By Troy Hasselman, February 28 2020 —
Sled Island, Calgary’s annual music and arts festival that takes over the cities downtown core over a few days every June has announced its first wave lineup, with a mixture of up-and-coming and established acts from across the world and across genre lines.
This year’s festival will be curated by orchestral R&B experimentalist Sudan Archives.
Some big names from the announcement include Texas psych-rockers The Black Angels, Russian protest punks and political dissidents Pussy Riot and the astral-plane projecting jazz of the Sun Ra Arkestra.
This years lineup showcases experimentation with acts such as Nivhek, another alter-ego of 2018 Sled Island alum Liz Harris of Grouper fame, the string-tinged electronics of JOYFULTALK and the inventive hip-hop of Delly.
The festival as well includes its share of chaotic rock bands including the sludge-covered drone metal of OM, the boundary-pushing black metal of Liturgy, the hooky punk of Diet Cig, the aggressive post-punk of Control Top and the noisy, poetic rock of punk legend Lydia Lunch in her project Lydia Lunch RETROVIRUS.
Curator Sudan Archives has as well added a wellspring of up-and-comers from a variety of genres including the machinic hardcore of Show Me the Body, spaced-out R&B from SassyBlack — formerly of the dearly-missed cult R&B duo THEESatisfaction, avant-garde jazz drumming from Jamire Williams and the experimental harpist Ahya Simone.
Two comedy acts have been announced as well — Joe Pera of Adult Swim’s Joe Pera Talks To You and emerging standup Jo Firestone, who has made appearances on Broad City and The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.
There are still many more announcements to come from Sled Island in the coming months as they gear up for this year’s festival which is set to take place from June 24–28. To see the full first wave lineup, purchase passes and stay updated on future announcements, visit Sled Island’s website.
Editors Note: A previous version of this article stated that Sudan Archives would be playing at the Central United Church. This is no longer correct.