With the insane number of festivals and celebrations taking place in Canada’s capital this summer, it’s hard to keep track of them all but you definitely won’t want to miss out on Ottawa Bluesfest! Running from July 6th to 16th, the festival features a number of world renowned artist, as well as a slew of local talent, so here’s a list of the top ten acts I’m looking forward to seeing, and there’s definitely something for everyone!

  1. Telecomo – Thursday, July 6th @ 8pm

Having just released their debut album For Sale at the beginning of June, Telecomo is a local band that you do not want to miss! “Succinct and eager” is how this three-piece describes themselves and I have to say that’s pretty true of their garage rock stylings.

  1. Melissa Etheridge – Friday, July 7th @ 7pm

Sincerity in it’s purest form is how I’d describe Melissa Etheridge’s music. She’s graced us with hits like “Come To My Window” in the 90’s, performed a Janis Joplin tribute at the 2005 Grammys while going through chemotherapy, has put out a whopping fourteen studio albums, and has been a champion for various charities and causes over the years. This woman’s done it all and now she’s coming to Ottawa to bring us her most recent album Memphis Rock & Roll.

  1. Mydy Rabycad – Saturday, July 8th @ 8pm

I honestly couldn’t tell you how to pronounce this band’s name, but this Czech electroswing group seems like it’ll be quite a wild show. Hailing from Prague, they like to describe themselves as “glamtronic” and take inspiration from 50’s swing, 80’s glam rock(check out their outfits!) and 90’s techno. Add in a dash of present day EDM, and I think we’re only scratching the surface of what to expect.

  1. Sparklesaurus – Sunday, July 9th, 3pm

I’m going to let this Ottawa-based group describe themselves to you: “They play music for lying on the floor to, for holding hands to, shaking your buns, squeezing each other and jumping around to. It’s living room dreampop mixed on high, baked in the oven at 375, and then sprinkled with a cup of dirt and confetti. Place on wire rack and let cool for 15-30 mins. Press play and float away.”

  1. Fetty Wap – Tuesday, July 11th @ 7pm

Regardless of your musical preferences, it was impossible to miss Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” in the summer of 2015. With the early June release of Lucky No. 7, his brand new mixtape, this show is bound to be of the rails especially since Fetty is bringing along long-time collaborator, Monty.

  1. The Shins – Wednesday, July 12th @ 7:55pm

Whether you’ve been a fan since the early 2000’s or you’ve never even heard of The Shins, there’s definitely something about this band that’ll make you want to stay for the whole set. The combination of beautiful yet rambling lyrics, and catchy melodies makes this a no-brainer for everyone.

  1. Gary Clark Jr. – Wednesday, July 12th @ 9:30pm

He played with the best and now he’s one of them. After getting his start as a teen in Austin’s famed blues nightclub, Antone’s, Gary Clark Jr. now mixes improvisational, fuzzy guitars and smooth vocals to get a signature blues sound that’s best heard live.

  1. Old Man Grant – Friday July 14th @ 6pm

Another local band, Old Man Grant is known around town for their fantastic three-part harmonies and bluegrass-esque “Bytown Swamp Stomp.” They’ll be treating us to tunes off an upcoming album, and showing us what they’ve learned from their past year of touring the east coast and showcasing at various festivals around Ontario.

  1. Pine – Saturday, July 15th @ 3pm

This Ottawa-based band features expressive, almost heartbreaking vocals, surrounded by reverb-enhanced melodies that can only be described as a perfect mix of shoegaze and post-punk. After winning over Ontario, embarking on a few tours of the States, and releasing their new EP Pillow Talk, they’re bringing it back home to the big stage.

  1. Jessica Pearson & The East Wind – Saturday July 15th @ 7:30pm

Lastly, another homegrown act! Before officially coming together as Jessica Pearson & The East Wind, Pearson and fiddle player, Maddy O’Regan funded a tour of Ireland by selling homemade jam. Fast forward a year and add double bassist, Pat Bigelow, and you’ve got a folk-canadiana trio, with heavy celtic and country roots that’ll definitely get you dancing.

Head down to Lebreton Flats in Ottawa between July 6th and 16th, to dance the night away, feast on local eats, and celebrate some amazing music! For the full line-up and to purchase tickets go to http://ottawabluesfest.ca/.