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 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).
There is NO ON-SITE PARKING. Use Park & Ride or Edmonton Transit or bike down. Please do not park bikes in the park around Muttart Conservatory. The bike lock up is now be located on the park pathway behind Muttart Conservatory (west from the corner of 96A St and 96th Ave)
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.
Bike Lock-up Hours of ServiceThursday 1:30PM – 11:30PM
Friday 1:30PM – 1AM
Saturday 9 AM – 1 AM
Sunday 9 AM – 11:30PM
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 are valid for payment.
Please note: bus drivers do not carry change.
Buses run every 30 minutes during the Festival. Hours of operation are:
Thursday 3:30 – 11:30PM;
Friday 3:30PM – 1:00AM;
Saturday 8:30AM – 1:00AM;
Sunday 8:30AM – 11:30PM
Regular transit service: bus transit service goes right by the park in all directions. Call 780-496-1611 for information.
Open 4:30 PM on Thursday & Friday and 9:30 AM Saturday & Sunday.
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) – please note the South Gate procedures below.
When Can I Line Up?
To ensure fair, orderly line-ups that create minimal intrusion and noise in Cloverdale Community, there is a lottery for line-up position for those who wish to line up before the gates open. To enhance patron experience and ensure safety, some changes have been made.
North Gate Lottery assembly location: NW corner of Muttart Conservatory parking lot.
South gate Lottery assembly location: Green space along Strathearn Drive. After the lottery, participants will be walked to a new entrance at the concessions area gate. Patrons who choose not to participate in the lottery may line up on Strathearn Drive to enter the South Gate.
The drop off zone for the South Gate is now located by the traffic lights at 93rd St. Follow signs. Absolutely NO drop offs are permitted at top of Cloverdale hill for. To cross Connors Road use 93 St. lights – NO crossing is allowed at 95 Street due to safety issues.
How does it work?
Gate Lottery Procedures (Please note: the gate lottery is not mandatory for all ticket holders – it is mostly used by those who have very strong seating preferences.)
Thursday and Friday The Lottery will be opened at 2pm. Saturday and Sunday The Lottery will be opened at 7am.
Patrons MUST have their festival ticket, wristband, proof of senior citizen status (government ID), or volunteer badge to receive a lottery tag. On all days, patrons must stay in the lottery area until the draw is completed. If they insist on leaving 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.
Our volunteers on Gate Crew, who have the wristbands, will be going down the line and exchanging your ticket for a wristband prior to gate opening. As well, on the 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!!
As a note, the festival will be providing additional tags to ensure an larger supply of lottery places than in previous years.
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.
Meeting Place: to assist less mobile patrons, South Gate will provide a meeting place near the gate. Your more able bodied family members can line up while you wait at the meeting place to join them as they pass by.
Entrance Procession: Patrons 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!
Volunteers will be attending to each line up and banding patrons as quickly as possible. If you are not pre-banded while in line, exchange your ticket for a wristband at the gates. Four-day pass holders can get one wristband for the whole weekend. This enables you to come and go from the site and is a requirement to verify you have purchased a ticket. Patrons who remove their wristband may be escorted from the Festival site.
Any patron with all four tickets (Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun) can choose to present all tickets for a weekend wristband on the first day, or exchange ticket singly at the gate for daily wristbands.
Wristbands are not transferable and are invalidated if removed or tampered with.
- 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.).
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.
Sessions (workshop) stages 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, insta-bank. See Festival program book for complete information about services and site locations.
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.
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. Access Crew volunteers will meet you at the North gate to assist. Please make sure to ask for Access volunteers.
Wheelchair access: Volunteers can assist your ability to move around the site and a special seating area at main stage is available.
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) or for specific locations at each stage.
Visual impairment: Ask for Braille or large print Festival information at the Information Tent.
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 strongly enforced in 2012 – so 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 no longer 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. Smoke away from congested areas along paths, on the upper part of area 4, at Stage 1 when it’s not on, or outside either end of the beer garden – look for signs.
- 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)
- 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 1-800-463-4667 or (780) 496-8400.
The Bennett Centre Located right across the street, the Bennett Centre offers you a premium location for Folk Fest accommodations. The private hostel-style rooms accommodate up to four individuals (four bunk beds). The four-night accommodation package for August 6 – 10th is $599 + GST. You also have the option to book a reserved parking stall for $100 + GST. Your spot is reserved, so you can come and go as you like without a hassle. Families are welcome! Visit http://bennettcentre.epsb.ca/?folk-fest or call Metro Continuing Education at 780-428-1111 to book.
New this year, the Bennett Centre is also offering a facility pass for access to indoor washrooms during the festival. The Facility Pass can be purchased for $40 plus GST for use from August 6 – 9 inclusive. You will be issued a special wrist band that will allow you to access the washroom facilities at the Bennett Centre. Visit http://bennettcentre.epsb.ca/?folk-fest or call Metro Continuing Education at 780-428-1111 to purchase.
There are also options to stay at the University of Alberta or Grant MacEwan University. 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.
For information regarding other attractions in Edmonton and Alberta call Alberta Tourism at 1-800-661-8888. Also see Other Alberta Festivals.