Summer’s Not Over Yet: A Guide to Ottawa’s Folk Festival

Foster The People at Osheaga Festival, Montreal. Photo By Robyn Homeniuk. Foster The People at Osheaga Festival, Montreal. Photo By Robyn Homeniuk.

Summer is almost over, but there is still enough time to get a few more music festivals in. Before the snow starts burying us all again, you could head to Ottawa this weekend for their folk festival. The festival’s line up is packed with some amazing artists, and there is a great mix of free and ticketed artists to disperse the crowd. Not only that, if you haven’t been to Ottawa before, now is a great time to go check out Canada’s capital city. There are just a few things you should figure out before going.

Which artists should you see?

Every day of the festival is a host to a diverse set of musicians. There are eight different sites at which you can entertain yourself. Wednesday and Thursday night host a smaller number of artists who range from Foster The People to Lorde to Serena Ryder and more – so if you’re looking for a way to kill the middle of the week blues definitely take the drive over. Other artists at the festival include The National, J. Cole, The Wiggles, Blue Rodeo, and more; for a full list and schedule check out this page . The festival is also host to a Craft Beer House and food truck rally which will have a seriously impressive variety of food and drinks. Even better, this part is part of the free programming.

How to get to Ottawa…

There are a few different ways that you can get from Montreal to Ottawa. If you are lucky enough to have a car or brave enough to try rideshare then driving is a fantastic option. You can check out the suggested route here and if you fill your car you might even be able to drive back and forth each night between the cities. Another method is to get on your bicycle – the trip is about 200 km so you should plan for it to take you about a day to get there. If you are keen to cycle, I suggest finding at least one other person to come with you. This is the suggested  route, but I’m sure there may be other routes to take. Otherwise, you can take the bus for about $32 each trip and there are many departure times or if you are more into taking the train then Via Rail will be your method. Once you are in the city, the festival has these suggested methods for reaching the festival grounds.

Where to stay?
Again you have a few options when search for a place to stay in Ottawa. For those of us with friends or family in the area, the folk festival is an excellent time to plan a visit. This is probably the cheapest option, but of course it is not viable for everyone. Luckily, there are two other options. Of course you can try AirBnB, where the places you can stay are endless. I would book sooner rather than later though because there will be an influx of people for the festival. You may also choose to stay in a hotel, and there are four hotels in the area that have created deals specifically for the folk festival. The hotels and how to access the deals are available here.

If you are not convinced yet, then this last bit of info surely will. The full festival laminate for an adult – that is FIVE days of festival –- is only $129. How insane is that? If you only want to go to three days of the festival (for example Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) the price is only $99… These tickets are begging to be purchased by every lover of music. The full information about tickets can be found here.

Ottawa Folk Festival takes place from September 10 – 14 in Ottawa.