By Courtney Faulkner
LETHBRIDGE — “It is this astonishing little festival that is, in my opinion, one of the best festivals in all of Canada, and I’ve been to a ton of them,” says Tyler Stewart, guitarist and vocalist of local poppy garage rock band Sparkle Blood, who are performing at this year’s Love & Records. “It’s a combination of all these great things: it’s free, it has a huge record fair, which you don’t really see at any festival, it’s super inclusive, it’s right downtown, there’s a beer garden…”
A kid zone, food trucks, outdoor art gallery, a disc golf course, a comedy tent, and this year, just for good measure, there is also a ferris wheel.
“It’s the biggest festival in town, and it’s run by this tiny little radio station that’s pretty much all volunteers and it’s mind-blowingly good,” says Stewart, “It’s a high quality event. It’s amazing.”
“We just wanted to get bands and people into music culture together,” says Aaron Trozzo, station manager of CKXU 88.3 FM, Lethbridge’s community/campus radio station. “We wanted bands and records and record lovers in one place.”
“It’s been so cool to see it conceptualize and grow and succeed as it has,” says Ryland Moranz, local singer-songwriter who will be playing songs from his debut solo release, ‘Hello New Old World’, at this year’s festival.
“I’ve been a huge believer in CKXU for over a decade and really appreciate everything it does for the community,” says Moranz. “I firmly believe CKXU has had a big hand in creating the musical community we have here now.”
“CKXU has totally supported local artists the whole way through, and vicariously it does that through Love & Records now too,” says Moranz. “The music has always been very Albertan, or at least very Canadian. It really supports people that are great from our country, and our side of the country.”
“It’s a part of CKXU’s mandate, to showcase and promote cultural diversity in Southern Alberta,” says Tseten Drawuu, Love & Records entertainment manager.
“It’s community building and community driven,” says Moranz.
With Love & Records in its sixth year, this free festival, which is organized completely by volunteers, offers something for everyone to enjoy.
“I remember there was this old couple sitting on a park bench and they stopped me because I had a radio and they said, I just want to thank you, this is really really nice, it is just so good,” says Curtis Goodman, Love & Records project manager.
“And that’s why I love when we nail the diversity of the lineup,” says James Marshalsay, Love & Records operations manager, “Everybody gets a piece, and that’s what makes people love Love & Records.”
Love & Records is proud to present Delhi 2 Dublin, Royal Canoe, Five Alarm Funk, Megan Nash, Geoff Berner, Kris Demeanor, Boots and the Hoots, The Lethbridge Symphony’s String Quartet, Musaeus, Ryland Moranz and his band, Sparkle Blood, Groove Apostles and Thunder Chief at this year’s festival.
Love & Records is from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., September 17, for free, in Galt Gardens.AB, Alberta, Galt Gardens, Lethbridge, Love & Records Festival, Love & Records Music Festival and Record Fair