I normally book two weeks off for Ottawa’s Bluesfest, a summer festival held at Lebreton Flats in Canada’s capital city; there’s just too many acts to take in without a break. This year is no different, with 200+ groups across five outdoor stages, and a few other indoor locations at various spots across the city. The big names on the lineup once again have very little to do with the Blues, with acts like Tiesto, LMFAO, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Nickelback, Snoop Dogg, Bad Religion, Diplo, and K’naan taking the stage.
Rounding out the side stages are a wildly diverse group of artists (and the focus of our coverage), which loosely fall under the “Electro” theme that the festival organizers have adopted this year. Awolnation, Fishbone, Akron/Family, Dirty Projectors, Plants and Animals, !!!, Sleigh Bells, Nobody Beats the Drum, Mustard Pimp, MSTRKRFT, Chromeo, I Mother Earth, Lauryn Hill, A$AP Rocky, Deltron 3030, Chali 2na, Big Boi, Grimes, Rich Aucoin, Blitzen Trapper, The Sheepdogs, The Hold Steady, Hey Rosetta, Young the Giant, A-Trak, Drop the Lime, Skrillex, Beirut, Felix Cartal, Mastodon, 10cc, The Souljazz Orchestra, The Weeknd, and Wolfgang Gartner.
That’s not even near the end of the artist list. There’s a whole raft of local and touring aritsts that I’m not familiar with. There’s artist workshops at local schools. There’s even live comedy at one of the indoor stages. So if you’re a summer festival rookie, just looking to take in your favourite acts and nothing else, this festival has you covered. If you’re into electro, it’s a good spot to be present, with a range of artists creating interesting music instead of chasing a top 40 hit. And if you’re into a little bit of everything and you’ve got some time to spare in the next two weeks and are geographically capable of making it to Ottawa, Canada, I highly suggest you take in our Blues festival.
• Ottawa Bluesfest: http://ottawabluesfest.ca