We’re thrilled to announce the first wave of artists for this year’s Folk on the Rocks (FOTR) music festival, July 14-16.
The North’s greatest party under the Midnight Sun, FOTR 2023 will bring together performers from the Northwest Territories (NWT), Yukon, across Canada and the globe. Our stages will have something for everyone – from rap, rock and rhythm and blues, to Balkan punk and Dene Drums.
Featuring drum dances and hand game demonstrations, FOTR 2023 will be a mash-up of Northern-style celebrations and a variety of art, music and performances. On the festival grounds you’ll find local eats and beverages from Yellowknife’s best food vendors as well as crafts and artwork from artisans across the NWT and Canada.
The festival lineup is being announced in three waves, with the second wave scheduled for April 14 and the third wave scheduled for May 19.
Introducing the first wave of artists for FOTR 2023:
Serena Ryder - Returning to the FOTR main stage for the second time, vocal powerhouse Serena Ryder will headline the festival this year. In 2022, Ryder won her seventh Juno Award for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year for “The Art of Falling Apart,” which invites listeners to join her mental wellness journey through a driving pop sound and the full range of her powerful voice.
Lemon Bucket Orkestra – Returning for another year at FOTR, the Lemon Bucket Orkestra have expertly captured a unique blend of energy and emotion on their album “If I Had The Strength.” Their live shows are an immersive experience, ranging from the ecstatic to the cathartic and all points in between.
Status/Non-Status – A folk band in nature, Status/Non-Status is the name of the ongoing musical work of Adam Sturgeon, artist and Anishinaabe community worker and his collaborators. Known for a heavier than heavy sound, Status/Non-Status have made a name for themselves through relentless touring, intense truth seeking, and a heart on the sleeve musical output.
BuenRostro – A band from Mexico City, BuenRostro has a fresh, powerful sound that makes you want to get up and dance. They fuse together traditional Mexican sounds from different regions of the country with Latin genres.
Hyaenas – Embodying the energy and ferocity of their animal namesake, Hyaenas is a new Indie rock/synth pop band coming out of Vancouver, British Columbia. With fun catchy hooks, their songs are written through a queer feminist lens exploring meaningful themes from acceptance to vigilance.
K-Riz – Edmonton-based rapper and musician K-Riz can rap circles around his opponents while delving into love, heartbreak, revenge and anger with resounding self-awareness. His album “Peace and Love” is available on all streaming platforms.
Erica Dee Mah – Based in Whitehorse, Yukon, Erica Dee Mah is a contemporary folk singer-songwriter, and guzheng player. Her most recent album “The Sargasso Season” is an original collection of songs written on the guzheng, a 23-stringed Chinese zither. She writes about transoceanic journeys, Chinese-Canadian identity across generations, and finding connection in new landscapes.
Brenden MacIntosh – Hailing from Yellowknife NWT, Brenden MacIntosh & Friends is your friendly neighbourhood punk rock band. You can expect a celebration of the genre with songs switching between pop punk, ska, folk punk and more! The main goal is to let loose with some energetic speedy songs and forget about how messed up the world is.
JDBS – JDBS is an Ice Cold Collective production and dynamic rap group out of Yellowknife. Inspired by the likes of Slum Village and Wu-Tang Clan, JDBS has developed a unique sound that blends classic boom-bap beats with contemporary production techniques. Consisting of 7 members, each member of JDBS brings their own distinct style and personality to the group, creating a dynamic and powerful musical force.
Mariel – Every day Mariel tries to create and write a new song. She started singing professionally within Ecole St. Joseph School in Yellowknife and was given the opportunity to write a song called "Farewell" at the Grade 7 Farewell. She’s always singing covers and posting them on her Instagram.
Matt Andersen – Matt writes his own songs and chops away on an acoustic guitar, singing sad/serious/happy songs related to mental health and dealing with life.
Bella Beats – Bella Beats is a Yellowknife-based high performance dance troupe, with a focus on building connection in the community.
Yellowknives Dene Drummers – The Yellowknives Dene Drummers are from the communities of Ndilo and Dettah, and include all ages. The drummers can be booked for Northern style celebrations, event opening prayer songs and celebration songs, drum dances and hand games demonstrations.
Folk on the Rocks 2023 early bird tickets are for sale here.