In Photos: Foo Fighters, Sturgill Simpson, Rae Sremmurd & More Rock RBC BluesfestArticle by: Laura Mason|@masonlazarus
Wed July 18, 2018 | 12:15 PM
RBC Bluesfest is, despite its name, a celebration of more than the musical art form that originated on 19th century plantations in the American South. While the Ottawa, Canada, festival began humbly in 1994 attracting 5,000 people, it has since grown into a 10-day extravaganza of multi-genre performances attracting over 300,000 music lovers each summer.
To give you an idea of just how far and wide its annual curation spans, over the course of some 250 performances annually you'll hear hard rock and metal, jazz, country, dance music, hip-hop, pop, and yes, the blues. This year, headliners included Beck, Rae Sremmurd, Foo Fighters, Greta Van Fleet, Naughty By Nature, Sturgill Simpson, Brockhampton, Courtney Barnett, and hundreds of others bringing their talent to the many stages dotting the festival grounds in Lebreton Flats, along the Ottawa River.
Best of all, the festival wields its massive popularity to ensure future generations of musicians have a chance to share their own chops. Founded in 2009, Be in the Band connects young musicians with other potential bandmates looking to jam. Additionally, mentorship and equipment are provided for weekly rehearsals that culminate in a community performance. Thereafter, select bands in the program will score a spot on Bluesfest’s lineup. An ongoing instrument drive, too, encourages Ottawa residents to share in the joy of music by dropping off out-of-use instruments at the Festival House. Blues in the Schools devotes hundreds of hours of in-class instruction each spring to thousands of students in Ottawa schools. Through assembly-style presentations, core group sessions and supplemental lessons, visiting artists and educators empower students through song, teaching skills that lead to a more fulfilling school experience.
Check out select snaps from this year's festival below!