STUDENTS CAN LOOK forward to discounted tickets and a more youth-oriented lineup of artists at this year’s Ottawa Folk Festival, which runs from Sept. 6 to 10 at Hog’s Back Park.
Bon Iver and Dan Mangan are among this year’s scheduled performers, both of whom have made big names for themselves in the past year.
Tickets have been subsidized by Algonquin College, Carleton University, and the University of Ottawa. Students at each school can purchase tickets at up to 50 per cent off for certain festival dates.
U of O students can buy half-price tickets for Sept. 9 and 10—with Dan Mangan and Bon Iver headlining those days, respectively.
The programming and discounts are part of the organizers’ plans to bring even more people out to the annual festival, which started in 1994.
“We want to draw a large audience to this event and make it sustainable,” says festival supervisor Mark Monahan. “And one of the things I felt was important was to program some traditional artists but also some current artists that would maybe appeal to a younger audience. There was definitely a conscious effort to do that.”
This year’s artist lineup deviates from the traditional folk genre with a collection of indie and alternative rock artists like Matthew Good, Said the Whale, Yukon Blonde, and John K. Samson of The Weakerthans.
“We have a lot of indie, alternative stuff that’s very current,” says Monahan. “So the lineup is definitely shooting more toward the interests of students than it has in the past.”
Bon Iver is the evolving musical project of Wisconsin-based musician Justin Vernon, who initially recorded and performed as a solo act before recruiting members and releasing his award-winning and critically lauded 2011 album Bon Iver, Bon Iver. The band’s ambitious sophomore album earned Bon Iver two Grammy Awards in 2012, one for best alternative music album and an underdog win for best new artist, beating out superstars Nicki Minaj and Skrillex.
Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Dan Mangan was awarded new artist of the year and alternative album of the year for his 2011 album Oh Fortune at the 2012 Juno Awards, and was also nominated for songwriter of the year and video of the year for “Rows of Houses.”
Among the more traditional folk performers at the festival are Great Lake Swimmers, Whitehorse, Great Big Sea, and Ottawa’s own Kathleen Edwards.