Announcing The Sled Island Lemonade Stand

With the summer festival season more or less cancelled, including Sled Island 2020, today we’re announcing how we’re going to squeeze every ounce of goodness from the bag of lemons we were given with a brand new initiative: The Sled Island Lemonade Stand. From Monday, June 22 until Sunday, June 28, we will be doing what we can to tip our hat to the festival week that would have been with a series of free or accessibly-priced livestreams, film screenings, comedy and DJ sets and varied activities taking place both online and in-person. By no means a simple online or socially-distanced version of the festival we had previously planned, nor a replacement for it, the Lemonade Stand tries to reinforce the pillars of the Sled Island experience over the years: fun, discovery, community and the celebration of thoughtful and vital music and art.  


We are thrilled to announce that our 2020 guest curator, electronic and R&B-infused violinist/vocalist Sudan Archives, will join us for a special free livestream concert and Q&A. Sled Island alum, Waxahatchee, will also be performing her perfectly-penned and highly confessional album Ivy Tripp in its entirety online as part of her five-week livestream series covering her entire discography. 

As part of the week, Sled Island is likewise thrilled to announce the upcoming release of two digital compilations: The Sled Island Lemonade Stand Vol. 1 & 2, comprising over 40 (!) previously unreleased songs from every genre written and recorded by Calgary artists in or just before quarantine. Featured artists include The Shiverettes, DRI HIEV, Sinzere, Samantha Savage Smith, Astral Swans, Teafannie, Chron Goblin, Selci and many more! The compilation drops Monday, June 22 as a “pay what you can” release. 

An essential part of every Sled Island is having other festival-goers tip you off to must-hear acts. Today, we are launching the Sled Island Mixtape Exchange to fill that gap as best we can. Sign up now to create and receive a personalized mixtape or playlist from other festival lovers, and maybe, just maybe make a new friend in the process? 


We are thrilled to have partnered with the Calgary Underground Film Festival to present a special drive-in screening of Uncle Peckerhead at the Big Rock Brewery, and online screenings of This Film Should Not Exist, a documentary about The Oblivians and Country Teasers, and Five Bucks At The Door, a brand new documentary about a legendary Thunder Bay music venue, complete with pre-show Sled-curated music video packages. We are also excited to announce a special co-presentation screening of Quickdraw Animation Society’s year-in-review package. 


We’re excited to announce Virtual Laugh-con 2020, our streaming comedy program featuring Telefilm New Voices award winner Brandon Ash-MohammedTallboyz and Baroness von Sketch Show writer Meg MacKay and adept comic scene stealer Jackie Pirico! All this plus Calgary’s own Mollie Risa


The festival is proud to announce Simone Saunders’ TUF(t) LOVE, an exhibition of colourful hand-tufted textiles exploring identity, culture and a Black heritage. The festival will also be helping to promote the launch of The National Music Centre’s newly launched Speak Up, an online exhibition in recognition of National Indigenous People Day. 


In addition to these streams and initiatives, Sled Island is presenting a series of daily activities ranging from in-person and online DJ sets and a podcast produced by CJSW, to Sled-curated music and video playlists and reading lists from Shelf Life Books and Sue’s Stokvel, to a specially curated rack filled with Sled Island’s history at Sloth Records. We are encouraging our community to pair their day’s schedule with delicious beer from one of seven Alberta breweries (Annex Ale Project, Blindman Brewery, Dandy Brewing Company, Eighty-Eight Brewing Co., Highline Brewery, Inner City Brewing, Last Best Brewery), because, though lemonade can be thirst-quenching, it’s got nothing on beer. We have also designed a Sled Island Bike Scavenger Hunt, encouraging everyone to get off their couches or away from their screens and venue hop across the city to see standout photos of memorable sets from the festival’s archives for a chance to win Sled swag! 

Lastly, as a multi-venue festival that was built on partnerships, Sled Island knows how essential small businesses are to a thriving community. Choosing how and where we spend our money is a great way to contribute to both building the society we want and evening the playing field. During the week of The Lemonade Stand and beyond, we are asking our community to support (within their means) not just the venues and community partners that typically provide the spaces and resources that make the festival possible, but also Black-owned businesses. All of these organizations deserve not just to survive, but thrive. Thank you for supporting the local community! 

Thanks for stopping by the Sled Island Lemonade Stand, June 22-28, 2020! The full lineup and schedule is available at

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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