Blending some of the biggest blues, rock and pop artists together for one spectacular week in July, the Ottawa Bluesfest has grown to become the biggest blues festival in Canada and one of the biggest general festivals in North America. The inaugural Ottawa Bluesfest was held in 1994 and was headlined by the late Clarence Clemons, who perhaps was most notable for his work in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Bigger acts followed in Clemons’ path in the coming years, with Buddy Guy and John Hiatt headlining in 1994 and Robert Cray and Los Lobos taking the mainstage in 1996. Just over 5,000 people were in attendance for Clemons’ headlining gig in 1994, In 2007, the festival drew greater than 300,000 people and continues to grow with each passing year. A staple festival at Ottawa’s LeBreton Flats, the Ottawa Bluesfest has drawn an array of performers, ranging from the soulful tunes of The SoulJazz Orchestra to the new classic hits of rapper and Australian native Iggy Azalea.
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Ottawa Bluesfest Ticket News
6-17-15: The 2015 Ottawa Bluesfest will officially touch down at LeBreton Flats on July 8. The festival, which features some of blues and pop music’s biggest acts, will run in the city of Ottawa through July 19 and feature headlining performances from Skrillex and Diplo to Kanye West and Iggy Azalea. A full festival pass appears to be the searching festivalgoer’s best bang for their buck, as tickets currently average at $246.70 and the cheapest pass available is $198. Other performers that are set to take the stage over the 11-day festival include The Tragically Hip, NAS, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Brantley Gilbert, Chvrches, Deep Purple, Johnny Reid, Weird Al Yankovic and comedian Bill Burr.
Ottawa Bluesfest Highlight Videos
2015 Ottawa Bluesfest Schedule
Full Flex Express (Skrillex and Diplo)
Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, Hoodie Allen, Kira Isabella, Juan de Marcos and The Afro-Cuban Allstars, Bobby Bazini, Ronnie Baker Brooks
Chance the Rapper
Marianas Trench, Hawksley Workman, Kim Simmons and Savoy Brown, Parker Millsap, Jungle by Night
Porter Robinson, Nas, Alvvays, The Growlers, Shakey Graves, Francesco Yates, Skylar Spence, Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real, The Kinsey Report, Family Of The Year
Willie Nile, Richard Thompson, The Glorious Sons, Tribal Seeds, The Obgms, Hat Fitz & Cara, Sticky Fingers, Pony Girl, Joe Gaspar Band, Silvergun And Spleen, The Visit, Bosveld
Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros, John Butler Trio, Future Islands, Brantley Gilbert, Operators, Metz, Antibalas, Hamish Anderson, Gold And Marrow, The Haig, New Swears, The Lucas Haneman Express
Run The Jewels, The Gaslight Anthem, Black Mountain, Walter Trout, Flight Distance, Bella Cat, Grime Kings, Current Swell, Winchester Warm
Paul Oakenfold, Mother Mother, Dallas Smith, Donovan Woods, Bluestone And The Memphis Moonshine, Ilan Bluestone, Lurrie Bell, Fet.nat, Hilotrons
The Tragically Hip
Dropkick Murphys, Purity Ring, Bahamas, Canned Heat, Little Big Town, Lowell, The Yips, Drew Nelson
Interpol, Logic, Milky Chance, G-eazy, De La Soul, Lowrider Band, Scott Helman, Buck N Nice, Myers Brothers Band, K.I.D., Brandon Allan, Musk Ox, Nick Moss, TJ Wheeler
Ottawa Bluesfest History
The Ottawa Bluesfest has become one of Canada’s premier music festivals since its inception in 1994. Held annually each July in downtown Ottawa, it has grown from its roots in blues music to feature more prominent pop and rock acts over its first 20 years of existence. Approximately 5,000 festivalgoers attended the inaugural event in 1994, and the festival has grown immensely since. In 2007, the festival drew more than 300,000 people in attendance, making it Canada’s largest blues festival and the second largest blues festival in North America.
The festival gained traction in 1995 when Buddy Guy and John Hiatt headlined, which attracted significantly bigger crowds than Clarence Clemons’ headlining performance the year prior. It would be moved to Confederation Park in 1997 before moving to its current home at LeBreton Flats. For its 10-year anniversary in 2003, the Ottawa Bluesfest grew to include eight stages and 220,000 people attended the week-and-a-half-long festival.
A slew of music and comedy’s biggest performers will hit the stage in 2015. Weird Al Yankovic, Bill Burr, Blue Rodeo, Brantley Gilbert, Dropkick Murphys, Iggy Azalea, Kanye West, Little Big Town, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nas, Simple Plan, Sticky Fingers, The Gaslight Anthem, and Tribal Seeds are among the exhaustive list of acts set to play in Ottawa. Multicultural food stands, autograph signings, multiple promotions and giveaways and the Canadian War Museum are just a few of the other amenities offered during the Ottawa Bluesfest during its yearly summer stay in Ontario.