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Bluesfest is so big this year they had to add an extra stage. Acts like Juno-Award collector Feist, Fergie, Brian Wilson, WyclefJean, The Black Crowes, Matthew Good, Jakob Dylan and more...


Bluesfest is so big this year they had to add an extra stage.
Acts like Juno-Award collector Feist, Fergie, Brian Wilson, Wyclef Jean, The Black Crowes, Matthew Good, Jakob Dylan and more than 200 other performers will be jammed onto the stages at the LeBreton Flats festival grounds this July for Ottawa’s signature 11-day summer music festival.
Organizers announced the lineup for the 15th annual Bluesfest yesterday. Artistic director Mark Monahan was particularly pleased with the strong Canadian content.
“There is a great Canadian contingent of performers. Feist is arguably the hottest Canadian right now,” he said. “The Tragically Hip, Three Days Grace, and there are probably 50 local acts that are performing. That’s what we are really excited about.”
Monahan said 300,000 people are expected to attend over 11 days, with the July 3 opener likely to draw some of the largest crowds.
“You can’t beat the Tragically Hip, especially when the other acts of that night include Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo’, Cassandra Wilson, TV On The Radio, Secret Machines,” he said.
Monahan said they’ve decided to mix up the program instead of grouping acts together.
“Before we had a hip-hop night with the Black-Eyed Peas, but now you have a night with Fergie, Boz Scaggs and Dr. John,” he said.
As the festival grows, Monahan said it’s getting easier to attract big-name talent to Ottawa.
Organizers have added a sixth outdoor “Roots” stage this year. The other stages have also been rearranged. Monahan said they are hoping to see more crowd movement between stages.
There were some issues relating to the relaunched Flats venue last year. Parking was scarce and the streets were gridlocked around the venue.
Monahan admits the parking situation will not improve, but said this year people will have a better sense of how best to attend the festival. The venue is improving its taxi stand area and doubling the size of the bike park area.
The full roster and tickets are available online at www.ottawabluesfest.ca.
–tim.wieclawski@metronews.ca

 
 
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