In the time between our first lineup announcement, and our final one, the world has become a very different place. Our daily lives have been put on hold, and the future remains uncertain. But in this time, we have witnessed communities band together in a way that makes us proud to be Northerners.
At the time of writing, Folk On The Rocks has not received direction from public health officials with regards to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and its relation to a July timeline. We are cautiously optimistic that the 40th Anniversary of Folk On The Rocks will be able to go ahead as planned, but we are leaning on hope and prepared for all scenarios. Maintaining the health and safety of our festival-goers continues to be our top priority.
With whatever the future holds, we are beyond proud of our 2020 Folk On The Rocks lineup, and are so excited to finally share the full artist list with our community.
First up, we are proud to announce Edmonton duo St. Arnaud. After experiencing the loss of their friend, and bandmate the former trio coped with loss by reworking and rewriting their music to continue the project in honour of Luke Jansen. Today St. Arnaud have a handful of EPs under their belt, and their debut LP The Cost of Living that was released this past fall.
Local favourites Miraj & Puppy light up the Folk On The Rocks lineup with their iconic mixes, that you just can’t help but dance to. This duo has been a Yellowknife staple in the Snowking’s Winter Festival, the NWT Creative Collective’s Halloween events, and many more. With DJing a Yellowknife highlight, these two are helping to bring youth up in the genre, and carry the Northern scene to new heights.
Folk On The Rocks 2020 is definitely showcasing top Northern talent, and that trend continues with Aasiva. Hailing from Pangnirtung, NU, Aasiva uses her traditional Inuktitut language, melodic voice, and playful ukulele to complete her unique indie sound. Her 2018 self-titled-debut album brings love and lightness that can only be compared to the midnight sun of her Northern home.
In a tribute to 60s and 70s rock and roll icon Joe Cocker, we’re excited to announce the Mad Dogs Experience. Performing the classic live album of Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen, these Albertan musicians pay homage and celebrate the icon in true rock and roll fashion.
Channelling that classic Canadiana folk sound we can’t get enough of, we welcome Montreal based Campbell Woods. After releasing his debut album Oxford Street in 2018, Woods has been touring across North America and having his sounds compared to the likes of fellow iconic Canadian folk artists: John K Sampson, and Townes Van Zandt.
This year we are excited to celebrate the Queer Songbook Orchestra bringing us iconic anthems of queer musical legends from across the 20th Century. This chamber pop ensemble has been touring since their start in 2014, and touring in festivals across Canada. With too may covers and partnerships to name, this ensemble celebrates the magic of inclusive communities, and the power that queer voices have brought to music.
2017 festival favourites, Partner, return to the Folk On The Rocks lineup. This alt-rock, female duo who aren’t afraid to lean into the funny and strange with their music. Their 2017 album In Search of Lost Time would confidently measure up against any 90s high-school movie soundtrack, as it explores universal themes for the young - and those who just can’t seem to grow up.
This year, we are proud to have DJ NDN on our lineup. This founder and former member of the legendary group Tribe Called Red, approaches his solo sound by combining art and activism. The Nipissing First Nation Artist has brought Yellowknife to its feet with his brilliant and catchy beats, and we have no reason to expect anything less from him.
And finally, none other than Northern icons: The Jerry Cans. While these guys have Yellowknife favourites for years, Canada was finally let in on the secret in 2018, following their stand-out Juno performance. Blending high energy east coast rock, with Inuktitut lyrics, and throat singing, The Jerry Cans have a sound that’s unlike any other across the globe. We could not be more excited for this distinctly Canadian band, to round off our lineup for Folk On The Rock’s 40th Anniversary festival.
Additional performers that we're excited to welcome to the Folk On The Rocks stage include: Dana Wylie, Abusin’ the Blues, Aurora Fiddle Society, Taiga Yoga, Bella Beats, and local children’s performer Captain Melvin.
Special thanks to Folk On The Rocks’ dedicated mainstage sponsors: Canadian North Airlines. For the friends and family who have been waiting for an excuse to visit the Great White North, the 40th Anniversary lineup is truly something you don’t want to miss.
Further thanks to our dedicated sponsors and funders: 62 Degrees North, Cabin Radio, Canada Council for the Arts, CANNOR, City of Yellowknife, DT Electric, Field Law, Government of Northwest Territories - Department of Investment, Tourism, and Industry, Heritage Canada, NWT Arts Council, and Yellowknife Community Foundation.