Make a musical date with Sled Island in Calgary

The alt-music event of the year, Sled Island just keeps growing. From June 22 to 26, 2016, its 250-plus musical performances, comedy events, film screenings and art happenings fill 36 venues across Calgary. Here are just a few of the many great acts to catch during the festival.

Olympic Plaza

228 8 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0K7

A brainy and deeply entertaining staple of the 1990s indie music universe, Boise, Idaho’s favourite musical sons Built to Spill hit the Olympic Plaza outdoor stage on June 25. With a pile of albums to their name, the group released their latest, Untethered Moon, just last year.

Central United Church

Angel Olsen’s indie-folk songs are expansive and ethereal, her voice distinctly gorgeous and commanding. Her two-album discography includes Half Way Home and Burn Your Fire for No Witness, both indie-folk gems. The warm acoustics of Central United Church make it the perfect Sled venue for Olsen’s June 22 performance.

Royal Canadian Legion

116 7 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0H5

The sounds of The Sonics have echoed through contemporary music since their formation in Tacoma, Washington in the 1960s. Incredibly influential, the band’s perfectly rough-edged garage rock songs include “Strychnine,” “The Witch” and “Psycho” as well as their version of Richard Berry’s “Have Love, Will Travel.” Touring in support of their new album, This is the Sonics, the band plays the No. 1 Legion June 24.

Dickens Pub

1000 9 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2Y6

A returning Sled Island favourite, four-man noise band HEALTH certainly deliver an undeniable dose of sonic medicine, though the patient may or may not survive. An all-caps auditory attack, the group’s recent release is entitled DEATH MAGIC. HEALTH performs at Dickens, a cornerstone venue of the city’s alternative music scene, on June 23.

Broken City Social Club

613 11 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0E1

Fronted by singer Bria Selmela, the Toronto band formerly known as DIRTY FRIGS have cleaned up their name if not their act. Now known as FRIGS, the four-piece plays the rooftop patio of Broken City, Calgary’s indie-alternative musical HQ. Creating haunting songs that feature the ghostly influence of ’50s instrumental music and ’90s grunge delivered with cheeky disaffection, the band performs June 23.

Ship & Anchor Pub

534 17th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B1

Featuring two of the Calgary music scene’s most interesting vets, Night Committee shakes the Ship & Anchor June 24 with their uniquely driving, angular garage-psyche tunes. With musician-producer Lorrie Matheson on keyboards and author-musician Andrew Wedderburn of Hot Little Rocket on lead guitar and vocals, the group’s performances are brainy, barely containable rave-ups.

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