The seventh annual Sled Island music and arts festival was set to open on June 19, 2013, in Calgary, Alta. — a Wednesday. But weeks of heavy rainfall led to the Bow and Elbow rivers bursting their banks late in the week, forcing the evacuation of dozens of Calgary neighbourhoods and the cancellation of the rest of the festival Friday morning. Finding themselves with nowhere to go and no shows to play, artists and promoters took matters into their own hands, and soon "Flood Island" was born.

Ad hoc shows began springing up across the city — from basements to balconies to dance studios to hot dog joints, festival performers and attendees took it upon themselves to ensure that the show went on. (Several Edmonton venues even held "Shred Island" benefit shows in support.)

Click through the gallery above for photos of five impromptu Flood Island shows that happened in Calgary on Friday and Saturday nights, and the story behind each one. You can also find more photos from the festival on CBC Music's Instagram feed.

posted by Matt Meuse on Jun 23, 2013