Published Jun 21, 2013With a full two days of music remaining, Calgary music festival Sled Island has been forced to cancel the remaining days of its 2013 event.
The cancellation comes after record amounts of rain in the area that caused flooding in downtown Calgary where the majority of the festival's venues are located. High-profile headliners such as Explosions in the Sky, Joel Plaskett, the Night Marchers, Jesus and the Mary Chain, KEN Mode and dozens of others will not be able to play their scheduled shows.
"In light of the current emergency situation, and in line with our commitment to the safety of festival-goers and the citizens of Calgary, all remaining Sled Island festival events are cancelled," festival organizers said in an official statement this morning (June 21). "We have been fortunate to be able to hold two successful days of the festival and we thank attendees for their enthusiasm and flexibility."
According to festival organizers, the artists affected by the cancellations have been very understanding and patient while waiting for news about their respective shows. Some bands, such as Winnipeg's KEN Mode, got word from organizers that they should not attempt to come to Calgary, while others are now stuck in the city.
"This is a huge blow to Western Canadian music in general," KEN Mode vocalist/guitarist Jesse Matthewson tells Exclaim! "Sled Island has been making a ton of really cool moves the past bunch of years, and I really hope they're able to recover from this. It's a huge tragedy..."
A free DJ block party yesterday (June 20) on the east side of downtown Calgary near the swelling Bow River was the ominous foreshadowing for what became widespread cancellations of last night's shows and massive amounts of flooding overnight, causing the organizers to cut the festival short near the halfway mark of major programming.
"In terms of our policy on passes and tickets, we ask for patience and understanding until we are able to address this in the days to come," reads the statement from organizers. "We realize that there will be many questions to be answered from festival-goers, artists and partners. The Sled Island office has been evacuated and we are operating with limited resources."
Hundreds of artists and countless music fans are now left to figure out how to get out of Calgary and get back on the road and/or home as most of the outgoing highways have been closed. More than 75,000 citizens have evacuated their homes as many city streets are being submerged in water.