With the dust still settling in Calgary, I've returned to Saskatoon after a wild weekend of amazingness at the Sled Island Music & Arts Festival with a head full of music and a belly full of pizza, pulled pork poutine and hot dogs. I've been keenly anticipating the festival pretty much all year, and as the bands were announced this spring, it just got harder and harder to wait.

If you're not familiar, Sled Island is a musically diverse festival that invades the clubs, pubs, hot dog joints and dives of Calgary for a blistering four days of musical mayhem. And let's not forget the main stage at Olympic Plaza in the heart of the city's downtown, which this year played host to such acts as Of Montreal, The Buzzcocks, Sleep, Raveonettes, Chad VanGaalen and many more. With over 200 bands playing at dozens of venues, it was impossible to catch it all. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get my dang cloning machine to work.

As you may have heard, this installment of Sled was particularly special for CFCR, as we brought a piece of our local music scene to Calgary, presenting a four-band explosion of Saskatoon rock and roll at Tubby Dog hot dog restaurant. The afternoon showcase featured Friends Electric, The Foggy Notions, Shooting Guns and Feral Children. The bitter sweet part about organizing this showcase is that it just scratches the surface of the depth and breadth of simply amazing music coming out of our prairie city. We would have loved to host a full-day SK party, but as it is, we were excited about the prospect of bringing a solid presence of Saskatoon/Saskatchewan music to this ever-expanding festival. The showcase was a resounding success, with a great turnout and fun for the bands and spectators alike. We're already starting to plan next year's showcase, and you can stay tuned to CFCR.ca to check out some more words and pictures of this year's showcase very soon.

It was also great to see that some other excellent Saskatchewan-based bands were playing Sled this year outside of our showcase. Bands like Auld Beak, Shuyler Jansen, Library Voices and Slow Down, Molasses proved yet again the wide array of excellent music coming out of the province.

And with this explosion of music comes an influx of local media attending Sled Island, providing words, pictures and video to help bring the festival to you. Be sure to follow Sled coverage from Planet S Magazine, new local music blog Ominocity and of course your community radio station CFCR.

On top of covering our showcase, our crack team of reporters was in on cow town taking in the festivities, pencils sharpened, typing fingers limbered and cameras at the ready to bring the Sled Island experience home.

So check back often in the coming days for our coverage of the festival, from Kurt Vile to Crocodies, from The Dandy Warhols to our very own Feral Children. Enjoy!

*Update: Now that we've posted all our Sled Island coverage, please feel free to check the various articles written/photographed by me here, here and here as well as great coverage by CFCR hosts Brendan Flaherty, Dana Durell and Skot Hamilton.

Jay Allen
CFCR Program Director & Speed Walking Champion