The Sled Island Lemonade Stand

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With the summer festival season more or less cancelled, including Sled Island 2020, today we're announcing how we're going to squeeze every ounce of goodness from the bag of lemons we were given with a brand new initiative: The Sled Island Lemonade Stand. From Monday, June 22 until Sunday, June 28, we will be doing what we can to tip our hat to the festival week that would have been with a series of free or accessibly-priced livestreams, film screenings, comedy and DJ sets and varied activities taking place both online and in-person. By no means a simple online or socially-distanced version of the festival we had previously planned, nor a replacement for it, the Lemonade Stand tries to reinforce the pillars of the Sled Island experience over the years: fun, discovery, community and the celebration of thoughtful and vital music and art.

Take a look below for our weekly schedule, and keep an eye on our social media channels, as we'll continue to introduce fun and interactive initiatives to keep you entertained in the week that would have been! 
 

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Sled Island 2020 Alternate Timeline Festival Lineup

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While Sled Island 2020 will not be happening this coming June the way we had all imagined it -- as one hell of a communal release of pent up energy through magical music and art in the bars, venues, theatres, churches and Legions across this city that so desperately needs an injection of liveliness right now -- we still have plans to carry on the spirit of the festival in the coming months. In the end, Sled Island isn't just about five days of music and art that happens in this city. It's also about the discovery of the music and art that we carry with us, cherish and look to for inspiration in the face of the best and most difficult times of our lives.

Enter the Sled Island 2020 Alternate Timeline Festival. Below you will find a list of all of the artists that, before the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic forced our cancellation, were contracted or invited through our submission process to play the festival. While this list does not represent a complete picture of the festival that would have taken place, as we were still working diligently on bringing in bands from across the globe to headline stages of all sizes, it does represent a snapshot of our plans at the time. We hope that you can not only find a soundtrack to your time in isolation, but a soundtrack to your 2020 and beyond. The Sled Island 2020 Alternate Timeline Festival features over 270 artists that hold the potential to become your new favourite band, or remind you why you fell in love with them in the first place. If you have the means, we humbly ask you to support those artists that catch your attention with a follow on social media, a purchase of an album or a t-shirt, or spreading with the other music lovers in your life.

This post will be updated throughout the spring and summer to become not just a list of the bands that were slated to play Calgary this June, but also a collection of write-ups on each artist, often promoting new releases, new music videos, livestreams and fundraising initiatives these artists undertook during these unprecedented times. In the end, while a pandemic can put a temporary stop to live music, it can't stop the passion and drive of musicians.

Stay safe, stay home, stay hopeful, friends!

The Sled Island Team

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Support Sled Island's Community Partners

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As we all know, many of our favourite local businesses are struggling amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and as the situation develops more and more are closing their doors to the public, but that doesn't mean there aren't other ways to support them! Below you'll find a list of Sled Island community partners that are finding creative ways to keep serving the public, and many others that deserve our support while we stay home. 

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

  • Alumni Sandwich and Liquor Bar (725 17 Ave SW)
    • As of May 6, Alumni is open for curbside service five days a week (Wednesday - Sunday), from 11:00am to 8:00pm. Order your hot chickin sammy at www.alumnisandwiches.com.
  • Caffe Beano (1613 9 St SW)
    • Like a lighthouse in the storm, Caffe Beano is OPEN, offering to-go service only, from 7:00am - 2:00pm, Monday -Thursday and 8:00am - 4:00pm, Friday-Sunday. Go out and grab a cup, it will make working from home a little less awful.
  • Calcutta Cricket Club (340 17 Ave SW)
    • Calcutta Cricket Club is closed, but you can purchase a gift card at www.calcuttacricketclub.com. We’re already dreaming of kati rolls and chai.
  • Clive Burger (736 17 Ave SW)
    • Clive Burger is currently closed to the public, but their mouthwatering burgers, franks and custard shakes are currently available on DoorDash. Go on, treat yourself!
  • The Coup (924 17 Ave SW)
    • Vegetarians, rejoice! The Coup is now on DoorDash. Check out @thecoupcalgary on Instagram for current hours and specials.
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Sled Island 2020 Cancellation

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It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing the cancellation of the 2020 Sled Island Music & Arts Festival, scheduled to take place June 24-28. This decision was based on a number of considerations including travel restrictions issued by several countries where some of our scheduled artists are from, travel restrictions announced by the Government of Canada, the announcement by City of Calgary on April 3rd, 2020 that “all festivals and events in Calgary with an audience of 50 people or more, must be canceled or postponed” as well as the order from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health prohibiting the gathering of persons in excess of 15 people in a group. As a result of these unfortunate developments, the scheduled events can no longer take place and our wonderful artists are unable to perform.

