July has come to Ottawa and that means only one thing: Bluesfest! One of the largest blues festivals in North America and the largest event in Ottawa, Bluesfest brings some of the worlds biggest names in music to Lebreton Flats, near the iconic War Museum and steps away from Parliament Hill for 12 days of non stop rock.
Bluesfest has been taking place in Ottawa since 1994 where it was staged at Majors Hill Park and featured headlining artist Clarence Clemons and brought 5,000 people. In 1997 the festival was moved to Confederation Park to accommodate the increasing amount of fans in attendance as well as more stages. The festival was moved again in 1999 to Lebreton Flats and featured artists like Smokey Robinson, Little Richard, Sting, Al Green and Buddy Guy, and brought in 95,000 fans. 2003 saw the festival expand to 8 stages and 220,300 people attended. In 2005 the festival organizers wanted to reach out to new and younger groups and began to expand it’s musical offerings with artists like Kid Rock, Simple Plan, Black Eyed Peas, K-os, Alexisonfire, Xavier Rudd and many more. Over the next few years, Bluesfest became less about “blues” and more about “music” and saw crowds grow year over year. Last years festival saw one of the mainstages collapse during a freak gust of wind during a set by Cheap Trick.
This years lineup consists of over 100 artists spread across 6 stages, including Tiesto, LMFAO, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Snoop Dogg, Bad Religion, Skrillex, Diplo, John Mellencamp, Nickelback, David Gray, Seal, Norah Jones, I Mother Earth, Lauryn Hill, Chali 2na, Deltron 3030, Big Boi, A-Trak, Pretty Lights, Tyga and many more. The festival has also began to incorporate stand-up comedy routines sponsored by Just For Laughs.
Eastscene.com will be bringing you lots of coverage over the next 12 days for various artists and acts so keep coming back for more reviews and features throughout our Bluesfest Summer Concert Series!