I had never gone to Ottawa before in the 13 years that I’ve lived in Canada. This past Canada Day weekend I had a great excuse to finally visit!

Escapade Music Festival has always been on my radar as a festival that has talent appealing to all kinds of audiences. There is always a good selection of trance, techno, and house music. This year Escapade hosted a number of different showcases: Carl Cox and friends, Coldharbour Recordings, and Tool Room. Each of those stages received a three hour set by the headliners which were Carl Cox, Markus Schulz, and Mark Knight.

I thought the extended sets were a fantastic treat for everyone considering we live in an age where a 45 to 60 minute set is acceptable, everyone is always hungry for more! Markus Schulz decided to bring his friend Ferry Corsten in the DJ booth to deliver an hour of New World Punx which was a nice surprise, that whole stage displayed some of the best tracks that have been released on the Coldharbour label.

Mark Knight’s showcase was held at a stage build entirely from shipping containers which gave the area a grungy warehouse atmosphere. I thought it worked really well, although it did get pretty dusty given the dried patch of grass it was built on.

Photo Courtesy of Escapade Music Festival

Photo Courtesy of Escapade Music Festival

Carl Cox brought some awesome talent to the tent, including legendary John Digweed. The vibe was dark but also very positive; Carl Cox always brings on a good party everywhere he goes.

Despite the rainy weather the show went on and everyone had a blast regardless. The viewing decks provided by Heineken were a great addition as they gave everyone a complete view of the event; they also featured a series of lights on them that illuminated during the night time.

Photo Courtesy of Escapade Music Festival

Photo Courtesy of Escapade Music Festival

My main gripe with Escapade is that it’s difficult to get to festival grounds if you’re staying downtown, a shuttle bus from downtown would help immensely to cut down on drunk-driving and also keeping the patrons safe. A free shuttle was available from a transit station however it took a while to get to from where I was staying. I feel it would be easier if they provided shuttles that picked people up from downtown.

All in all, Escapade was an appropriate way to celebrate Canada’s holiday, at the nation’s capital no less. I will definitely considering going back again!