Pack up your bongos: The summer camping festivals are coming!

Attention hippies of Edmonton – and you know who you are – details of two of Alberta’s coolest summer camping festivals have been finalized. Attendance is mandatory.

Just kidding. We wanted to get your attention, dig?

For starters, Juno winner Bill Bourne has been confirmed to perform at the 16th annual Sasquatch Gathering, happening July 22-24 on the banks of the beautiful Pembina River at Rangeton Park near Evansburg, Alberta. Tickets ($50 early bird pass until May 1st, children 12 and under are free) are on sale now. Click here for details and the full artist line-up. Selected acts include Michelle Boudreau, Paul Bromley, Flying Fox & the Hunter Gatherers, Breezy Brian Gregg, Jason Kodie and The Low Flying Planes, a couple of dozen bands all together.

Starting from humble beginnings 16 years ago as a bush party for local musician John Armstrong and his buddies, the event has mushroomed into a serious “happening” that draws up to 700 folks every summer. Sasquatch is both family-friendly and dog-friendly, and features a special sharing event that Armstrong describes as “the biggest pot-luck supper in the world” on Saturday, July 23. If you can come up with a bigger potluck than 500 different dishes, he wants to know. One could eat all night.

No dogs are allowed at the otherwise family-friendly North Country Fair, but this is another easy-going “happening” that’s turned into an annual mecca for area alternative music fans and bush party enthusiasts of all ages. Taking place June 17-19 at the dedicated site near Driftpile, Alberta on the shores of Lesser Slave Lake – where there’s no more than a couple hours of semi-darkness at this time of year – the event features so many cool local bands that the Edmonton scene is sucked dry for that weekend. Acts include the David Gogo, the Al Brant Band, Audio/Rocketry, Feast or Famine, the Maracatu Brazilian Drummers, Paper Wings Puppet Theatre, Sister Gray, The Awesomehots, Wool on Wolves and many more – something for everyone, as you can see. All will abide by the unwritten rule: Live music only! No autotune, no canned back-up vocals, no ghetto blasters. Campers are of course welcome to bring their sitars and bongo drums. It’s one big jam.

Advance passes are $100 for adults, $60 for youths (kids under 13 are free), go on sale online Friday. Click here for details.