Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Jun 30th 2010 1:30PM by Jenny Charlesworth
Sled Island founder Zach Pashak believed so.
Following the old adage, 'if you build it, they will come,' the Calgary promoter has created one of Canada's premier music festivals, attracting heavyweights like the Melvins, Girl Talk, Dinosaur Jr., and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists to the 2010 edition, which kicks off June 30 and runs through July 3.
"This year, more than ever, we're seeing a lot of outside people coming to Calgary for the festival," Sled Island spokesperson Drew Marshall tells Spinner. "We have a reporter from Japan that's going to be traveling out here, and another reporter from South America that's making it up -- it's turning into a real international destination festival."
"It's been really amazing to be a part of this and see how it takes over the city," adds Marshall, who, like everyone else in Calgary right now, is gearing up to spend the next three days venue-hopping throughout the downtown core to partake in the non-stop festivities.
F---ed Up guitarist Ben Cook, who, along with his bandmates, helped to curate part of this year's lineup (the ever-unruly King Khan and New Orleans' Quintron & Miss Pussycat also weighed in), insists that of all the music festivals in the Great White North, Sled Island has the closest resemblance to SXSW. His rationale has little to do with the matching multi-day multi-venue format though.
"Calgary has the whole cowboy vibe," he laughs. "It kind of feels like you're in Texas, but it's Canada."
As for how Cook and the gang determined who should perform at their special 'F---ed Up Presents' concert on July 3 at Calgary's Royal Canadian Legion #1, the guitarist says a little bit of music biz know-how helped guide the way.
"In the end you have to do what makes sense for a festival show," he says. "You have to bring in the big names that people are going to want to see. In this case, we talked about it -- and disagreed and fought over it -- and then it went the way of the GZA and No Age -- which is kind of obvious, but still great because they're friends of ours."
Pairing the hardcore punk of F---ed Up with No Age's lo-fi noise-pop and GZA's old school rhymes for the July 3 gig is just the type of genre-crossing the festival aims for, according to Marshall.
"It's always been about diverse musicians," he says. "What we're trying to do is create exciting contemporary performances with bands that wouldn't otherwise come to Calgary traditionally. And we're hoping to put them on bills tied in with local bands so the audience can support local bands, but also check out new and exciting bands that they wouldn't normally be able to see."
A complete Sled Island 2010 schedule is available here.