Bluesfest 2016: Festival Etiquette

Music festivals are a wonderful time for people to come together and share their passion for music with friends and family in one venue. Ottawa is lucky to host of many music festivals over the summer season, including RBC Bluesfest, the largest music festival in the nation’s capital. Bluesfest draws in thousands of people each year (about 300,000 in 2015). On Sunday night, I was lucky enough to pull together $60 and see country pop artist Thomas Rhett at the festival. This was the first time that Rhett was performing in Ottawa, and boy was the city ever excited. While walking towards the festival, my friends and I pointed out how much the city loved to dress up in plaid […]

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Bluesfest Day 3 Highlight: The Lumineers

The Lumineers stomped and clapped through the rain on Saturday July 9th at RBC Bluesfest during a beautiful set on the City Stage. The Denver based folk-rock band includes Wesley Schultz on vocals and guitar, Jeremiah Fraites on drums and percussion and Neyla Pekarek on cello and backing vocals. The group sang tracks from their two albums, The Lumineers and Cleopatra. Despite their recently released second album, the band showed seasoned confidence and poise while performing. A simple stage featuring five light displays provided the background for the emotional songs of the night. Beginning with Sleep on the Floor the audience immediately began to sing along with Schultz and the band. Ophelia and Ho Hey, two of their most popular […]

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Bluesfest Day 2: The Heavy Medicine Band and Coeur de Pirate

With the threat of a thunderstorm on the horizon, it was questionable whether the show would get rained out on the second day of Bluesfest. However, with some luck and work by the volunteers, the show went on. Kicking things off with a powerful and harmonic set of psychedelic rock, Ottawa’s own The Heavy Medicine Band left the Claridge Homes Stage crowd in awe with their powerful vocals and lush guitar riffs. Having played Bluesfest in 2014, The Heavy Medicine Band felt right at home despite playing on the much larger stage compared to the small and intimate Barney Danson Theatre that they occupied in years past. The Heavy Medicine Band played songs off of their Conduit EP such as […]

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Bluesfest Day 1: Suits N’ Toques and Billy Idol

Crowds of people both young and old, clambered in trails to kick-off the first day of Bluesfest. As the first sets were starting, the Black Sheep Stage had the act down pat. With a crowd dancing to the sweet tunes of Ottawa based ska punk band, Suits N’ Toques, one couldn’t help joining in on the “skanking”, a dance move popular in the genre. The gents played tunes like “Faceplant”, from their latest album FORNO. If you’re in Toronto over the rest of the summer be sure to check them out at Toronto Ska Festival, as well as Toronto based bar The Central. If one has no desire to travel to the big T-dot, well you’re in luck, these gents […]

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Q&A with Suits ‘n Toques

On July 7, Ottawa ska-punk outfit Suits ‘n Toques made their festival debut at Bluesfest 2016. The seven-piece band opened up the festival with high energy and a positive attitude, with many audience members hyping up the growing crowd with their “skanking”, a popular dance move associated with ska music. Taking on the Blacksheep stage, just behind the Canadian War Museum, Suits ‘n Toques braved the scorching sun for the entirety of their 45 minute time slot. The band played many of their original tunes off of the Let Loose EP and their debut album Forno. As well, they played a few cover songs including Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl. After an energetic set and mingling with friends, family and […]

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