Country music has always been popular in Ottawa, but while the city has every other kind of music festival — rock, blues, jazz, chamber, classical, folk and even reggae — country has never had its own festival venue.
The first-annual Capital Hoedown opens at the Rideau Carleton Entertainment Centre tomorrow evening with headliners Alan Jackson, Dwight Yoakam and Vince Gill.
On site yesterday, festival co-chair Ed Lauzon couldn’t have been more excited.
“The stage is just starting to go up, and the tents have already been constructed,” he said.
“After months of hard work and planning, it’s starting.”
The lineup includes some of country music’s finest superstars, said Lauzon.
“We’ve been able to combine legendary and newer country artists and American and Canadian talent.”
While tens of thousands of country music fans from the National Capital Region are expected to attend the festival, Lauzon said there are also concertgoers flying in from as far as Nunavut.
“There is nothing here in eastern Ontario like Capital Hoedown,” said Lauzon.
“It’s been a long time coming. We hear from people that they are grateful to have this and they wonder why it took so long to get something like this to the capital.”