Ottawa is a beautiful city, with the Rideau Canal cutting through the downtown to separate Ontario from Quebec. Within this city, I was fortunate to experience one of Canada’s biggest and best music festivals: Ottawa’s Bluesfest. There are not many ways I would rather spend my evenings than listening to great music while enjoying the amazing weather that Ottawa had for the first week of Bluesfest. With sunny days and warm nights, it was an amazing experience each night I went out to the Bluesfest.
July 8th, the first night of Bluesfest and also the first night of Full Flex Express – aka Diplo and Skrillex and some buddies. While I am a music lover who doesn’t pay much attention to the genres I listen to, I can safely say that there was little blues played on Wednesday night. Kiesza, the break out Hideaway singer, performed magically. Her and her dancers were able to bust some seriously fancy moves while Kiesza didn’t miss a note. A$AP Ferg followed her, and I have to say I wasn’t the biggest fan. Though people around me in the crowd did enjoy the rap duo (I can’t tell you which one is actually A$AP Ferg); it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Jack U on the other hand, really blew me away. Diplo and Skrillex had flags and Canadian apparel making it easy to see why these two are leaders of their genre.
Friday July 10th was another great night at the festival. Many people were fighting Kanye West as the headliner of this evening, but I think he managed to do a great job of getting fans into the crowd. The festival grounds were filled with fans milling about, many checking out the several stages filled with amazing artists. Brea Lawrenson is a great singer; her and the band made some great tunes and had a lot of people dancing. I’m happy to call myself a fan now. Mariana’s Trench absolutely killed their set. So much energy and shirtlessness from the lead singer, it was impossible not to get into the groove. All the more exciting, they debuted several new tracks which makes me very excited for their new album. Kanye was 20 minutes late to his set; in the time a cloud of smoke of considerable size began to grow above the crowd. Kanye ended up having to speed through his songs because “[he] has too many hits” and played well past the curfew to the crowd’s happiness.
Saturday the 11th was a similarly successful day. Great music was experienced, many great artists took to the stages of Bluesfest. The RBC team even had a fun set of games with prizes to be won, this is always a great thing to do between bands and meet new people. Iggy Azalea was the headliner of the night, and she received a favourable reaction from the crowd. All in all, Bluesfest is a great festival which has a huge variety of artists. Luckily, it is continuing into this week.