Ottawa’s RBC Bluesfest is returning next week to shine a light through the haze of smoke and rain that’s been hiding the Summer of 2023. As disasters both natural and unnatural continue to cause anguish in the area, music will bring us together for nine wondrous evenings in July.
The festival covers a variety of genres and will take place from July 6 to 16 at LeBreton Flats in Ottawa, Ontario, with two recovery days in the middle.
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Two Rock & Roll Hall of Famers are gracing the festival grounds this year; Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin (featuring Alison Krauss) and the Foo Fighters. It’s with heavy hearts that we welcome back the Foo Fighters for their first show in Ontario without drummer Taylor Hawkins, who blessed the stage back in 2018 with an epic drum solo to one of the largest Bluesfest crowds ever.
Featured artists on the main RBC stage include Shania Twain (July 6), Weezer and Billy Talent (July 7), Robert Plant & Alison Krauss (July 8), Death Cab For Cutie (July 9), Foo Fighters (July 12), Mumford & Sons (July 13), Charlotte Cardin (July 14), Pitbull and Ludacris (July 15), and The Smile (July 16).
Festival programming also includes the following local and international artists across four stages:
July 6 – Lindsay Ell, Brea Lawrenson, BBNO$, Dax, J.C, Son Little, John Németh, Mikhail Laxton, Mimi O’Bonsawin, Melissa Lamm
July 7 – PUP, Thundercat, Tank & The Bangas, Melo Griffith, Jupiter & Okwess, Southern Avenue, Digging Roots, Jesse Greene Band, Emily Jean Flack
July 8 – Blackie and The Rodeo Kings ft. Daniel Lanois and Suzie Vinnick, Steven Taetz, BADBADNOTGOOD, Raul Midón, The Texas Horns, Matthew Chaffey, Sugaray Rayford, Nesrallah Artuso Project, Aspects, Gabrielle Shonk
July 9 – Tegan & Sara, Bran Van 3000, Alan Doyle, Jack Barksdale, Youngtree & The Blooms, Guy Belanger, Dawn Tyler Watson, Taming Sari, Emmanuelle Querry, East Coast Experience
July 10 & 11 – No events. Rest up and get ready for the next five days!
July 12 – White Reaper, MONOWHALES, My Son The Hurricane, Lime Cordiale, Black Joe Lewis, River City Junction, Adrian Sutherland, Katie Tupper
July 13 – The War on Drugs, Amos the Transparent, Declan McKenna, Cam Kahin, Avery Raquel, Sudan Archives, Lloyd Spiegel, Angelina Hunter Trio, Loviet, Ash Ravens
July 14 – FLETCHER, Amanda Jordan, Fleet Foxes, Allison Russell, Pony Girl, Rich Aucoin, Sauce Boss, Sussex, Michelle Treacy, Neha Sin
July 15 – GRAE, Julia Jacklin, Billianne, Abby Stewart, Boston Levi, HOROJO Trio, Joe McDonald, TJ Wheeler, Drew Nelson
July 16 – Alvvays, Paragon Cause, Koffee, Avenoir, Eazy Finesse, Be In The Band Showcase, Blues In The Schools Showcase, Miss Emily, Megan Jerome, Steph La Rochelle
>> Dayglo Abortions at Xeroz, Moncton
>> Khemmis at Le Ritz, Montreal
>> Sloan at Café Campus, Montreal
And be sure to check out Rise Ashen, ALAMUSIC, and BeatScience on the Accora Village Spin Stage as they keep the beats flowing throughout the festival. Hot tip: This is also the perfect place to watch the sunset over the Ottawa River.
To learn more about RBC Bluesfest, to buy your tickets and plan your festival experience, visit their official website.