A quiet Coca Cola Stage on a grey, May day.

Every time I walk by the Coca Cola Stage outside of the 10 days of Stampede, I can’t quite believe how quiet it is. For those who haven’t been, during the Calgary Stampede the stage usually looks something more like this:

I borrowed this photo for the sake of this post. Credit to the Calgary Stampede.

Thousands flock to the Coca Cola Stage each and every day of the Calgary Stampede to take in an array of music and entertainment. And while some might say the best thing about the stage is that it’s free with the cost of gate admission, I’d like to argue that the best thing is the stellar musical line-up presented year after year.

For six years now (that’s how long I’ve lived in Alberta,) I’ve made sure to check out at least one show at the Coca Cola Stage. The first year it was The Trews (and boy, what a show that was. I’ve never seen so many Nova Scotia flags in my whole life. I felt like I was back living in Halifax!) The second year Matt Mays and El Torpedo. The third year Sam Roberts. (Can you see a pattern, here? I definitely have a thing for Canadian bands.) I’ve revisited my teenage years with the Barenaked Ladies and David Usher. I’ve practiced my treadmill dance to Ok Go. And while I’d like to say I have a *favorite* performance out of all these, I can’t – every year the bands vary and every year there’s a band that blows my mind a little bit. To the point where my voice is hoarse and my adrenaline is pumping at the end of the show. The mix of international, Canadian and local talent is just right, the area around the stage is small enough that you are being treated to an intimate performance and I have yet to be disappointed at a lineup.

So, all that being said, I’m seriously looking forward to the second annual Coca Cola Covert Concert tomorrow night. The lineup for the 2011 Coca Cola Stage will be announced and the crowd will be treated to performances from two of the bands playing at the Calgary Stampede this year.

And, of course, we want to see all of YOU there, too. But you can’t just show up. We’re making you work for your tickets this year. So keep an eye on this blog today and tomorrow for your Covert Ops, as well as the Calgary Stampede Facebook and Twitter pages for opportunities to win.