Cheers to the return of live music in Ottawa! Image: CityFolk Festival/Provided
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Yes, I know OLP aren’t young, but, like, some of these artists definitely have what it takes to flourish into stars!

September 2019 was a good month for me. 

I started my term as the Fulcrum’s sports editor. I went up to the GTA for the first time since moving to the middle of nowhere to see the buds, and I saw my last concert before the world was ravaged by COVID-19 — Our Lady Peace (OLP) at CityFolk Festival.

Now, nearly two years to the day, and my first concert since the start of this shit heap will be OLP at CityFolk — and I can’t wait. 

When CityFolk and Bluesfest announced their all-Canadian lineups as part of the Ottawa Fall Festival Series this summer, I frankly wasn’t expecting much, given how hard festivals have been hit these past two years. OLP playing CityFolk again was a pleasant surprise! 

I’m also excited to see Moist open. I’ve never seen them live, but growing up on alt-rock radios in Montreal and Toronto, I’ve heard “Silver” and “Push” way too many times to not have seen them live. 

Speaking of radio, shout-out to local stations for putting us in the mood for festivals again. It’s been nice to hear lesser-known artists that will be featured at the two festivals getting some spins.  

One of those artists has been Command Sisters — before hearing some of their tunes on radio, I had no idea who they were — but this PR move has now made me look forward to seeing them live. 

So, that’s Friday. On Saturday, unfortunately, I won’t be able to be at Lansdowne, but that’s ok, because Jasmine, our current sports editor, will be, and as a Saskatonian, she’s the Fulc’s default country music expert.

And yes, you read that right, Saturday is country night at CityFolk. 

So don’t forget to wear your plaid and Wrangler jeans as Sasha, the Reklaws and Dean Brody take the stage to close out the Festival. For those of you who like me are like, “who?”: Dean Brody is the guy who sings “Canadian Girls,” The Reklaws are a brother/sister duo from North Dumfries, ON (your guess is as good as mine as to where this is, but according to Google Maps it’s close to Cambridge, Ont. One thing to look for with Brody and the Reklaws is their duet performance of “Can’t Help Myself.” As for Sasha, she’s an up-and-coming country artist from Warkworth, Ont (north of the Colbourne exit on the 401). Like Brody, she also has a duet with the Reklaws, called “What the Truck,” which name drops  Rural Ontario’s favourite truck: the Dodge Ram. 

Alright, that’s enough country listening for me, (don’t get me wrong, I like country, but I can only listen to so much in one day). Anyways, that does leave us with the opening night (my apologies for being chronologically all over the place).

On Thursday, the festival will open up with a performance from TÖME, the Nigerian-French Canadian artist who won the 2021 Juno award for reggae record of the year. In spite of that, her music is varied, and isn’t genre-specific, with some songs that would definitely fall more under the R&B umbrella, for example.

Following her on stage will be 25 year-old Brampton, Ont rapper Roy Wood. Wood, who’s signed to OVO (Drake’s label) and has worked with Drizzy’s producer Noah “40” Shebib, is known for his 2015 song “Drama,” which features the ‘6 god’ himself.

One of Woods’ fellow OVO artists, DVSN, will then take the stage. The Toronto R&B duo will open up for Charlotte Day-Wilson, who will close out the first night. Day-Wilson is an artist who excels with slow-moving grooves such as on her biggest hit “Slow.”

Safety measures

Sadly, COVID-19 is still fully present in our lives, the organisers of CityFolk and Bluesfest have had to take special precautions to ensure the safety of all attending as well as the artists. 

Concert-goers will need to show a proof of vaccination at the gates, which will open at 5 p.m. every night. Attendants will also need to sign out when they leave the festival grounds. Tickets will not be sold at the box office — folks wishing to attend this weekend must buy their tickets online on the CityFolk website

Masks are mandatory. Bags will be checked, festival is cashless and concert-goers are allowed foldable lawn chairs. 

And with that, cheers to the return of live music in Ottawa.