dancer with ruffled skirt performs at folk on the rocks

Don’t be fooled: the North’s premier music fest, Folk on the Rocks, ain't just about folk. At this weekend-long whoop-up on a sandy lakeshore near Yellowknife you’ll have no trouble finding a groove under the delirious midnight sun. Here's why it rocks: 

Photo by Angela Gzowski/Folk on the Rocks

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saxophone player performs at folk on the rocks beer garden stage

Who's on stage for 2019? A long list of southern headliners, including Juno award-winning rockers Wintersleep, Polaris-winner and rising star Lido Pimienta, pop-soul guitarist and songwriter Alex Cuba and B.C. hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids. And as always, there's a strong slate of the North's best and brightest performers, like Yellowknife's own Juno-winner Leela Gilday, Pangnirtung throatsinger and pop songstress Riit and Whitehorse pop-rock duo Soda Pony. Folk on the Rocks has a groove for everyone and the music will move you: the festival experience inspired Joel Plaskett to write a song about Yellowknife, which he performed later that weekend in his main-stage set.

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Folk on the Rock festivalgoers dance in Yellowknife, NWT.

There’s something about the sun and the sand that sets Folk on the Rocks fans to boogying. Kick off your shoes and join hundreds of revellers who throng in front of the stage, shaking their behinds to the beat of their favourite band. And be sure to stick around until the very end on Sunday night for the giant Dene drum circle, a Folk on the Rocks tradition.

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A festivalgoer samples the fare at Folk on the Rocks in Yellowknife, NWT.

Folk on the Rocks isn't just a feast for the ears. From spicy butter chicken to bison burgers, Yellowknife showcases the best of its burgeoning culinary scene. And of course, when the unsetting sun gets too darn hot, there’s refreshing iced coffee and heaps of sweet, cool ice cream.

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An artisan sells handmade Dene clothing at Folk on the Rocks in Yellowknife, NWT.

The festival grounds are a great place to pick up Northern souvenirs, from handmade Dene jewellery and clothing to your favourite band's t-shirts and records.

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The crowd at the beer garden stage at folk on the rocks

Sometimes rowdy, sometimes chill, always fun. That’s the Folk on the Rocks beer garden, where loud, proud acts play to possibly the largest, open-air party North of 60. Crack a beer and join in the good times.

For more on Folk on the Rocks, check out Yellowknife events.

Photo by Angela Gzowski/Folk on the Rocks
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The 5 best things about Folk on the Rocks 34 7595faa4-fbb5-4ce7-b4b0-94667d9e2376