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Photo by Dustin O'Donnell, from Bluesfest 2009, used under flickr Creative Commons license.

Weekend Roundup, Bluesfest edition

By Jill Krajewski on July 7, 2016



Canada is 149 now but doesn’t look a day over 100. You might, on the other hand, depending on how much your Canada Day turned into a Canada Night or a Canada Long Weekend. Hope you got plenty of water and rest in between, cause July is the maddest month for events in Ottawa.

Bluesfest is taking over the city again from tonight until July 17 at LeBreton Flats with an eclectic lineup featuring everything from ‘80s legends to Kanye West collaborators. If you’re heading out tonight, local dark alt favourites Scattered Clouds will get weird at the Barney Danson Theatre, new wave and jazz icon Joe Jackson is steppin’ out on the City Stage, rapper Schoolboy Q will be giving the Claridge Homes Stage a taste of his Blank Face LP before it drops on Friday, and MTV’s original bleach-blonde bad boy Billy Idol headlines the City Stage.

On Friday, your best bets for Bluesfest are The Heavy Medicine Band on the Claridge Homes Stage for some hard-hitting Ottawa soul, Coeur de Pirate on the City Stage for bittersweet angelic indie pop, and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds for a dose of Noel stage banter and Oasis nostalgia on the City Stage. Saturday night features Odd Future alumn Earl Sweatshirt on the City Stage, “She Sells Sanctuary” singers The Cult on the Claridge Homes Stage, plus post-punk and post-racist-band-name group Preoccupations (formerly known as Viet Cong) on the Blacksheep Stage.

Sunday is your chance to see The Weeknd associate and rising Ottawa rapper Belly on the City Stage. By rising, I mean hot off getting signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation, so go see him now for bragging rights before he gets big. Yukon Blonde were tons of fun at Beau’s Oktoberfest last year so you’ll wanna catch the rockers at the Monster Energy Stage for an indie rock high. Creedence Clearwater Revival’s native son John Fogerty closes out the night on the City Stage and will be sure to get your inner dad going.

If you need a Bluesfest breather, watch Harrison Ford do all the running around instead at a free outdoor screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark on Saturday night. Capital Pop Up Cinema is putting on India Jones’ debut 1981 adventure at Sparks Street, which begs the question if booby traps will be part of the street’s revitalization plan.

Got Bluesfest energy left to spare? Sabbath, Ottawa’s latest alternative dance party, is going down at Bablyon on Sunday night til late. Expect ‘80s flavors and new classics inspired by Prince, Talking Heads, Madonna, Herbie Hancock, and then some. DJs Adam Saikaley, Cool Cal, and Sweet Cheeks will be playing every genre from funk to pop, so consider coming in late on Monday.

Check out our event calendar and feel free to suggest events to us for more ideas on what’s good this weekend. Because it’s 2016, share your posts with #apt613wknd and Justin Trudeau just might notice you when you’re featured on our Instagram! Kidding, he doesn’t follow us either – yet.