While this news obviously comes as a huge disappointment, we would like to acknowledge and applaud that the City is taking this necessary step to contain the spread of COVID-19 and alleviate the pressure on our health care system to best care for those affected by it. 

We also understand that this doesn’t just affect our organization, but countless others in the city, and would like to extend our condolences to those organizations that are likewise struggling with today’s news. Perhaps most devastating to us is knowing the impact that these cancellations will have on our beloved community: the venues, artists, crews and partners who have all already been hit so hard by this crisis. We are committed to working hard for this community’s recovery, leveraging our energy, networks and resources to ensure that it returns stronger than ever.

Unfortunately, the scope and nature of our festival make it impossible for us to simply postpone the event until later in the year (to learn more, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions below). However, we have every intention of returning in June 2021 and are committed to supporting our community to the best of our abilities in the meantime. 

We will be issuing refunds to all pass and ticket holders requesting them and will be contacting everyone shortly with details on how to proceed. Alternatively, to those whose personal situation allows, we humbly ask that you consider transferring your pass to the 2021 festival or donating the cost of your pass or individual ticket(s) to Sled Island in exchange for a charitable tax receipt. Keeping the festival alive is a precarious endeavour under the best of circumstances, and we expect the fallout of the pandemic to affect our revenue significantly in the year to come.

Stay safe, stay home, stay hopeful, friends.

The Sled Island Team


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why don’t you just postpone the event?

Unfortunately, due to the immense size of the festival and limited financial and human resources available to Sled Island, postponing simply isn’t an option for us. With just three full-time staff, the festival is an ambitious undertaking each year even with 12 months of artistic, funding, sponsorship, marketing and logistical planning and development, and unfortunately, simply choosing new dates doesn’t change the workload needed to make the festival happen and doesn’t allow all work previously completed to simply transfer over.

Sled Island is different than many summer music festivals in that it doesn’t take place on a single outdoor site, but in 30+ venues across Calgary. While this setup has always been something we’ve considered a strength of the festival, ensuring that we offer not just intimate spaces for artists and audiences to connect, but also that we showcase many parts of Calgary that even long-time residents are unaware of, in this instance, it’s also the source of a lot of big question marks. Many of our longest running venues are currently facing harsh economic realities and the question as to which will still be able to open their doors in the fall looms large. For those venues that do re-open, it is unclear if they will be required to run at 1/2 or less capacities or when small social gatherings will even be allowed in the first place. We simply don’t know when it would be safe to postpone to.

Beyond that, pass and ticket sales and sponsorship has all but evaporated since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the festival is not confident in assuming that those losses could be made up should the festival be allowed to go forward in the fall. The economic uncertainty is just too great at this point.

If we were to try to put all of our effort into running a scaled-back 2020 edition of the festival at a later date, one thing we know for sure is that doing so would not allow us to put on a festival in 2021 that is of the quality and scope we have come to expect.

As such, we are committed to using our energy and resources to not just returning in 2021, but to helping our community as best we can in the meantime.

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Support Sled Island 2020 Artists Through Bandcamp's COVID-19 Initiative

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Friends, if your current situation allows, today we ask you to consider purchasing some music or merch directly from the many musicians who have seen their livelihood and creative outlet decimated by the current pandemic. Bandcamp, an organization that genuinely values artists, will be forgoing their revenue share from all sales until midnight tonight, March 20th. If you've been holding off buying an album from one of your favourite artists, or have seen friends have to cancel tours, please do consider choosing today as the day to buy from them.

Below is a list of Bandcamp links for the artists confirmed for the 2020 edition of the festival. While the Sled Island community is large, with thousands of bands having showcased over the years, we know that we represent an extremely tiny fraction of the overall industry that is hurting so much right now. Remember, staying at home doesn't mean you can't be discovering a whole new world of music.

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