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Bluesfest: Finger points at stage owner in collapse

10:39 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

Chris Cobb, Ottawa Citizen | The massive stage that collapsed during a violent windstorm violated several safety laws and building regulations, according to a provincial labour ministry report. The report contains no criticism of the Bluesfest organization itself.

Bluesfest Review: Metric measures out a fine exit (& related stories)

9:36 am in Festival News, News Release

By Chris Cobb, The Ottawa Citizen


This wasn’t the 2012 edition of Ottawa Bluesfest going out with a superstar bang but Bluesfest graduates Metric showed they have the big stage wherewithal to pull off the big show.

Compared to most evenings, the Sunday crowd was relatively sparse and the headliners by no means from the major leagues.

Read more: Bluesfest Review: Metric measures out a fine exit

Related stories:


RBC Bluesfest Previews, Reviews and Blog in the Ottawa Citizen

2:26 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News


Here\’s a few to get you ramped up … check the Ottawa Citizen (or this site!)  regularly for updates.

Bluesfest 2012 goes electro

2:46 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

By Aedan Helmer, Ottawa Sun


Photo by Darren Brown, Ottawa Sun

Think you don’t love Bluesfest anymore just because they’ve added a few DJs and electronic music?

Think again.

The big blue show kicks off tonight for the next 12 days as it has for the last 18 years, but this time, instead of looking back into arena rock’s glorious past, executive producer Mark Monahan is looking forward.

The festival still has those hose iconic bands that defined arena rock a generation or two ago — Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper are two examples.

But they’re also tapping into the future by turning to electro.

We sat down with Bluesfest director Mark Monahan to talk about Bluesfest.

Q: Why the Bluesfest Electro-fied theme, and why does electronic music work on a big, outdoor stage?

Read more: Bluesfest 2012 goes electro

Related stories:
Ottawa Bluesfest : By the Numbers, Ottawa Sun, July 3, 2012
– Top Bluesfest acts of all time: Armstrong, Ottawa Sun, July 3, 2012

OC Transpo ups service to handle Bluesfest crowds

2:11 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

OC Transpo is boosting its service between July 4 and 15, giving Ottawa Bluesfest concert goers several different options to get to and from Lebreton Flats.

OC Transpo is offering 10 bus routes that will pick up and drop off people at LeBreton Flats, including the 8, 16, 85, 86, 87, 94, 95, 96 97 and 98.

The O-Train Bayview station, located close to LeBreton Flats, will increase service during Bluesfest. It will offer 15-minute service all day, with the last train leaving Bayview station at midnight from Monday to Saturday, and 11:45 p.m. on Sunday.

Read more: OC Transpo ups service to handle Bluesfest crowds

Bluesfest a hot ticket, even for volunteers

2:05 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

The 2010 edition of Ottawa Bluesfest was the first time in the festival’s history that all of the volunteer positions were claimed before the event even started.

But this year’s volunteer roundup managed to top that achievement. Only seven days after the sign-up opened to the public on May 15, all 3,100 volunteer positions for the 12-day festival were filled.

Bluesfest’s director of volunteer services, Tammy Parent, said the volunteers are set to work five, six-hour-long shifts each. That adds up to more than 93,000 hours — or 3,875 days — logged by the 3,100 volunteers over the durations of the festival.

Read more: Bluesfest a hot ticket, even for volunteers

Bad Religion to replace Offspring at Bluesfest

10:47 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

Legal woes unlikely to derail Lauryn Hill’s appearance

By Alicja Siekierska, the Ottawa Citizen


Photograph by: Handout , LIVE at Squamish

On the day that Ottawa Bluesfest announced a replacement for one headliner, another of the festival’s big-name acts found herself in legal trouble.

The festival announced Friday evening that the legendary Los Angeles punk band Bad Religion will play the main stage on July 11, replacing the Offspring, who this week announced a last-minute cancellation of their appearance.

Meanwhile, despite pleading guilty in federal court on June 29 to three counts of failing to file federal income tax returns, the eight-time Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill is still expected to hit the Bluesfest stage on July 10.

Read more: Bad Religion to replace Offspring at Bluesfest

Related story: Bad Religion fills Bluesfest slot, Ottawa Sun, June 29, 2012

Offspring out, Airborne Toxic Event in for Bluesfest

10:42 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

By Tony Lofaro, the Ottawa Citizen

American punk rock band Offspring is out and indie band Airborne Toxic Event is in after the Ottawa Bluesfest acted quickly to plug a hole in its concert schedule only days before the festival starts.

Offspring, a late addition to the lineup, only notified Bluesfest CEO Mark Monahan a week ago that it couldn’t make the July 11 date in Ottawa. The reason for the cancellation was vague and Monahan could have held the band members to their contract, but instead decided to go looking for another band.

“They haven’t given me a lot of reasons why, but they can’t make the date,” Monahan said Thursday.

“Contractually they’re supposed to play the date, but it depends on how far you want to push it. If it was Iron Maiden, it probably would have been different, but I’m prepared to let them out of the contract.”

Read more: Offspring out, Airborne Toxic Event in for Bluesfest

Essential info for Bluesfest-goers

10:37 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

The Ottawa Citizen

TWEET your thoughts about the festival using the hashtag #Bluesfest2012.  Find our daily reviews, blog posts, stories, videos and profiles of Bluesfest performers at

SUBMIT your Bluesfest photos by going to for our daily Bluesfest photo gallery


Stage names: The MBNA Stage is now simply the Main Stage. Subway Stage is now River Stage. Hard Rock Cafe Stage is now Electro Stage and has moved to face the opposite direction. National Bank Stage is once again the Black Sheep Stage. The Claridge Homes Stage and the Barney Danson Theatre remain.

Wrist bands: RFID-enabled cloth wrist bands called Bluesbands not only let you enter the park, but let you pay for food and other items once inside provided you have preloaded the band with adequate funds. (You can also pay with cash.) The bands are transferable and will be available at point of sale and mailed to online purchasers. You can also use the bands to create your own festival pass covering four to nine dates.

Youth passport: The festival-long passport for youth aged 10 to 21 has been brought back. (Youth under 10 will be admitted free.)

No break: There is no Monday break in the festival this year.

Read more: Essential info for Bluesfest-goers

Bluesfest ditches paper tickets in favour of ‘Bluesbands’

9:31 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

By Alicja Siekierska, the Ottawa Citizen

The performer lineup isn’t the only thing that is getting electronic at this year’s RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest.

Thanks to the addition of the Electro Stage and a lineup that includes a long list of some of the world’s hottest electronic dance music artists, the theme of this year’s Bluesfest has been dubbed “Electro-fied.”

But the festival will also use state-of-the-art technology in the wristbands required for entry to the 12-day festival, ditching the paper-ticket system once and for all.

The high-tech ‘Bluesbands’ contain tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips, which can be scanned upon entry at various locations set up throughout Bluesfest venues at LeBreton Flats Park

Read more: Bluesfest ditches paper tickets in favour of ‘Bluesbands’