Put on your dancing boots for the Golden Sound Festival Winter Block Party
For a small town located smack in the middle of bunch of mountain ranges, Golden’s arts scene is pretty remarkable. Between Kicking Horse Culture and Golden’s vibrant grassroots music scene, not only is there a lot pride in the level of talent, but also the frequency that they come here rivals some bigger cities.
Nearly any day of the week, you can find a great live show in Golden, often more than one. The quality is pretty impressive – and we’re talking about locals and out-of-towners.
I suppose then it’s no surprise that Golden also has its own music festival – an upbeat, get-up-off-your-seat-and-dance, multi-venue one-day celebration of music that runs twice annually. During the third weekend in February and the third weekend in August, the Golden Sound Festival Winter (or Summer) Block Party happens. It makes for a fun night on the town, and it’s a great way to get a taste of Golden’s totally awesome restaurant and bar scene.
Golden Sound Festival features music of all kinds
The Golden Sound Festival is a showcase for the up-and-coming artist. The lineup for this month’s event, which happens Feb. 21, features all-Canadian talent, the majority of whom hail from different parts of Western Canada. It features all different kinds of music too — indie pop, singer-songwriter, hip-hop, indie rock, house DJ, Canadian rock-folk — basically, the spectrum. And the vibe: upbeat and fun, according to Kris King, one of the event’s key organizers.
“Our goal is to get everyone dancing.” Kris told me. “It makes for a great night because people get to move around through town to the different venues to see the performances they want to see. We stagger all the acts by a half-hour so there’s always time in between shows to get to where you want to be.’
Kris adds it’s great to see people interacting and wandering about. “Often we see people gathering on the street outside too, listening to the music inside. People get really stoked. It’s a really fun night.”
Here are the main ‘need-to-know’ tidbits about the event. First, it starts Friday with a pre-party at two of the festival’s main venues, the Rockwater Bar & Grill and the Golden Taps. Both are located in the heart of downtown Golden.
The festival officially begins Saturday afternoon with a free community concert — perfect for families. This concert kicks off the beginning of 12 hours of spectacular music from more than a dozen talented bands and individual artists. Aside from the community concert (which takes place at the Golden Youth Centre), all the acts play at one of three local venues, The Rockwater Grill & Bar, the Golden Taps and the Riverhouse Tavern. Each venue is located about 150 metres from each other in downtown Golden, a triangle of venues so to speak.
Locations and event times for all the different acts are on the Golden Sound Festival’s website. But the general breakdown is that the more alternative bands will play at the Riverhouse, Taps is where to find the smaller, folksie-type bands, and the Rockwater is where the so-to-speak ‘headliners’ will play — because they have the most space.
The website has information about the bands and artists, clips, as well as deets on how to get tickets (you can get them online or at various spots around town). Tickets are $30 ($40 if you miss the early bird) for the whole night of music. Even if you don’t plan to stay out until the wee hours (there’s performances right until 4 a.m. on Sunday morning), it’s still an amazing deal for a night on the town and the chance to hear some great live music.
See you at the party!
Golden Sound Festival Winter Block Party images credit Joseph Carter and Gnarly Pix