Exploring Yellowknife Folk on the Rocks

10 things to do at Folk on the Rocks other than listen to music

Yellowknife Festivals and Events

Here are 10 things to do at Folk on the Rocks other than listening to the live music performances. So you no longer have any excuse not to go to Folk on the Rocks if you don’t like live music. Whoever you might be.

Some of the Folk on the Rocks folks and I have been kicking the around the idea of this article for a couple years now. Partly to showcase some of the other things you can do at Folk during the weekend and partly to capture what really makes Folk on the Rocks special for so many. So let’s jump into it.

Free Pedicures

We are not experts in skin care but we are willing to bet that walking barefoot (we recommend at least flipflops though) is good for your feet. Frees your toes and lets them breathe. And we think you’d agree there is nothing quite as soothing as burying your feet in nice, cool sand.

Cryogenic Therapy Swims

Swimming in the lake (Long Lake) is done at your own risk, but if you are looking for a good way to cool down and even wash off some of that sand from your pedicure, this is it. Enjoy a sandy beach right off the shores of the festival ground beyond the beer gardens. Take a dip during the day, or wait until the midnight sun lingers in the sky.

Exercise By Dancing

Just because there is a music festival happening all weekend doesn’t mean you have to give up that workout routine of yours. When the moment strikes jump up and dance. Dance your little heart out. Break a sweat. Burn those calories. Just remember to stay hydrated. See! Going to a music festival is basically good for your health.

Eat Your Heart Out

Okay, so really all the dancing is to justify all the good food that will be readily available at the festival. Burgers, wings, curry, plant-based pad-thai, pad-thai, TACOS-IN-A-FREAKIN-BAG. Whatever your delight, there is likely going to be something to meet (meat?) that craving. And when you are full, just a dance some more.

Folk on the Rocks Food - One of a Thai

Enjoy a Picnic Lunch or Dinner

Nothing says family picnic like you and your closest 400 folk friends all eating at the same time. But really, whether you pack a meal or buy it on site, grab a picnic table or throw down a blank and have a meal with friends. Food is the ultimate connector.

Make a New Friend or Ten

The mosh-pit in front of the beer garden stage isn’t the only place to mix it up with other people. The entire festival is a giant gathering of familiar and new faces. Throw a blanket down beside a stranger, slide into an empty picnic table spot, or simply greet someone while running from one stage to another. By Sunday night you’ll have swapped stories, danced together and made a new folk friend… or ten.

Summer Tanning Time

While running from stage to stage, getting a pedi, or swimming in the lake, you can also simultaneously be working on your summertime tan. We know come spring we are all shamefully light skinned after a long dark winter and need every opportunity to catch those golden rays. With so few sunny days, even less during a rainy summer, it is time for double duty. Enter in Folk on the Rocks, a summer tan facilitator. Be safe though, no falling asleep in sun, and make sure you have adequate suntan lotion. Let’s bring on the raccoon eyes and farmers tans. You got this!

Meet Local Artisans and Producers

Musicians and artisans go hand in hand (yes, music is an art form) so the Vendor Tent is a must when at Folk on the Rocks. Local artisans and producers are on site to show off their own labour of loves. Shirts, jewelry, soaps, tattoos, cards, crafts and so on. This is your opportunity to meet some of those people and learn about their crafts first hand. #ShopYK

Folk on the Rocks Artisan Tent

Get Folk Merch

A bit of a plug for the festival itself here, but let’s be honest there are some good reasons for you to get yourself some new Folk on the Rocks merch. The first and foremost reason is that it supports the festival and helps it continue to grow and maintain stability. There is a cost to everything, and every little bit helps. The second reason is that you will look dope as hell… Pardon our language.

Folk on the Rocks Merch


Grounds crew, backstage helper, beer slinger, front gate checker, go-for, quad driver, Marino helper, SASS Ambassador or person who rides around in one of those little golf carts with Keith working security making sure everything in the background is running smoothly so that others can have the best festival experience possible (and breath). There is a lot of volunteer opportunities that other than getting you into the festival for free, show you more about what it takes to pull all such a large event. It gives you a deeper appreciation for all those who have volunteered before you because without any volunteers (including the volunteer board of directors) none of the festival would be possible.

There you have it. 10 things you can do at Folk on the Rocks other than listening to awesome live music. Do you have another one to add? Leave us a comment below. Don’t forget to check out our guide to Folk on the Rocks for how to make the most of the festival.


About the author

Kyle Thomas

Kyle grew up in Yellowknife and is a local entrepreneur, writer, baker, and Yellowknife Advocate who is addicted to learning as much as he can about the community and sharing it with anyone who'll listen. In 2009 he developed YkOnline.ca. A website all about living, working and thriving in Yellowknife for residents, newcomers, and visitors.

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