Festival FAQs : Answers
The festival is held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in beautiful downtown Gallagher Park (next to 97 Ave and 94 St) » MAP LINK
There is NO ON-SITE PARKING. Use Park & Ride or Edmonton Transit or bike down. Please note that there will be enforced parking restriction in the area of Bonnie Doon at the top of the hill. The area affected is 97 Street to 91st Street from 95 Avenue/Connors Rd to 92 Avenue.
Please do not park bikes in the park around Muttart Conservatory. The bike lock up is located on the park pathway behind Muttart Conservatory (west from the corner of 96A St and 96th Ave)
Bike Lock-up Hours of ServiceThursday 1:30 PM – 11:30 PM
Friday 1:30 PM – 12:30 AM
Saturday 9:00 AM – 12:30 AM
Sunday 9:00 AM – 11:30 PM
No supervised overnight parking, and no parking for motor bikes!
Volunteers: If you arrive for your shift before the gates are open or after the gates are closed, open the gate , lock your bike and close the gate. To claim your bike, show your volunteer badge, instead of a bike check ticket.
Park and Ride: University of Alberta,
Park in any Campus Lot* – Special Folk Fest parking rate is $5 per day–tell attendant you are attending the Folk Festival. This special parking rate is only available one hour prior to the start of the park and ride.
Bus pick up – south east corner of the Butterdome (87 Ave and approx. 114 St).
Bus fare – ETS rates apply. Children 5 years and under are free. Cash fare only; ETS passes, tickets and transfers are valid for payment. Also accepted: Strathcona Co. and St. Albert transit passes.
Please note: bus drivers do not carry change.
Buses run every 30 minutes during the Festival. Hours of operation are:
Thursday 3:30 PM- 11:30 PM
Friday 3:30 PM – 1:00 AM
Saturday 8:30 AM – 1:00 AM
Sunday 8:30 AM – 11:30 PM
Regular transit service: bus transit service goes right by the park in all directions. Call 311 within Edmonton or 780-442-5311 from outside the city for information. For schedules of regular transit check takeets,com
After the event, Taxis are also available to collect patrons at the North Gate.
There are two gates for the festival; The Main Gate/North Gate (94th St and 97th Ave) and the South Gate/Top of the Hill Gate (Corner of Connors Road and Cloverdale Hill Road).
If you are collecting your tickets at the gate, you must go to the North Gate where the Festival Box office is located.
Absolutely NO drop offs are permitted at top of Cloverdale hill. The drop off zone for the South Gate is now located by the traffic lights at 93rd St. Follow signs.To cross Connors Road use 93 St. lights – NO crossing is allowed at 95 Street due to safety issues.
Gate Opening times:
Thursday 4:30 PM
Friday 4:30 PM
Saturday 9:30 AM
Sunday 9:30 AM
When Can I Line Up?
To ensure fair, orderly line-ups that create minimal intrusion and noise in the Community, there is a lottery for line-up position for those who wish to line up before the gates open.
The gate lottery is not mandatory for all ticket holders – it is used by those who have strong seating preferences. Patrons who arrive at or after gate opening times may enter through the gate of their choice after the lottery patrons have been admitted.
Patrons who wish to participate in the lottery
North Gate Lottery assembly location: NW corner of Muttart Conservatory parking lot.
South gate Lottery assembly location: Green space along Strathearn Drive (East of Conors Road)
Gate Lottery Proceedures
- Arrive no earlier than 1:30 pm on Thursday and Friday and 6:30 am on Saturday and Sunday.
- Thursday and Friday lottery tags are distributed starting at 2:00 pm, and the draw is completed at 2:30pm.
- Saturday and Sunday lottery tags are distributed starting at 7:00 am, and the draw is completed at 7:30 am.
Patrons MUST have their festival ticket, wristband, proof of senior citizen status (government ID), or volunteer badge to receive a lottery tag. If you are planning on participating in the lottery you should arrange to have your ticket in hand before going to the site as the Festival Ticket Office may not be open in time to collect tickets from “will call”.
On all days, patrons must stay in the lottery area until the draw is completed. If a patron leaves before the draw, they will be ineligible for the draw. You are allowed one lottery tag for one person and one tarp only. If your friend has a different place in the lottery, they CANNOT go with you, they must wait until their turn. All patrons wishing to participate in the lottery must remain considerate of both of our volunteers and the community in terms of noise and behavior.
