RBC Bluesfest 2018 week 2 is here! If you’ve been in attendance, you’ve likely already figured out which food vendor is your favourite, which bathrooms have the shortest line at 8 PM, and grabbed some glow-in-the-dark Mardi Gras beads. However, you may still not be sure who to see and with six days of music still ahead, the choices can be quite daunting. This is where we can help, so keep reading.

As The Revue has done in previous years, we will be offering suggestions on who to see (avoiding the headliners as much as possible) while also listing the Ottawa bands performing on the respective days.

Though the previews will highlight smaller segments of the festival, the full schedule is posted and can be found here. Various passes and tickets are still available:

As a hint, be sure to follow the Ottawa Bluesfest on social media as they tend to have contests during the day and to be informed of any schedule changes.

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Tuesday, July 10th Picks (a.k.a. Foo Fighters night)

One of the hottest rock bands in the world is playing the main stage for three hours and the excitement in the city surrounding them is palpable so we’re pretty confident you are already aware of them. If you are not a fan of the Foo Fighters or want to check out some other artists instead, there are still some great choices. Like really outstanding alternatives.

Greta Von Fleet – 6:30, City Stage

If you are coming in for the Foo Fighters anyway, arrive early to catch Greta Von Fleet. Not only will get to stake your claim to some prime real estates, you’ll discover one of the biggest buzz bands around. The rock ‘n roll quartet from Michigan draws inspiration from many of the great British Invasion rock bands of the 60s, which also is when some of the greatest rock bands ever emerged. In other words, they’re like a young Led Zeppelin. This should be a fantastic prelude to the Foo Fighters.

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M. Ward – 7:30, Claridge Stage

M. Ward has simply put out one acclaimed album after another since 2001. You may also know him as half of the collaboration She & Him with Zooey Dechanel or as a member of the super-group Monsters of Folk. From his trademark vocals, imaginative storytelling, and superb guitar skills, this talented musician is a must-see.

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Cloves – 8:00, Black Sheep Stage

Out of Australia comes Cloves, a young artist with a voice sure to entice. Read why she made our Artists to Watch in 2018 list and search her out on a smaller stage if you wish to give Grohl and Co. a pass. She has the potential to reach the superstar levels of Adele and Florence + The Machine. Really, it’s only a matter of time.

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Local artists performing:

Catriona Sturton – 6:00, Claridge Homes Stage

  • An accomplished singer, songwriter, and guitar player, whose folk ballads are deep, touching, and personal. She’s also an extremely gifted harmonica player.

Roland Prince – 6:00, Black Sheep Stage

  • A hip/hop artist with an alternative edge, Ottawa native Roland Prince gets Wednesday night started. Though he’s keeping the details a secret, he’s got an upcoming album entitled, ODD, that he can’t wait for his fans to experience.

City Fidelia – 7:00, Black Sheep Stage

  • An Ottawa native now calling Toronto home, City Fidelia is a rapper/songwriter drawing on his upbringing and his love of art to convey his inspirational message. Recently releasing the single, “Unfinished Business”, he’ll be sharing his unique blend of R&B and street poetry to the Black Sheep Stage.


Wednesday, July 11th Picks (a.k.a. Dave Matthews Band night)

Oh Wonder – 7:30, Claridge Homes Stage

This London-based alt-pop duo have enjoyed success all around the world right from their first album in 2015. Last year, they released their 2nd album, and they’re still getting better and just getting started. Don’t miss this one, especially if you’re looking for music that will get you shaking your hips, moving your feet, and having a jolly good time.

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Courtney Barnett – 9:30, Claridge Homes Stage

We’ve been massive fans of Courtney Barnett even before she got popular due to her tremendous wit, observant songwriting, and rocking live shows. Earlier this year, the Australian indie-rock singer/songwriter recently released her sophomore album Tell Me How You Really Feel, receiving four emphatic thumbs up from The Revue staff. Read our First Impressions and learn why this savvy lyricist has earned her critical acclaim and our tip of the hat as a must-see on Wednesday.

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Local artists performing:

The Lucas Haneman Express – 6:00, City Stage

  • What, a blues-rock band at Bluesfest? Mark Monahan and his gang did promise more blues-oriented bands, and one of the first to grace the stages is local band The Lucas Haneman Express. They’re not merely just a blues band, though, as they also play infectious rockabilly and ’80s-inspired rock ‘n roll. Combined their crowd-pleasing sound with their positive attitudes, their set is sure to be a rousing, rambunctious event. Is there a better way to start a Wednesday night?

Andrew Waines – 6:00, Claridge Homes Stage

  • This young singer/songwriter from Ottawa started gaining ground by performing covers of popular songs before turning attention to recording original works. This year should see an EP released of his own pop/soft-rock works. If you missed him playing the Grey Cup in 2017, this is another golden opportunity,

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