June 14th, 2024

Wide Skies festival returns to raise the roof

By Al Beeber on July 20, 2021.

Herald file photoby Ian Martens - Audience members applaud a performance by Shakura S'Aida at the 2018 Wide Skies Festival.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The Wide Skies festival is back! The downtown event staged by Mike Spencer of the Geomatic Attic will return in a modified form July 28.
The festival will be staged this year on the roof of the downtown Park ‘N Ride building at 705 5 Avenue South with doors opening at 7:30 and music starting at 8:15 p.m.
Entertainment will be provided by Monkeyjunk and Leeroy Stagger & The Rebeltone Sound.
While admission is free, patrons must register online at geomatticattic.ca due to limited capacity. Organizers are also accepting donations with a suggested $20 per ticket.
All guests are also being urged to have at least one COVID-19 vaccination before attending. Attendees will be spaced out to avoid close contact as much as possible. Organizers are also urging music fans to be environmentally friendly and find alternative ways of attending the festival rather than by driving, such as using a bus, bicycling or walking.
No liquor sales will be available onsite but New West Theatre will be operating a beer garden starting at 6 p.m. in the west parking lot of the Bowman Arts Centre across the street.
“We did Wide Skies for three years and it was very successful,” said Spencer last week.
“We will plan to do it again in the future kind of in the same format with the street closure on 11 Street beside Southminster United Church but we didn’t feel comfortable doing that this year,” said Spencer.
“So we came up with kind of a hybrid version of it called Wide Skies Reimagined.”
Fans will go to the top floor of the facility, said Spencer. “It’s a parking lot and the draw is you’ve got these views of downtown Lethbridge and surrounding area. Some of it will kind of be at the dusk period and some will be at night and will create quite an ambience, I think,” he added.
“The two bands we have are pretty high calibre and they’re drawing a lot of attention. We have to limit the amount of people that can be up there just because it’s a large space but we still are respecting a lot of the COVID practices and we also have fire regulations, et cetera, and emergency health regulations to abide by. So the capacity is 400 people.”
The festival concept, he suggested, came about fairly recently.
“You always like to have more time but the province only opened up things July 1 and even then, it was only contingent on vaccination numbers and COVID numbers dropping. So basically, we started discussions with the City in kind of early June and they were really encouraging us to do something because I think they see it as a space unused. . . I think really what they are looking for is to encourage events happening in the downtown area and bring people into the downtown,” Spencer added.

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And for the residents, about 220 that live in 2 of the nearby high-rises, now within 1 block . . . do you really think they want to hear your blasting music and constant pounding base? And what about those who think it would be fun to stand on the edge of the wall of that parkade and fall . . . not very well thought out!
Why are you not going to Galt Gardens? There are signs all over downtown directing people to go to Galt Gardens and Festival Square to enjoy them. Galt Gardens has a stage and more washrooms and is further away from residents in the area.
Are you aware how many of the same addicts that hang around Galt Gardens also hang around the Park N Ride? Many . . . No cover charge, good luck keeping them away! The beer garden/Park N Ride event will be right in the middle of the addicts/prostitutes base of operations downtown, which is the library area. Should be interesting.
And for those of us that have to work the next day and get up early . . . ? July 28th is a weekday, a workday for many! Are you sure you have the date right?

Last edited 2 years ago by ewingbt