On Thursday night, the Program Crew will make their way down the line so that you can purchase your program early and get started planning which fantastic performances you will attend.
The gates will open to non-lottery participants at 4:30pm on Thursday and Friday and 9:30am on Saturday and Sunday. Set up your tarps, mark your spot and HAVE FUN!!
Thank you for your cooperation!
» back to top »Note to top of hill tenters – you may prefer to line-up on Strathearn with non-lottery patrons and enter through the regular south gate.
Mobility Issues: less mobile patrons wishing to participate in the lottery should use the South Gate as this gate has arrangements in place to allow you to participate.
Entrance Procession: Once the lottery draw is completed, participants will be escorted at a walking pace in groups of 25 from all entrance gates to the seating area. Gate volunteers will control entry to ensure everyone’s safety; there will be NO RUSH!
Once a patron is in line (lottery or gate) volunteers will be attending to each line up and band everyone as quickly as possible. During opening and peak times, this process may take longer so please be considerate of the effort our volunteers are making to expedite your visit. After you have been banded, entry into the site on subsequent days is much quicker, and you have the ability to leave and re-enter the site as needed.
The type of wristband you get depends on the type of ticket you present at the gate. Four-day pass holders can get one wristband for the whole weekend. Patrons with a Single Day ticket will get a wristband that is good only for the day indicated on their ticket.
Any patron with all four Single Tickets (Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun) can choose to present all four tickets for a weekend wristband on the first day, or exchange ticket singly at the gate for daily wristbands.
Your wristband enables you to come and go from the site and is a requirement on site to verify you have purchased a ticket. However, Wristbands are not exchangeable and should not be removed or tampered with. Patrons who remove their wristband may be escorted from the Festival site or refused readmission.
- Casual clothing AND rain gear
- Practical footwear
- Sunscreen, bug spray and any other supplies you need
- Something to sit on–tarp, blanket or low-backed, low-legged chair (legs 8 inches tall maximum; the back should be no more that 26 inches off the ground.)The height restriction is in effect to allow for unobstructed views of the stage for all patrons. Volunteers will be checking heights and will require patrons to put away chairs that exceed this height..
What Should I NOT Bring?
- High-backed, or regular-legged lawnchairs: Max height for chairs = back no higher than 26 in. off the ground, legs/seat no higher than 8 inches off the ground.
- Alcohol or drugs
- Glass containers (exception baby food and bottles)
- Video or audio recording equipment
Can I bring my own food and drinks?
Yes, you can bring in your own food and non-alcoholic beverages. There will also be many tasty options at our varied concession vendors that should satisfy many tastes and dietary needs.
Note: Bag check in effect: checking for alcohol, drugs or glass (baby food & bottles permitted).
Thursday: 6 – 11 PM;
Friday 8:30 PM to 12:30 AM;(sessions run 6pm – 8:30pm on four stages)
Saturday 2-3 PM and 7 PM to 12:30 AM;
Sunday: 2-3 PM and 7 PM to 11 PM.
Side stages (Stage 1, 2,3 and 5, 6,7) will run on Friday from 6-8:30 PM and on Saturday from 11 AM-2 PM and 3-7 PM and on Sunday from 11 AM-2 PM and 3-7 PM.
How do I know what’s on when? The Mainstage line-up and sessions schedule are posted here. Program books will be available on site, with complete schedules, site map, performer bios and neat photos. You’ll want to keep your program book as a souvenir of your festival experience!
Bike lock-up, family area, food and beverage concessions, beer garden, crafts, recording and memorabilia sales, information tent, lost & found, first aid, telephone, washrooms, water & wash stands, recycling stations, environment tent, as well as on site Cash Machines. Even Yoga!
See Festival program book for complete information about services and site locations.
For Patrons with Children, our Information tent is indicated by large balloons. Show your children where they can go if they are separated from you on site.
Post Festival: The Lost and Found takes a while to gather sort and record… please contact our offices at 780-429-1899 after Tuesday August 9th. Lost items will only be retained for a limited time please check with us before mid September.
The Folk Festival has a complete program to accommodate patrons with physical challenges. Handicapped parking is available just North of the Main Gate. This parking area is available on a first come first served basis and therefore not guaranteed. For more reliable service, Taxis and DATS vehicles are allowed to drop and collect patrons directly at the North Gate during the event.
