The White Buffalo lead singer
The White Buffalo lead singer, Jake Smith. Image: Jasmine McKnight/Fulcrum
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September = cool nights and cool music

September can be a tough month. Classes are back in action, the morning is too cold but the afternoon is too hot, and winter is right around the corner.

Not ideal.

Thankfully, there are still ways to hang on to the summer vibes.


The answer is on the Great Lawn at Lansdowne park. Festival season is not over, and CityFolk is keeping the outdoor concert energy alive.

Welcoming various artists and performers from all different genres, the festival got started on Thursday night with acts scheduled over the rest of the weekend, as well as the 15, 16, and 17.

The White Buffalo was the first band to set foot on TD Stage, kicking off CityFolk with a gritty but soulful set.

Frontman Jake Smith made The White Buffalo’s performance feel huge. His voice was compelling, and his stage presence demanding.

The next performer was one of Ottawa’s very own, Kathleen Edwards.

At this point, the crowd was growing quickly, showing their support for Edwards’ countrified tunes.

What really impressed me was the way she kept the crowd engaged between songs. It was a whole show, and the way she spoke was fun. She made me laugh, but she also made me feel things.

The sun was setting over Lansdowne as Edwards’ set came to a close, and by the time we got to our final performer of the night, the stars were out and the air was cool.

A crowd full of cowboy hats and plaid flannels meant only one thing — the next hour and a half was going to be rowdy.

And that it was.

The lawn was packed for young country star, Zach Bryan, who played a mix of exciting and slow, old and new, folky and fun. Throughout it all, people were singing and dancing.

It brings me so much joy when the artist doesn’t even have to sing their own songs, and the audience just takes over.

It also brings me joy when harmonicas are involved … and FIDDLES.

I also enjoyed his brief mention of his history in the navy, eluding to an emotional song that shared some of the feelings he went through at that point in his life. It was one of those songs that reminded me that music is incredible.

As good as the show itself was, some people were distracted by some notable individuals hanging out in the Casino Lac Lemy suites — I truly watched multiple people approach the gated area to take pictures and shake hands.

Good to know that Brady Tkachuk likes music, too. We have so much in common.

Night one of CityFolk was a reminder that even though school has started and the days are shorter, we can still go out and have a good time.


  • After spending four years with the Fulcrum’s sports section, Jasmine has taken her knowledge and experience to the EIC role. Outside of the Fulcrum, Jasmine captains the Gee-Gees women’s ultimate team and represents Ottawa’s competitive scene on Stella. If she’s not creating content for the Fulcrum or on the field, you can find her streaming on Twitch.