The 5th edition of Arboretum Festival ran from August 17th until August 21st. Although the Festival had numerous venues participating, all of the photos were taken in the final two evenings at the Festival Village at Ottawa City Hall.
Ottawa is blessed with many music festivals throughout the summer, but ArboretumFest has quickly carved out a niche for themselves by curating acclaimed national, local, and international indie artists. With this festival, you will always discover new artists you are not familiar with. The Festival also involves great local chefs and breweries to provide the highest quality food and drink to the attendees. I always happily support the food and drink vendors at this Festival because they are always so damn good. I end up eating way more than I should. Why does The Merry Dairy‘s ice cream sandwiches have to be so delicious?
Friday night, Metz had to cancel but Sloan filled in by playing two sets. This stop was to be part of Sloan’s One Chord to Another anniversary tour and during the first set the band played the iconic album in its entirety. They then took a break while Fet.Nat entertained from the other stage and then returned for another set of hits from their now very impressive catalogue closing off the first night. We will forgive you for skipping Ottawa during the Twice Removed tour now.
Saturday had the most pleasant surprise for me, as I was very impressed with the band Doomsquad. This band may immediately draw your attention with their makeup, but a gimmick like that will never hold your attention if the music is not compelling. They absolutely held my attention the entire set and they were my favourite artist that I was not already familiar with. Arboretum Festival also showcased a couple of NYC-based artists in Junglepussy and Mykki Blanco. The styles are not ones I personally am drawn to, but they were fascinating performers to watch and the crowd absolutely loved them.
The headliners for the final night were Operators, who released their fantastic new album Blue Wave this Spring. I was lucky enough to have attended their show earlier this year at Ritual. Dan Boeckner has had a very busy year. Besides playing dates with Operators, he’s also been performing with Wolf Parade. The only thing that was a little disappointing was the band had to shorten their set as things were behind schedule. Rather then spend too much time talking, the band launched into a high energy string of musical numbers that left the crowd thrilled and feeling satiated. It was simply an outstanding conclusion to the festival.
Photos by: Darren Boucher & Dina MacLeod
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