GLOW Winter Festival

Calgary GLOW Festival Feb 14th-16th 2020

Stephen Avenue, Calgary has been the centre of attention this weekend (Feb 14-16) as large crowds enjoyed music and entertainment, as the 2020 Glow Winter Festival brought Calgarians out onto the street. Now in its third year, the festival includes a series of events, including an ice-carving competition, an 18-passenger train, axe throwing and 35 performing acts spread across three stages.

1000's of people came out to celebrate the GLOW festival on Stephen Ave, Calgary
1000’s of people came out to celebrate the GLOW festival on Stephen Ave, Calgary
Huge crowds came out to enjoy the 2020 GLOW Festival
Huge crowds came out to enjoy the 2020 GLOW Festival

The Glow Festival – Live music, dancing and stunning light shows

The GLOW festival was created to celebrate and embrace the beauty of winter through live music, dancing, outdoor lounges and stunning light show installations. Staged across four blocks of 8th Ave South (Stephen Avenue) – from the intersections of 8th Ave. SE and 1st St. SE to the intersection of 8th Ave. SW and 3rd St. SW, this free family-friendly event had something for the whole family to enjoy. One of this years signature attractions was William Close & the Earth Harp Collective. For those who don’t know, the Earth Harp is William’s most widely known musical creation. The giant strings of the instrument tie into the architecture or the landscape. In this installation of the Earth Harp, its strings stretched out over the audience and connected to the Tree sculptures that sit outside Bankers Hall Galleria. The space is then transformed into the instrument. The theater becomes the instrument. The audience is experiencing the music from inside the instrument! If you haven’t seen or heard it, I’d highly recommend checking it out next time it’s in the area.

William Close & the Earth Harp Collective
William Close & the Earth Harp Collective
Dotted along Stephens Ave were the welcomed addition of these awesome fire pits
Dotted along Stephens Ave were the welcomed addition of these awesome fire pits

The Glow Festival – 35 music acts, 3 music stages

This year, music played a more central part of the GLOW Winter Festival with 35 musical artists and bands performing across 3 music stages setup across the festival route. Given the cold weather, another welcome addition were the numerous fire pits dotted along Stephen Ave that attracted the attention of many cold revellers during the event, creating a warm and cozy atmosphere? If fire pits weren’t your thing then warming igloos also allowed you to enjoy the winter night—without the chill.

The Glow Music Festival – Ice cavings, axe throwing and family fun

As well as the music, axe throwing and ice cavings could also be enjoyed or tried for the first time. Several of the bars along Stephen Ave created beautiful ice bars and patios with ice seating. All these installations were bathed in beautiful lighting that certainly provided the GLOW in the festival title.

A number of ice bars were created along Stephen Ave for people to enjoy a drink or to sit out on the ice seating and enjoy the music
A number of ice bars were created along Stephen Ave for people to enjoy a drink or to sit out on the ice seating and enjoy the music

All in all, the 2020 GLOW Festival was a great success with huge crowds dancing the night away and forgetting about the cold, at least for a few hours.