CityFolk wraps up second year at Lansdowne

Ottawa’s annual CityFolk Festival took over Lansdowne Park from Sept. 15 to 18.

Throughout the four days of the festival, music poured from three stages across the grounds: the main City stage, the BMO stage, and the RavenLaw stage.

The music felt constant, comforting and never-ending. Most attendees seemed genuinely satisfied to be seeing anyone and everyone that was playing.

Michael Mariana, a first-year biology student at Carleton University, said CityFolk was a great addition to the frosh packages and gave him a better sense of the Ottawa community.

“I thought CityFolk was an amazing experience and it brought our community together. X Ambassadors were a great closing act,” Mariano said.

All the headliners, from James Bay and Bryson Tiller to Dean Brody and Vance Joy, drew excitable crowds no matter the weather. Even smaller local and national artists like John Jacob Magistery, Julien Baker, Lake Street Dive and Northcote drew out devoted crowds night after night.

According to festival director Mark Monahan, many attendees regarded the diversity in acts as a great benefit to the festival.

Mohian Rahman, a fourth-year civil engineering student at Carleton, agreed with Monahan

“[I] loved the diversity of music . . . ranging from hip hop [and] rap to indie and different styles of staging,” Rahman said.

Some of the crowds became a little too rowdy, but for the most part the festival-goers were polite and respectful of the space they were in, and the park was incredibly clean for the entirety of the festival.

Monahan added that CityFolk’s spinoff, Marvest, was also a success, and estimated festival attendance at 35,000 people.

Photo by Erica Giancola

Photo by Erica Giancola

However, the festival’s policy on smoking seemed hazy. It was labeled a no-smoking event, but hardly anyone smoking ever had their cigarettes confiscated or were even asked to stop smoking within the festival grounds.

All in all, as far as ups and downs are concerned, there really weren’t too many cons. Sure, the layout was a little bit wonky, no one knew too much about whether or not they would get in trouble for smoking, and it poured rain one night, but other than that everything seemed to stay on a high note.

According to Monahan, this year there were major improvements made to the BMO and RavenLaw stages, including improvements to the acoustics within the Aberdeen Pavilion, which were really beneficial to the indoor performances.

“We built a black box around the stage . . . all of these acts were so much better with the acoustic changes we made . . . of course the RavenLaw stage was in the Horticulture building so you can walk throughout the whole site without having to scan in and out and that was a change from last year. We heard the fans and we changed that,” Monahan said.