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All ages welcome at BassBus Folk Explosion

By Rachel Woodward, May 12 2016 —

As the city prepares for this summer’s 37th annual Calgary Folk music Festival, BassBus has joined forces with Folk Fest to bring an accessible, all-ages dance party to the city.

The two parties will collaborate to present the BassBus Folk Explosion on May 13 at Festival Hall. BassBus originally started as an old school bus converted into a portable stage used to promote music and hold events with companies such as Cirque de Soleil, High Performance Rodeo and Market Collective.

For the BassBus Folk Explosion, the local music promoters, known for diverse electronic parties in eclectic venues around the city, will bring an electronic twist to the typical rootsy vibe of Folk Fest and FolkU.

Folk Fest marketing manager Matt Olah says the futuristic aspect of BassBus will bring a unique atmosphere to the event.

“One of the things that the Calgary Folk Fest is known for is [piling] a bunch of artists together and getting them to play together,” Olah says.

Olah says organizers wanted the event to be accessible to all ages.

“We thought we would try to practice what we preach and we wanted to collaborate with another arts group,” he says. ”It’s no secret that there’s a huge shortage of all-ages venues and stages in the city, so we want to try and do our part to have a few of those a year.”

Beach Season, The Dumps and Helium Fly will all feature as part of the BassBus Folk Explosion.

Courtesy Beach Season

Courtesy Beach Season

Olah hopes that the variety of acts performing will highlight the diversity of genres that can collaborate and work well together.

“BassBus are known for putting on their electronic shows,” Olah says. “We are, of course, known for putting on rootsy and folksy shows, and that’s why we wanted to approach them because it was way outside of what we normally do and we wanted to find artists that might be a good bridge between our two groups.”

FolkU is a pet project of Folk Fest. It aims to reach out to younger folk audiences and provide mentorship opportunities. They work to educate and provide musical experiences to young up-and-coming musicians.

“We started out as more of an instructional series and we got some feedback that kids get enough school, but I think in music they just want to have fun and have an outlet,” says Olah. “Let’s just put together some shows where we try to make the show accessible or give them a stage so they have somewhere to showcase their skills.”

The event will be held at Festival Hall on May 13. Big Rock Brewery will provide “adult beverages” at the show. The doors open at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

For more information about the BassBus Folk Explosion, visit calgaryfolkfest.com

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