Sled Island: a place where Swans, Mount Eerie, and The Jesus and Mary Chain share tunes and cheery mugs of cocoa

Sled Island: a place where Swans, Mount Eerie, and The Jesus and Mary Chain share tunes and cheery mugs of cocoa

Sled Island! It sounds like a magical winter playground where it’s never uncomfortably cold, snowmen dance and sing with you, and everyone’s skis are made of candy canes. Sled Island! Yes, that’s right: for seven years, Calgary, Alberta has kept the plains rockin’ with its wondrously-named festival, and this year over 250 bands will converge upon good old Stampede City, which is, according to Wikipedia, a nickname for this fair town situated “in an area of foothills and prairie.” Sounds bucolic!

From June 19-22, the likes of OFF!, The Thermals, The Besnard Lakes, and Suuns will descend upon this hard rockin’ prairie city, taking over 30 or so downtown Calgary venues. Art! Film! Comedy! It’s all there at Sled Island, where Swans wander into gumdrop forests to build snowmen that sing Mac DeMarco songs and everyone toasts each other with a cheery mug of hot cocoa spiked with heavy quantities of cheap whiskey. The lineup also includes The Jesus and Mary Chain, Explosions in the Sky, Divine Fits, Joel Plaskett Emergency, Iceage, Superchunk, Colin Stetson, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Torche, Metz, Tim Hecker, Thee Oh Sees, The Night Marchers, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, John K. Samson, Mount Eerie, BadBadNotGood, Ryan Hemsworth, White Lung, Javelin, The Ghostlamp Killer, Jerusalem Is My Heart, Keys N’ Krates, Ken Mode, THEESatisfaction, Samantha Savage Smith, Renny Wilson, Cousins, and Pete Swanson.

And, of course, like 200+ more bands. Tickets are available online, so nab ‘em.

• Sled Island: http://www.sledisland.com

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