RBC Bluesfest heading announcing the festival from July 6–16, 2023
Bluesfest is hosted at Lebreton Flats, in downtown Ottawa. Image: Bluesfest/Provided.
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If you’re a U of O student with plans of being in Ottawa this summer, read on

Last week, the organizers of Bluesfest released the official lineup for the festival that is to take place July 6–16, 2023.

A fake, speculative lineup was circling early last week on social media, but here’s the real one, straight from the Bluesfest website.

On July 6, Shania Twain will be the headliner to kick-off the festival. She’s made guest appearances at other festivals, but hasn’t toured since 2015. Her Bluesfest spot will be in the midst of her 2023 Queen of Me tour.

Sharing the stage with Twain that night will be Orville Peck (who was in Ottawa for City Folk last fall), bbno$, Dax, Son Little, John Németh, Bree Lawrenson, J.C., Melissa Lamm, Mikhail Laxton, and Mimi O’Bonsawin.

The next night, Weezer will headline, with names like Billy Talent and Thundercat, and also PUP, Tank & The Bangas, Jupiter & Okwess, Southern Avenue, Digging Roots, Emily Jean Flack, Melo Griffith, and The Jesse Greene Band.

Saturday, July 8 will feature music from Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, along with BADBADNOTGOOD, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings ft. Daniel Lanois and Suzie Vinnick, Raul Midón, Sugaray Rayford, The Texas Horns Aspects, Nesrallah Artuso Project, and Steven Taetz.

The first weekend of Bluesfest will wrap up with a show from Death Cab for Cutie, with other performers including Tegan and Sara, Alan Doyle, Bran Van 3000, Moonlight Benjamin, Jack Barksdale, Youngtree & The Blooms, Guy Belanger, East Coast Experience, and Emmanuelle Querry

After two days of quiet at Lebreton Flats, Foo Fighters will kick off the second stretch of the festival. The rest of the July 12 performances will be from AJR, White Reaper, MONOWHALES, Black Joe Lewis, Lime Cordiale, My Son The Hurricane, and River City Junction.

Mumford & Sons will headline on July 13, sharing the stage with Declan McKenna, The War on Drugs, Sudan Archives, Cam Kahin, Llyod Spiegel, Loviet, Amos The Transparent, Angelina Hunter Trio, Ash Ravens, and Avery Raquel.

Up next, Charlotte Cardin starts off Bluesfest’s second weekend. FLETCHER, Fleet Foxes, Allison Russel, Rich Aucoin, Sauce Boss Sussex, Amanda Jordan, and Pony Girl will all also perform that night.

Pitbull will take the Bluesfest stage on its penultimate night. Ludacris, also in the lineup for July 15, might make an appearance in Pitbull’s set. Other acts include Julia Jacklin, HOROJO Trio, TJ Wheeler, Abby Stewart, Drew Nelson, GRAE, and Joe McDonald.

Finally, The Smile is headlining on July 16. A shorter list of artists—Koffee Alvvays, Miss Emily, Easy Finesse, Megan Jerome, and Steph La Rochelle—will wrap up the nine-day festival.

Bluesfest is offering multi-day, pick-3 tickets, where concertgoers can pick the three nights they most want to attend. Depending on the lineup for any given night, the pick-3 option ranges from $110-255.

My opinion? You might as well get the full festival pass for the extra thirty bucks and get all nine nights of music.

No matter which day (or three) you choose, you’ll get a wildly different show every night.