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Canada's number one reggae-ska band Random Order will stoke the fire during the pre-festival party at The Black Knight.

From the Trenches

Tracey Bryant
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 01/05) - Folk on the Rocks is doing something a little different this year. "Warm the Rocks" the famed, or should I say inflamed, kick off to the festival will be celebrated this year at not one but a number of downtown establishments.

Festival goers can venture from one pub to another for a hopping hot evening of entertainment and, of course, frothy cold brews to go with it. The Friday before the festival is always exciting and, of course, a bit crazy. On this festival eve, Yellowknifers will suddenly be seeing a lot more exotic strangers from afar and differing Northern regions around town as musicians arrive for the festival.

Some will be pulling into town, a bit dusty from the road with vehicles bearing the classic "Mackenzie Highway two-tone paint job" (as my man happily calls it).

Most will have just landed, transplanted directly from elsewhere, looking a bit dazed - especially if they have just come from down south and up via the Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet Canadian North milk run express. They will be toting guitar cases or funny looking instruments and cases or tickle trunks.

But all of them will eventually be heading to where the metaphorical rocks are being ceremoniously warmed.

Stoking those fires and getting it all started will be Canada's number one reggae-ska band Random Order and the slow burning trio Death in Venice, performing at the Top Knight; Yukon bluegrass songstress Kim Beggs and Northern legend Randy Sibbeston will be at Jose Locos; Celtic-driven Night Sun and fiddling phenomenon Jamie RT will heat up Le Frolic; young rockers Edzo and Mandeville Drive will be on the Yellowknife Inn parking lot stage and Yellowknife's own heart and soul Steve Smith and Friends will jam it up at the Black Knight.

Whatever your scene is, each venue will have a different flavour of music and spice. Though these performers are scheduled, don't be surprised if sporadic jams break out across town and unexpected performers get up and join these folks on stage.

Who knows, maybe even Sloan will show up at the Black Knight and join Steve Smith and friends to sing some ol' Beatles ballads.

Whatever the case, it's a party, folks, and you are invited. If you want to take advantage of this rare and treasurable occasion, please get your tickets early as there are only a few to go around.

The metaphorical festival rocks are guaranteed to be nice and toasty when you arrive Saturday at the Long Lake festival grounds.

A reminder to all, today is the last day for our early bird ticket special.

So if you want to take advantage of our special Advance Weekend Pass or Family special, now would be the time to get them! Don't miss out!

Tickets are available at Birchwood Gallery, Sutherland's Drugs, Yk Co-op or the Northern Frontier Visitors Centre.