Wheelchair access: Volunteers can assist you in moving around the site and a special covered seating area at main stage is also available. Most of the Session Stages also have small side areas that are available for patrons who require assistance.
Hearing impairment: Magnetic induction loops have been installed at all performance areas to enable hearing the music. Ask Access Crew or Information Tent volunteers for a loop receiver (or use your T-switch hearing aid) for the specific locations at each stage.
Visual impairment: Ask for Braille and large print Festival information are both available at the Information Tent.
If you have questions, concerns or require assistance once you are on site, please ask for an “Access Crew” volunteer when you enter at the either gate, or at the Information Tent on Site.
Rules, Safety and Etiquette – Good Neighbor Guidelines
The Edmonton Folk Music Festival plays host to 100,000 patrons over four days. In order to ensure the best possible experience for everyone involved, please be aware of our good neighbor policies. This is a very friendly Festival where strangers respect each other’s needs during the Festival weekend. Most of these Good Neighbour Guidelines boil down to common sense and courtesy – Please be considerate to everyone on the hill.
- Use only the space you need and remember the side stages are for everyone
Mainstage tarps may be no bigger than 8 x 10 ft. If you do not need that much space please don’t take it. There will be no tarps placed at side stages. These stages will be cleared of unattended tarps and chairs between workshop sessions.
- Don’t Block the View (Chair height limits)
Please be aware of chair height limits: 26” ground to top of back; 8” legs/seat. These WILL be enforced – so please ensure that your chair is not too tall. No tents or lean-tos except at the top of the hill; stay seated or dance in designated areas.
- Consider your neighbour’s listening experience
Turn off your cell phone and don’t talk during performances. Most folks want to hear the music, not their neighboring tarp’s latest news. If you absolutely need to talk – including on your cell phone – please keep it quiet so others can enjoy the tunes, or better yet, move to the non-listening areas.
- No Smoking Areas
Smoking is not permitted in any seated area of any stage (including Main Stage) or inside the beer garden. It is also not permitted in any line-up per City bylaw. Please consider the needs of those around you.
Smoking is permitted in the north east corner of Stage 1 or at the top of Area 4 during the day (a west side smoking area will be marked during the evening by stage 3 porta-potties). Please look for smoking signage, and move should volunteers ask you to step away from the crowd.
- Pitch in
Put your compostables, recyclables and garbage in appropriate bins provided; pinch and pocket cigarette butts. Help us keep Gallagher Park clean!
- Be Safe
Use candle covers (available in the Music and Merch tent or from our friendly roving candle sellers). Please leave all sharp items as well as glass containers at home, as these are not allowed on site.
- Know Where Your Kids Are
Do not leave children unattended; keep your kids with you after sundown; direct lost kids to the Information Tent
Close by, Edmonton has many hotels within walking distance of the site downtown. Contact your travel agent or Edmonton Tourism at (780) 496-8400 or 1-800-463-4667.
The Bennett Centre: Located right across the street, the Bennett Centre offers a premium location for Folk Fest accommodations. The private hostel-style rooms accommodate up to four individuals (four bunk beds). They offer four-night accommodation packages which can even include parking for reasonable rates, so book soon!
The Bennett Centre also offers a separate “facilities” access pass which allows for convenient access to the Bennett Centre’s indoor washrooms during the festival for patrons who aren’t fans of the porta-potties. This offer is available to all patrons, but there will only be a limited number of passes made available for the event.
Visit http://bennettcentre.epsb.ca/?folk-fest or call Metro Continuing Education at 780-428-1111 to book either item.
There are also options to stay at residences at the University of Alberta (780-492-3345) or Grant MacEwan University (780-633-3623). The Park and Ride leaves from the U of A Campus. Contact them directly for details.
Camping: There is no on-site camping but you can camp in Edmonton at the Rainbow Valley Campground, located in a beautiful spot beside Whitemud Creek, not far from the Festival site. For reservations, call 780-434-5531. Biking form Rainbow Valley is quite a challenge and will take a long time. Please see the Park & Ride section for more information on how to access transit services from these locations.
For information regarding other attractions in Edmonton and Alberta call Alberta Tourism at 1-800-661-8888. Also see Other Alberta Festivals.