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Rideau Pines Farm after dark during Arboretum Festival 2017. Photo: Greggory Clark/Apt613.

Arboretum Fest’s BON-FIRE lineup includes Jessy Lanza, Shay Lia, & Chad VanGaalen

By Greggory Clark on April 27, 2018

Wolf Parade, Mauno, Bonjay, Jennifer Castle, Shadowhand, Bonnie Doon, Heavy Medicine Band, and many more will perform at Rideau Pines Farm in August.

“You can’t have a BON-FIRE downtown.” That was the message which lit up IG on Thursday night. Artists and friends of the festival posted images after dark of these words on a burning postcard. Their mysterious teaser posts had #bonfire613 trending locally:

“Being at Rideau Pines last summer, our original vision for the festival came together. But we also felt like we’d given birth to a new baby. The name BON-FIRE captures everything we were trying to manifest with our summer event, both intimate and familiar,” says Stéfanie Power, Arboretum Festival Managing Director, in an email to APT613.

“There are limits to what we could do downtown,” adds Rolf Klausener, Creative Director. “We wanted to throw the weekend bush party you’d hear about Monday morning at your high school locker.”

Cadence Weapon takes to the Forest Stage at dusk on Friday night of Arboretum Festival 2017.

We wanted to throw the weekend bush party you’d hear about Monday morning at your high school locker.

By car, the rural spot is about 25 minutes outside of Ottawa. It can be done on a bike in two hours or less. However you can hitch a ride on the festival’s shuttle bus, a perk for passholders.

Calgary-based songwriter, illustrator and multi-instrumentalist Chad VanGaalen has been invited to play the festival for a second time. He was here in 2014, the festival’s final year in Waller Park before construction of the new Ottawa Art Gallery began on that site. As for other touring artists, the 2018 lineup includes alt-folk songwriter Jennifer Castle, Polaris-shortlisted electronic artist Jessy Lanza, weirdo pop-rock Maritimers Mauno, Toronto’s DJ Bambii, and Kaytranada collaborator Shay Lia.

Fronted by Andrew Woods, featuring Basia Bulat on keys and Wintersleep’s Loel Campbell on drums, Montreal’s Napster Vertigo are among the artists who will perform on a hand-built stage in the forest at Rideau Pines Farm, where there’s even the option to pick your own fruit and vegetables all weekend long.

The festival’s local picks include lo-fi surf rock band Bonnie Doon, hip hop producer Shaq France, and standout psych-rockers Heavy Medicine Band.

For the full lineup visit arboretumfestival.com.


BON-FIRE is happening August 17–18, 2018 at Rideau Pines Farm (5714 Fourth Line Rd). A limited number of $50 early bird passes are available at arboretumfestival.ca and include shuttle bus transportation from downtown Ottawa. Follow @arboretumfest on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


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