Ottawa Bluesfest plugs in - Metro US

Ottawa Bluesfest plugs in

Social media addicts and technophiles who can’t live without Facebook or their iPhones can get more out of Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest this year as the festival plugs into a new social media utility.

“You can watch videos of the acts you’ve never heard of,” said Allan Isfan, who, along with Bill Love, co-founded FaveQuest, the company that delivers Bluesfest ViewTube, the new social video platform. “If you like them, you can add it to your calendar and send an invitation to all your friends.”

Users can also get updates on email, Facebook or Twitter.

The application will make it easier for music fans to check out new bands before heading down to LeBreton Flats in July, said Bluesfest artistic director Mark Monahan. “We hope that people will use it to discover new music.”

Although the 16th annual festival — expected to draw more than 275,000 people to LeBreton Flats over 12 days — features big names every night (KISS, Stone Temple Pilots, Jeff Beck and Our Lady Peace, to name a few), Monahan said the goal of the festival is to “keep the lineup fresh and exciting, bringing in acts that may not be coming to Ottawa otherwise.”

The festival features 60 local acts that will play alongside more than 200 internationally known acts.

Being an Ottawa festival, “it’s a big priority for us to showcase local talent,” said Monahan. “In many cases, the local acts are also world-class, something that people may not realize.”

In addition to social media, Bluesfest is also introducing new greening initiatives this year.

While the festival has already used compostable cups and recycling facilities for a number of years, the festival will add composting in the volunteer area, a second bike park and the use of biodegradable garbage bags and cutlery and plates for food vendors this year.

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