[A report from Ottawa-area correspondent, Ross Macdonald. -AC]
If you were to ask music fans what they missed most during the past 18 months of the global pandemic, most would say live music, and festivals in particular. And while the floodgates haven’t opened, a few festivals are working hard at a return to filling the void.
Ottawa Bluesfest and CityFolk were forced to completely cancel their events in 2020. However, they have worked overtime to host a pair of weekend festivals in September: CityFolk on 16-18 September and Bluesfest 23-25 September. These back-to-back weekends will feature many top Canadian artists, notably Our Lady Peace, Moist, Half Moon Run, and Tokyo Police Club.
“We know it’s been difficult to be cooped up for more than a year, but finally we’ll be able to roll out two fantastic lineups of live acts that will reward the collective patience of so many music fans,” says executive director, Mark Monahan, “We’re grateful for the ongoing support we’ve seen in recent years and we hope that these events will launch a new beginning for the live music industry in Ottawa—we’re certainly due.”
As in the past, the festivals will include beer tents, food, and merchandise vendors, but there will be some changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a maximum of 5,000 concert-goers each evening (pre-COVID this venue would host 15,000 +), this will allow the opportunity for people to spread out to feel more comfortable. Additionally, all attendees will have to show proof that they are fully vaccinated and patrons are required to wear a mask when not eating/drinking.
There is a great deal of anticipation for the return of a pair of festivals in 2021, both with the fans and the artists.