“If I were to build a stage, would you throw a party?” And so, the journey into FrogFest Festival began. A few short months later the founders of FrogFest went back to visit Randy – landowner and master builder – to discover that he did indeed build a stage. An epic stage. Emanating a magnificent potential, the stage towered over a clearing in a gorgeous forest. Creating trails and camping areas, erecting outhouses, and gathering wood for a weekend-long fire, the wheels were set in motion for a “party” to happen. Featuring a cross-section of Calgary’s music scene, a very grass-roots first FrogFest Festival took place in 2010 manifesting a community that would annually come together to share in the magic of music, art, friendship, and nature.
2011 brought us Tree Frog Fest. Organizers and audience members came together to further conjure the potential of the land, and found themselves digging outhouses, as well as trenches to redirect flash floods as rain poured down throughout the weekend. By 2012, art installations started to pop up in the forest for the first time. Performers now also began appearing on the new side stage, while a growing audience danced around the fire to some of Western Canada’s favourite independent music makers. In 2013, more rain came. Though conditions could have dampened the spirits of the festival, dancing and laughter echoed along the trails. High spirits were rewarded as the sky finally cleared at the end of the final night. An opportunity to re-invoke the fireside jams was hopped upon, and singing and instruments serenaded through the trees into the sunrise. Without a doubt this land was welcoming us and our ambitious but humble vision, metamorphosing FrogFest into a valuable community building supporter of the arts.
The festival continued to grow, and so did the stage. In 2014, Randy and the team added wings to the main stage, and literally raised the roof! To support this momentum, in 2015 the festival founders decided to register the Frogfest Music & Arts Society as an incorporated not-for-profit organization.
FrogFest Festival has continued annually since then over Canada Day long weekend. With the help of countless volunteers and artists, as well as wonderful support from the community FrogFest continues to produce an awe-inspiring festival of music and art; each year setting a higher standard for what an inclusive community festival can be. Performers of every genre of folk, rock, and experimental music find a home in the forest, in addition to the eager ears of a captivated and admiring audience. 150+ bands from across Canada, and as far as China have shared their talents. A dedicated team of visual artists animate the stages and the entire forest with stunning installations. The connections within the community are reinforced and made stronger each year uniting us all in a vision of altruism, sustainability, honesty, and respect.
This year, we will be celebrating a decade of Frogfest as it is known today. We are very excited to share the experience with our community, and look forward to the next unforgettable event… xox