The audience at a Sled Island show
The audience enjoys a show at Broken City | Photo: David Youn

Sled Island

Get your party on as Calgary's eclectic music and arts festival returns

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Location Various Venues 
  • Price Free - $385
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With more than 250 bands alongside comedy, film, and visual art lineups, Sled Island returns with five days of incredible programming. It’s a must see for any festival fan!

This annual music and arts festival is set to take over venues across the city with guest curator Julien Baker leading the way. Headliners include Japanese Breakfast, JPEGMAFIA, Bully, and Man or Astro-Man?

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 returning favourites Punk Rock Bingo, the Music Lover’s Weekend at the Memorial Park Library, and Quiz Shoe alongside an Isitsiipotaako public workshop and the Mad Max Ride YYC.

And Sled Island would not be complete without tons of opportunities for musicians that offer a look inside the biz and valuable tools for ensuring a healthy music community.

With tons of great events 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:

Sled Island Poster Show

June 19 – 22, 2019
Pin-Bar (501 17th Ave. SW)
Free admission

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 throughout the festival. You can even check out the opening reception from 6:00 to 10:00pm on June 18.

All-Ages Programming

June 19 – 23, 2019
Various venues
Free – $40

With tons of bands playing shows open to minors, as well as comedy, film, art and special events accessible to attendees of any age, Sled Island always has a robust offering for those under 18. At the heart of this year’s programming are a number of shows at the King Eddy, McHugh House, and Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre. You can even grab an all-ages pass and access more than 50 events for the price of a single show ticket.

ImagineNATIVE Showcase: New Waves

June 21, 2019, 2019
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)

Sled Island has partnered with ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival again this year and this is one showcase you won’t want to miss. Marking National Indigenous People’s Day with a new generation of storytellers who explore their past and present connections, mythology and cultural heritage, these short films dive deep into important topics.

Sled Island Block Party

June 22, 2019, 2:00 – 9:30pm
Inglewood (10th Ave. & 10th St. SE)
Free admission

Get ready for this annual, free, outdoor, all-ages dance party. Featuring ANZU, L.A. Foster, Beach Season, Har Mar Superstar, Ouri, Jack Harlow, and My Nu Leng, it goes rain or shine so come prepared and get ready to groove. You can even hit up Market Collective’s special vintage clothing market.

We Are Not An Island Queer Zine Fair

June 22 & 23, 2019
Central Library (800 3rd St. SE)
Free admission

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. Returning once again, this fair works to showcase the work of self identified queer-folk and other traditionally marginalized members of the Calgary creative community. There’s also a workshop, panel, and after party to check out.

Sled Island runs June 19 to 23, 2019 throughout Calgary and the full schedule can be found at