Purple City Music Festival is back in Edmonton with its rip-roaring mix of genres, from punk to folk to hard rock. This year, they’re launching something new: Purple City Block Party. They’re shutting down two city blocks for two days of free live music.
“It’s going to be colourful, friendly and exciting,” says Rocky Mann, the fest’s Director of Communications and Planning.
“It’s a big celebration of our downtown community, a way to make sure that anyone can participate in the festival regardless of financial status or age or other barriers.”
The block party is two full days of outdoor concerts, Saturday August 26 and Sunday August 27, on a stage located directly outside the Starlite Room downtown.
“We’re focusing on accessibility, inclusivity and diversity,” says Rocky, of the fest’s line-up. The headliners are over 50% female, BIPOC or LGBTQ+. “It’s awesome, it’s really celebrating and highlighting those traditionally underrepresented artists. And they’re making some pretty exciting art.”
Indie rocker KT Laine is one of those performers. Originally from Edmonton, now living in Montreal, she plays the Block Party at 5:40 pm on Saturday August 26.
She says she’s looking forward to seeing indie-folk band Hand Habits and garage rockers Death Valley Girls. “These festivals are really fun because I get to see friends in different bands who are playing,” says KT. “It will be fun to hang out.”
The beauty of Purple City is its element of discovery, says Rocky. “The music is edgy, exciting, somewhat experimental and accessible. You’re going to get a taste of music you didn’t know you liked or genres you didn’t know existed.”
The Block Party is all-ages and runs 2pm to 8 pm each day. “It’s two days of discovery and fun. And it’s free, so you have nothing to lose,” Rocky laughs.