Field Trip Preview: A History of Field Trips


This coming weekend, the annual Field Trip Festival takes place at Fort York and it celebrates the best of whatever Arts & Craft could get for this weekend. This has been an annual tradition since earlier this decade, and has proven to be popular enough that other companies have decided to spawn similar weekend festivals in the city. I’m all for music festivals since it allows me to see many bands at once while wearing an Indian headdress and neon tank top.

Surprising enough, this will be my first trip to this Festival and going on a field trip remains me of all the times I went on a Field Trip during my formulative years in Edmonton. Let’s take a trip through memory lane at the Field Trips I remember as a kid and I’ll try to make some metaphorical relation to one of the bands playing at the festival. It’s probably not going to work but you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. That’s something Wayne Gretzky said back in the day. I never liked him because I was Mario fan, but whatever, let’s focus on the music.

1986 – Rundle Park
For kids in the 80s, Rundle Park was the mecca for parks. It had the most enormous park of them all and had some really cool contraptions including one of those things where you hold above your head and then it slides you to another part of the park. Our school had a once a year trip there and it was always a highlight. I think it was at this park that my buddy at the time gave me a birthday card invitation, however, I didn’t know what it was at the time and ignored it. So I missed my first birthday party ever in Canada.

This reminds me of The War on Drugs, because just like missing my friend’s birthday party, I’ve missed the War on Drugs every single time they have played in Toronto. The group put up one of the best albums last year, and so I am very excited to see them.

1987 – Some Farm
I don’t quite remember much details about this field trip. What I do remember was what day it was and how dark the sky was coming back from it. This wasn’t an elementary school trip, but rather one of those summer camp trips your parents put you into during the summer because they are too busy working. The sky was dark when we returned and it was raining a shit load. You know why? that was the day of the infamous Edmonton Tornado. It was one of the most destructive tornados in Canada history and so important that the Rural Alberta Advantage wrote a song about it.

Of all the bands playing Field Trip, it would appear to me that Hamilton’s The Arkells are the band you would most associate with some of the qualities of a tornado. Loud and leaves a trail of minor destruction with their rock music. I’m probably reaching here. Tornadoes don’t last a long time and it appears the Arkells are here to stay.

1988-1992 – Rabbit Hill
One of my favorite trips every year would be our schools annual winter trip to Rabbit Hill. Rabbit Hill was a ski hill about an hour away from Edmonton and every year we would go skiing there. It was good for me because I took skiing lessons as a kid and really enjoyed that trip. I loved the mid day lunch break where I would be able to buy fries and gravy. Rabbit hill was a good beginner hill that had black diamonds that were anything but. It was funny, I thought I could handle black diamonds because of Rabbit hill but then when I went skiing in Banff, then I fully realized what black diamonds were. You don’t mess with that shit.

Purity Ring are from Edmonton, I wonder if they went to the same field trip. I think their slow dreamy synth pop music would be a great soundtrack for night skiing.


1990 – Drumheller
Every kid growing up in Alberta has been to Drumheller. It’s in the Badlands, it’s got the hoodoos and it has one of the best museums for looking at dinosaurs. Part of this trip was for us to meet our pen pals, who were from some random boonie school in Drumheller. My Pen Pal lived on a Bison farm and so I was able to ride on a back of a pickup truck through a bison farm. It was pretty freaking cool and I’m sure it would of got a lot of likes on Instagram if it existed back then.

You know what other pictures would get a lot of likes on Instagram? Marina and the Diamonds. The colorful singer always comes up with colorful outfits and stage setup that is quite pleasing to the eye. I still remember seeing her at Lamberts like four years ago at SXSW, performing her stellar debut album while wearing a onesie. I haven’t listened to the new album Froot yet, but I’m excited because I have no idea what Froot is.


1997 – Calgary
My only high school trip. It was part of our biology IB class trip. Yes, I was in IB. The trip once again took us to Drumheller and then to Calgary for the night. It was super fun because all of our buddies went. Looking back, we were super nerdy. I know this because as teenagers with a free night in another city all by ourselves we chose to do the following
– Watch Austin Powers movie
– Go back to the Hotel waterpark and chill there
– Play Track and Field 64 on N64 all night.

Yes, Tom brought a nintendo and we just played that all night long. It was a classic time. You know what else is classic? De La Soul. I really hope they play Eye Know, which they did not play at NXNE a few years back.

2015 – Fort York
Which brings up to Fort York, this weekend. Surely this is a different kind of field trip, but in many ways, it is the same as the ones we’ve always went to. I’m not going to list the ways, but I expect you to do some deep thinking about that.

Other acts I am looking foward to seeing: Temples, Songhoy Blues, Sharon & Bram.

See you there!

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.