Last year Ottawa’s CityFolk had some unfortunate luck with very rainy weather. However, this year Mother Nature was in a much sunnier mood and gifted the festival with five unbelievably warm nights, perfect to relax outside with a cold beverage and take in some great music.

Festivals like CityFolk can be a logistical challenge to navigate with all the talented artists on the lineup. With the number of performers featured on the multiple stages at one time, schedule conflicts are inevitable. Since we couldn’t attend every gig, here are some quick highlights of memorable sets from the first three days of the fest.

Day 1 – Wednesday, September 13th

The first day saw the festival running just the single stage, but the lack of options didn’t mean there was a lack of talent. Artists came from as far away as New Zealand. They each brought a different style, but for many of the young fans in the crowd the night belonged the American rapper Post Malone, who’s currently riding high on his 2016 album, Stoney.

Photos from: Kaija, Ruth B and Allan Rayman.

Ruth B
Allan Rayman
Post Malone

Day 2 – Thursday, September 14th

On Thursday, Ottawa got its first taste of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, a band whose reputation continues to grow with each performance. Their energy is truly spectacular; if you missed them and you get an opportunity in the future, don’t hesitate. Meanwhile, inside the Aberdeen Pavilion, Canadian favourite Jenn Grant was delivering a wonderful performance to a more intimate crowd.

After a slight delay due to a lighting equipment malfunction, American singer/songwriter/surfer Jack Johnson gave the substantial crowd exactly what they came for with a twenty-one song set spanning many of his albums with a few covers interjected in the performance.

Also photos from The Wilderness.

The Wilderness
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Jenn Grant
Jack Johnson



Day 3 – Friday, September 15th

Another beautiful evening, both weather and artist-wise, was kicked off by a pair of captivating performances given by Son Little on the City Stage and Big Thief on the Ravenlaw Stage. They were followed by the Canadian indie super-group Broken Social Scene. The night, however, belonged to Amanda Marshall, who’s absence from the Canadian music scene for many years did not hamper her incredible voice that made her famous. Fans were treated to an entire night of the music they already knew and loved.

Son Little
Big Thief
Broken Social Scene
Amanda Marshall


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