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10 acts you should get to know from the Bluesfest lineup

By Landon Entwistle on March 1, 2017

The 2017 edition of the Ottawa Bluesfest lineup was announced last week, featuring great acts from many genres. Headliners such as Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Muse, and P!nk are all very well-known and respected, as each have sold millions of records and will provide exciting live performances.

However, there were lots of responses to the lineup asking, “who are some of these other acts?” And so, here are ten acts from varying genres that will be sure to impress this year at Bluesfest.

Death From Above 1979

Death From Above 1979 are back in the lineup after the acclaimed Toronto rock duo had to cancel their previous Bluesfest show in 2016. The hard hitting bass riffs over layers of fuzz and distortion by Jesse Keeler meeting with the intricate drumming of Sebastien Grainger will make for a performance you won’t want to miss on opening night, July 6.

Gary Clark Jr.

Gary Clark Jr. is a blues influenced musician from Austin, Texas. The guitarist/vocalist has worked with the likes of the Foo Fighters, Alicia Keys, and Childish Gambino on projects, and was named Rolling Stone’s “Best Young Gun” in its 2011 Best of Rock issue. Look for Gary Clark Jr. to light up the stage with his incredible guitar work on July 12.


Flume is an Australian producer, DJ, and musician who continuously redefines his genre. Flume’s glitchy, crisp, melodic beats have put him at the top of the class in the electronic world. Flume’s album Skin won Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 2017 Grammy Awards. A followup EP Skin Companion 2 was just released this past week, so look for some new material in his Bluesfest set on July 13.

July Talk

Toronto based rockers July Talk will be returning to the Bluesfest stage since last performing in 2014. The stage presence of the band is nothing short of electric, with an endless amount of energy from the two lead singers; the growly deep voice of Peter Dreimanis contrasts perfectly that of Leah Fay’s highs. Look for July Talk on July 11.

Pokey Lafarge

Not knowing what to expect from a name like Pokey Lafarge, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this talented artist and his band bringing the 1950s sound back to life. The ragtime blues, swing and jazz elements are all present in Pokey’s music, and will be a show to remember. Check out Pokey Lafarge on July 6.


New York based duo Phantogram will bring their unique multidimensional sound to the Bluesfest stage on July 12. The band are hard to classify in one specific genre, taking elements from psychedelic rock, electronica and pop, melding them all together to create something special.

Xavier Rudd

Australian singer songwriter Xavier Rudd will be performing on July 15 at Bluesfest. His mellow vibes and folk sound are the perfect combination for a great summer night.

Daniel Caesar

Toronto based R&B artist Daniel Caesar has been getting plenty of attention in recent times, for his own unique brand of ‘New Soul,’ combining the sounds of R&B, hip hop, and gospel. Look for Daniel
Caesar on July 13.

LCD Soundsystem

The dance punk outfit led by James Murphy is a spectacle you won’t want to miss at Bluesfest this year. LCD Soundsystem are known for their amazing live performances, from their passion of music to the intense visuals that go along with their show. Catch LCD Soundsystem on July 12.

Anna Lunoe

Australian DJ/vocalist/producer Anna Lunoe is back at Bluesfest on July 7. Her last appearance at the fest was in 2015 as part of the Full Flex Express Tour with Skrillex and Diplo. Look for her deep house beats that will keep the crowd dancing throughout the night.

There are many great acts performing this year that were not mentioned above, so I encourage readers to go through the day by day lineups and give each artist a chance. You never know what you might find!

The 2017 Ottawa Bluesfest runs from July 6–16 at LeBreton Flats. For a full list of the artists performing, visit