitheatre so we wanted to try to do something there. That’s just a spectacular new recreational area,” said Moffatt.
“I went up there for the first time last year and wow, 73 acres, six kilometres of trails, they’ve got baseball fields and soccer fields, picnic shelters and tennis courts so it’s just huge and that amphitheatre they built there with the grass bowl in front of it is a perfect place for music,” Moffatt added.
“I could envision sometime in the future we could have a huge folk festival there similar to what Calgary or Edmonton do just because it’s such a great area there. It would lend itself to having multiple stages, vendors and all that kind of thing,” Moffatt added.
With indoor venues slow to open, Moffatt said the club is unsure what is in store for the fall and winter.
The old Wolf’s Den downtown wasn’t conducive for access by people with disabilities, Moffatt said. The group has used the Cave at Lethbridge College in recent years for some of its shows.
Moffatt said the club is happy with the lineup that’s been rounded up for the festival. It features well-known local acts The Steve Keenan Band, Celtic Routes and Junkman’s Quire along with Edmonton’s Scott Cook, May Davis of Revelstoke, B.C. and The Travelling Mabels, who are based in Calgary.
“We didn’t want people to have to travel too far” due to COVID restrictions, said Moffatt, who has served as president of the folk club for two-and-a-half years.
Cook has been performing since 2007 and before the pandemic was doing 150 shows a year.
“A lot of his songs are very impactful,” said Moffatt.
Davis, he said, “has the voice of an angel hit by a whiskey truck” adding she’s been compared to the likes of Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks.
The Travelling Mabels “are very big on harmonies,” he said.
Junkman’s Quire will open the festival followed by Keenan, Davis, Celtic Routes, Scott Cook and then the Travelling Mabels who will close the festival.

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