The Fulcrum chats with local band about appearance in upcoming music fest

As the weather begins to warm up, class begins to wrap up, and summer seems like it’s finally in reach, there’s one thing on many students’ minds—festival season.

Music lovers will soon be using their leftover OSAP money to buy $100+ festival passes to see their favourite artists, from obscure indie bands to mega-rappers. Us lucky Ottawa students will have one of the best festivals right in our backyard—RBC Bluesfest. The annual festival takes place at LeBreton Flats July 7–17, and has featured everyone from Kanye West to Alice Cooper over the years.

Although the bigger acts, like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Future, often tend to overshadow smaller bands, Bluesfest always features a wide variety of performers to suit everyone’s taste—including an always-stellar lineup of local Canadian acts.

One of those acts, The PepTides will be returning to the Bluesfest stage for the first time in four years, something keyboardist and University of Ottawa alumnus Scottie Irving is particularly excited for.

“We’re kind of back to where we started, but we’re different people, and we’re a different entity, we’re a more mature band, and I’m really proud of how far we’ve come since then,” says Irving.

Irving and his bandmates have gained a lot of experience touring since their 2012 performance at Bluesfest, and as much as he says they love the intimate shows that they have been performing at, Irving says that “nothing can match hordes of screaming fans.”

The band has also been working on a new EP, which Irving says has been mixed in a way that gives the listener the feel of a live show. Nothing, however, compares to The PepTides’ real live performances, and at Bluesfest, due to the scale of the show, they’re able to pull out all the stops—which is much harder to do in the smaller venues they frequent.

“We’ve put all of our energy and creativity into constructing this really elaborate, colourful, bright, inspiring, exciting show, and we feel that that really comes across when we do get onstage and perform it live,” says Irving. “The scale (of Bluesfest) matches where we’re at in our heads when we’re dreaming of these crazy shows.”

Irving says that he is also excited to attend the festival himself, with his two top picks for this year being Toronto-based electronica band Holy Fuck and Canadian singer-songwriter City and Colour. Some other exciting features this year include Billy Idol, The Lumineers, Coeur de pirate, Nelly, and a wide variety of other acts, from rappers to rockstars.

No matter who you’re planning to see, the 2016 RBC Bluesfest is sure to be an exciting and exhilarating experience—for attendees and performers alike.