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The All-Star Blues Revue kicks off tonight, hosted by Ottawa soul band, The Split. Photo: Shot In The Dark (YouTube).

Bluesfest: Day 2 Preview

By Stephane Dubord on July 5, 2019

UPDATE: Due to travel issues, Colter Wall will not be performing tonight. 

There’s nothing quite like kicking off Bluesfest with a heat advisory. Better get accustomed to the warm weather quick, because there’s plenty more in the forecast in the coming week. One word people: hydrate!

After yesterday’s phenomenal kickoff, it’s time to transition from CHVRCHES to Church (of the Eric variety), and countrify the main stage tonight with a trio of acts that will bring a few different takes on country, from folk and roots to more mainstream pop country. With hundreds of millions of streams, Eric Church is one of the biggest stars in country music, and with so many live albums to his name already (including his 61 Days In Church series, now up to five volumes), you can be sure he puts the emphasis on the stage.


Day 2

City Stage: Colter Wall (6:00), Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit (7:30), Eric Church (9:30)

Videotron Stage: Hanorah (6:30), Yungblud (8:00), Rodrigo Y Gabriela (9:30)

Bluesville Stage: Melanie Brulée (6:00), AJ Ghent (7:30), Little Walter Tribute (9:00)

Barney Danson Theatre: Gabrielle Goulet (6:00), Anthony Geraci (7:30), All-Star Revue with The Split (9:00)

Spin Stage: DJ Rise Ashen (6:30)


Local Highlights

Bourget’s Gabrielle Goulet will be kicking things off in the Barney Danson Theatre with her modern mélange of traditional country blended with pop sensibilities, from the banjo-driven “Elle sait”, the title track of her 2017 album, to the anthemic “Juste toi” and “J’y pense encore” reminiscent of Lumineers or Strumbellas with huge choruses. She kicked off 2019 with a bang, becoming the first francophone artist to be named Artist of the Month by the Country Music Association this past January.

Closing out the Theatre most nights again this year is the All-Star Blues Revue. Tonight is the first of three consecutive nights hosted by Ottawa’s The Split. Catch a variety of the day’s artists getting together for a jam session exploring creativity and paying tribute to some of the greats that have influenced their musical journeys.

On the Spin stage, DJ Rise Ashen will be returning to the booth for the second straight night.


Don’t Miss:

If you need a break from the City Stage’s wall-to-wall country and folk, stroll over to the Videotron Stage to catch YUNGBLUD‘s energetic set. He may only have one full album to date, but his other singles and collaborations have also gained him a significant following in the short time he’s been recording. His duet with Halsey, “11 Minutes” reached #5 on the Billboard Hot Rock chart in March, and his current collaboration with Machine Gun Kelly “I Think I’m OKAY” is on the verge of cracking the Top 10. A great opportunity to see one of the most promising alt-rockers before he continues on his trajectory and comes back as a headliner.

If what you’re looking for is more grounded, then head over to the Bluesville tent for AJ Ghent. Great electric blues, with an infusion of soul and gospel straight from the South. If his recent Live EP is any indication what we can expect, the Atlanta bluesman will be making quite a mark on the festival.


RBC Bluesfest is at LeBreton Flats (Canadian War Museum) from July 4–14, 2019. Visit ottawabluesfest.ca for tickets, the complete schedule and lineup. Check back for more on Bluesfest 2019, including our Day 3 preview, which will include an interview with headliners The Glorious Sons!