By Jesse Keith
The Calgary Folk Fest is an event I look forward to every year. It’s certainly one of the annual highlight of being a Calgarian. It was this year when my poor eating and sleeping habits caught up to me–Two days before the kick off of the festival, I was slapped with a case of the dreaded summer time flu. By Thursday it was getting better and I thought I had it beat, but Friday morning heralded a world of hurt.
I stayed home from work, but come show time I was knocking on heaven’s proverbial door. With a Herculean summoning of strength I trudged down to Prince Edward Island Park to fulfill my duties as a Gauntlet writer and as a boyfriend–I had conned my girlfriend into buying a ticket and couldn’t ditch her.
At the festival I did my best to pass out on our quilt, but the heat prevented me from doing so. Ruthie Foster’s entire set was a blur inside my fever induced haze my vision had deteriorated into.
Catlin Cary being a Whiskeytown alumnus, I tuned in for her show. Her Jann Arden-ish brand of adult pop-rock, though, took me from nauseous to near death, and proved Ryan Adams as the man behind the band. Olu Dara followed Cary, but his funky beats were a little too trippy for me to take with me and my euphoric flu haze. So I kept trying to get some sleep in between my trips to the outhouses, of which there were many. Then finally the emcees Bowser and Blue, whose corny humor had me chuckling even with my flu, came on stage to nofity me of my perserverence– I had made it to the North Mississippi Allstars.
This was the reason I had dragged myself away from my bed and my toilet. I sat up to watch the show, and I wasn’t disappointed. Unfortunately, I missed half of the show while in the outhouse, which at this late stage were running out of toilet paper. I made it back just in time to catch the NMA wrap up with a blazing washboard stomp. Then it was time to skip out as Great Big Sea took the stage, as I don’t even like Great Big Sea when I’m healthy.
There ain’t no cure for the summer time flu, not even the sweet melodies and succelent food of the Calgary Folk Festival, but it sure does help. Especially due to their fantastic bathroom facilities.
I would like to commend the Folk Fest organizers on the outhouses. No shit, these were the best porta-potties I had ever sat in with all their roominess, cosiness, and a pleasant vinegar smell to block any offensive odors. And making no less that seven trips during my evening at the festival, the abundance and quality of the johns really saved me from disaster.
Although, next year we flu suffers would appreciate a little more toilet paper towards the closing performances. A sick man without toilet paper is like a duck without feathers. Take some time to ponder that while listening to the music of the North Mississippi Allstars.