August 11, 2017 7:54 pm

Folk Festival act plays Edmonton’s Needle Vinyl Tavern following storm evacuation

The Needle Vinyl Tavern hosted Folk Festival act Shakey Graves Thursday, after Gallagher Park was evacuated.

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After thousands of people had to be evacuated from Edmonton’s Folk Music Festival Thursday night, employees at The Needle Vinyl Tavern were busy hatching a plan to try to partially save the show.

READ MORE: Folk Festival volunteers say evacuation went smoothly, share unique perspective

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Folk fest organizers made the call to cancel the final two performances after a storm blew into the city.

“Twitter started getting wild, to say the least! I had my hands full,” said Brittany Rudyck, an employee with the tavern. “We’re all big fans of folk fest here so it was bad news. But Twitter started going off and people started tweeting at us and asking if we would be hosting the show.”

Rudyck said the attention was flattering but employees behind the scene were busy trying to make it happen.

“Staff were able to turn around and prepare in record time,” Rudyck said. “There was an element of excitement rather than stress.”

Employees were called in, security increased, the tavern was preppared- and by 11p.m., Shakey Graves was on stage.

He was supposed to play the festival at 9:40 p.m.

“Very fast turnaround and quick flurry of events but I think we pulled it off.  It was packed in here. It was a lot of fun. He played an amazing set.”

Rudyck said the Needle is gaining a reputation for being the go-to place when shows can’t be accomodated at other locations.

“We’ve had a few people on Twitter say if another show gets rained out – just don’t think – go to the Needle.”

Staff love the idea too.

“We kind of joked about it at first,” Rudyck said. “It would be kind of cool if Shaky Graves played the Needle – and it just worked out in our favour.”

Last month, the Needle hosted Canadian band July Talk after their outdoor performance was rained out at K-Days.

“We’re just in such a cool place in the community that we can do that and step in when people want see these bands.”

“We’re happy to do it!”

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