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music festivals

Hot Date: Freewheelin’ at Folk Fest

Ben Harper plays the Ottawa Folk Festival tonight, along with Matthew Good, Matt Mays, Danny Michel, and more.

With a lineup that includes the likes of Lindsey Buckingham, Bon Iver, Ben Harper, Matthew Good, Kathleen Edwards, Great Big Sea, Dan Mangan, Patrick Watson, and lots more, the Ottawa Folk Festival keeps true to its roots while luring crowds with some big names. Hundreds of folk, roots, blues, and pop-rock performers take to the stage during the five-day fest. Folk Fest also offers interactive and performance workshops, which allow curious beginners and experienced musicians alike to try their hands at a new craft or learn some tips from the pros in a laid-back environment. Food and drinks, family-oriented entertainment, and lots more are also on the bill. Sept. 6 to 10.

Hog’s Back Park, 613-599-3267, www.ottawafolk.com

Summertime Blues

Picture: Ottawa Tourism

RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest is back for another year of rockin’ tunes and good times. To help you navigate the 12 days, five outdoor stages and 2500+ performers in the lineup, we’ve compiled a day-by-day guide.


July 4
The theme of this year’s festival is Bluesfest – Electro-fied, and who better to kick off the festivities than Tiësto? The Dutch DJ has been voted the greatest DJ of all time, and has worked with the likes of Katy Perry, Coldplay, and Kanye West. For those looking for something a little more down to earth, folk punk hero Billy Bragg will bring his socially charged lyrics to a passionate performance.
PLUS: Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea fame; the electro-rock stylings of AWOLNATION; post-punk legends The Melvins


July 5
Ever since their highly danceable smash hit “Party Rock Anthem” topped the charts in more than ten countries, electro-pop duo LMFAO has been seemingly ubiquitous. Get ready to get down when DJs Redfoo and SkyBlu (the son and grandson of Motown legend Berry Gordy) hit the stage. Continuing the electric theme is DJ Paul Oakenfold, who has been credited with breaking house music in Britain in the late ’80s.
PLUS: Highly danceable electro-pop group Dragonette; indie rock trio Plants and Animals; Canadian Idol alum Carly Rae Jepsen


Top Canadian Summer Music Festivals


Osheaga Festival Musique et Arts, Montreal (Photo: ©Tim Snow)

Sure, it’s still technically spring, but if you want to attend some of Canada’s biggest music festivals, you’ll have to get your tickets (and book a hotel or campsite) now. Mark your calendars!


July Editor’s Picks: Entertainment

Eric Davis is a deranged clown at the Fringe Festival.

Eric Davis is a deranged clown at the Fringe Festival.

JULY 1 TO 12 The city’s largest annual theatrical extravaganza, the Toronto Fringe Festival, offers up an eclectic slate of small- and large-scale productions—from dramas and musicals to comedies and modern dance numbers. More than 800 artists from around the world perform at a mix of traditional and unconventional venues. The 150 showcased plays are whittled down from 500-plus submissions using a lottery system, meaning that you could have tickets for Broadway’s next big hit. Catch the likes of Red Bastard—a one-man play starring Eric Davis as an anti-clown clad in a tomato-red body suit—or The Laramie Projects, a deeply moving story of hate, fear and hope in a small American town. Various venues, tickets $5 to $10; call 416-966-1062 for a program and times.