Ten Page Henry: A Bike Game
Don’t miss Ten Page Henry: A Bike Game—a free narrative treasure hunt at Sled Island | Photo: Courtesy of Humble Wonder

Sled Island

Get your party on with Calgary's own eclectic music and arts festival

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free - $385
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With more than 250 bands on the docket as well as comedy, film, and visual art lineups, Sled Island is back and ready to rock your faces off.

This annual five-day music and arts festival is set to take over venues across the city. The 2017 festival features visionary producer, rapper, DJ, label owner, and filmmaker Flying Lotus as guest curator, and includes performances from Thor & Friends, Mothers, Low, Wolves in the Throne Room, and many, many more.

Along with the great music, Sled Island also presents a series of discussions, parties, workshops, and other programming to excite and engage curious minds. Look for classic favourites Punk Rock Bingo and Wrap-Up Karaoke alongside new experiences including All-Ages Rock ‘n’ Roller Derby, and talks by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Silver Apples. And new for 2017, the festival features a sharper focus on opportunities for musicians to meet directly with industry through its new partnership with Music Calgary.

With tons of greatness squashed into the five days of Sled, there really is something for everyone. So, what are we most looking forward to? Here are our picks for this year’s festival:

SoundOff Summit

June 21 – 23, 2017
Multiple locations
Free for members of Music Calgary and Alberta Music as well as Sled Island wristband holders and festival performing artists

Marking the first year of SoundOff Summit at Sled Island, this collection of conference events is hosted by Music Calgary. It’s a unique opportunity for artists, music industry, and festival attendees to learn about facets of the music industry and equip themselves with invaluable career-enhancing knowledge.

Ten Page Henry: A Bike Game

June 21 – 25, 2017
Starting at Fairmont Palliser Hotel (133 9th Ave. SW)

Created by Calgary-based artist collective Humble Wonder, this narrative time-capsule tour of Calgary’s underground is a must this Sled. Jump on your bike and follow clues scattered across downtown Calgary to discover the story of Calgary’s underground music scene, and piece together a zine in the process. And best part? It’s open to everyone! Participants can take as much time as they like to complete the game during the festival but the first 300 players to collect all 10 of the missing pages will win a limited edition prize.

Sled Island Poster Show

June 21 – 25, 2017
Phil & Sebastian Mission (2207 4th St. SW)

A vital part of Sled Island, this annual show pairs local artists with musicians playing the festival to create limited edition, hand-silkscreened posters by Burnt Toast Studios. Posters will be on display and available for purchase including Silver Apples by Rebecca Dalke, Waxahatchee by Jonathan Dyck, Tyvek by Sofia Elidrissi, Low by Heidi Forsyth, Land of Talk by Erik Grice, Guitar Wolf by Cam Hoff, Wolves in the Throne Room by Jennifer Konanz, MONO by Chris Morix, Cloud Nothings by Chelsea O’Byrne, Shonen Knife by Crystal Oicle, Wavves by Kyle Schneider, and DJ Quik by James Thompson.

Sled Island Block Party

June 24, 2017, 2:00 – 10:00pm
Inglewood (10th Ave. & 10th St. SE)
Free, all-ages

Get ready for this annual, free, outdoor, all-ages dance party. Featuring dance kingpin Jimmy Edgar, Flying Lotus curator picks Seven Davis Jr and IGLOOGHOST, live electronic act I M U R, funk-inflected rapper Lou Phelps, dark synth band Melted Mirror, energetic goofballs Physical Copies, and dynamic duo sitstill. It goes rain or shine so come prepared.

We Are Not An Island Queer Zine Fair

June 24 & 25, 2017, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Royal Canadian Legion Branch #1 (116 7th Ave. SE)

Through the creation and exhibition of zines, comics, books, posters, and other printed matter, this event seeks to provide a safe, accessible, and inclusive space. The fair is organized and curated by Bronson Smillie and Samuel Dyer, two local queer artists aiming to showcase the work of self identified queer-folk and other traditionally marginalized members of the Calgary creative community.

Sled Island runs June 21 to 25, 2017 throughout Calgary and the full schedule can be found at sledisland.com.