Update: The first wave of Ottawa Bluesfest acts has been announced! Click here to see who’s coming.
Scouring the concert listings of major festivals and cross-referencing them against a band’s touring schedule for gaps, along with some travel calculations via Google Maps, seems to be the rough formula for those speculating on who might play at the 20th edition of Ottawa Bluesfest, which runs from July 3 to 13 this year.
Speculation on blogs and fan forums started as early as January of this year, and ramped up this week when other major festivals released their schedules. Bluesfest organizers said on Twitter that they would announce their lineup next week.
— RBC Bluesfest Ottawa (@ottawabluesfest) March 11, 2014
Ahead of the announcement, we look at some of the rumour generators and fan wish lists that have people talking.
The lineup for Osheaga Festival Musique et Arts was released this week sending the Bluesfest fan forum on Facebook into overdrive. Many are hoping that headlining acts such as Lorde, Outkast, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, may make a stop in Ottawa. SXSW is in full swing this week too. The taste-making festival is a huge industry draw for bookers and talent managers looking for rising acts.
Westfest (June 13 to 15) announced its lineup this week as well. Ashley MacIssac will headline the neighbourhood bash along with A Tribe Called Red and George Leach. Typical industry standards around territory clauses mean that a major act playing one festival won’t likely appear at another festival, so you can scratch those names off your Bluesfest list.
There is a Dave Matthews Band super fan out there that tweets under the handle @DMB_Ottawa and eagerly waits for the annual Bluesfest lineup announcement with baited breath.
Aedan Helmer of the Ottawa Sun compiled a list of 20 bands that got their start in 1994, the same year as Bluesfest. It includes Weezer and Outkast, as well as some less memorable bands such as Hootie and the Blowfish and G. Love & Special Sauce. Thanks to Ottawa Start for that link. The events info site compiled this tip sheet of other Bluesfest rumours.
In keeping with Ottawa Bluesfest’s commitment to the local scene, we wonder if there will be any link with Kelp Records this year. The Ottawa music label got its start in 1994 as well. It represents artists New Country Rehab and Measha Brueggergosman among others.
Keeping all this mind, we ask you, dear reader, who do you think will come to this year’s edition of Bluesfest? Who is on your wish list? Comment here or tweet us at @OttawaMag with your picks.