Third Eye Blind tells fans they will play whatever they feel like playing. Credits: Josephine’s Cell.

Hey there. I’m just your average Jo(sephine) who jumped on a bus to go to a music festival in another city.

I attended Ottawa’s RBC Bluesfest from July 8th to 12th and I would’ve loved to stay for the entire festival, but my schedule simply refused to work in my favour. I can only relay 5 days worth of reflections but believe me, it becomes quite similar after the 3rd day.

If you’ve never been to Bluesfest before, here are some quick facts:

– It’s the largest blues festival in Canada.

– It’s a highly anticipated event in Ottawa every year.

– There used to be a time when Bluesfest played blues music, but that’s a thing of the past.

Now they showcase a variety of performers from all genres! Go musical diversity!

Tyler, The Creator, Jasper Dolphin and Taco from OFWGKTA. A pack of bacon was thrown on stage for Tyler. Credits: Josephine’s Cell.

It stretches over a span of 10 days and brings over big name artists who wouldn’t be caught doing shows in Ottawa any other time of the year. It physically stretches over a large plot of dirt, too, with 4 outdoor stages, 1 DJ booth on a hill and 1 indoor theatre located in the Canadian War Museum (OBSERVATION: the museum seems to be one of the only major buildings located on this plot of land so naturally, they were roped in to sharing a portion of their space).

Thankfully, Bluesfest had enough volunteers there to keep the festival running smoothly. The check-in process was efficient, there were free water refilling stations to quench attendees’ thirst and enough porta-potties to satisfy the beer bladders. The food tents also offered different cuisines to choose from! Though the prices were still sky high, having the ability to choose between the likes of burgers, butter chicken and spring rolls made it a tad more acceptable. Other than the occasional thunderstorm, most of the acts were on time. And finally, Ottawa increased their bus services at the end of the night so no one had to wait a long, ridiculous amount of time for a spot on the bus.

Myles Kennedy performing live with Slash and The Conspirators, sporting the iconic long, rocker style hairdo. Credits: Josephine’s Cell.

Some notable performers included Childish Gambino, Snoop Dogg/Lion, Slash, Jake Bugg, Royal Canoe, Queens of the Stone Age, Blondie, Ryan Hemsworth, The Killers, and more. I was blessed to witness many incredible talents grace the stage with their presence. But I still have some OBSERVATIONS:

–  Childish Gambino fans have minimal crowd etiquette. I’m a huge Gambino fan and sometimes I hate myself, too. I understand that you’re excited to see him live, but that doesn’t mean you have to push and squish 45 minutes before the show starts. Also, complaining about your feelings won’t make the crowd any less packed.

– They brought back a lot of classic acts (Blondie, Foreigner, Styx, etc.) and I would not have been able to see them if it weren’t for Bluesfest gathering them together. Thank you Bluesfest!

– Speaking of Blondie… Debbie Harry is 69 years old!?

– Snoop Dogg/Lion performed songs from both identities. Is this Snoop’s mid-life identity crisis? I feel like he’s joined the whole Hannah Montana best-of-both-worlds club.

Snoop Dogg/Lion asks the crowd if they smoke weed, then proceeds to play Young Thug’s “Stoner”. Credits: Josephine’s Cell.

– The guys from Cypress Hill still dress like it’s the 2003s. Maybe to channel their more prominent gangsta’ days?

– 17 year old Swedish rapper Yung Lean is pretty amazing. He’s a part of a collective called Sad Boys and he’s bringing in more bucket hats, lots of Arizona iced tea and influencing white kids to be sad. He could probably start his own religion and gain a massive following. I’m only saying this because it’s kind of breathtaking to see people of various age groups chanting “Sad. Boys.” over and over again.

Young the Giant ends the night off with a bang (and a cake). Credit: Josephine’s Cell.

– Young The Giant’s lead singer Sameer Gadhia celebrated his birthday on stage! Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday … (at this point, the audience’s noise level has been reduced to perhaps 15 dB because not everyone knew Sameer’s name), HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

Because it’s stretched over 10 days, the main acts don’t overlap and it gives fans a chance to check out as many acts as possible. Popular three-day festivals like Lollapalooza, Osheaga and Coachella may have stacked line-ups, but the pressure of choosing between your favourite bands because they’re all playing at the same time on opposite sides is just too much to deal with. 10/10 ranking for putting the fans first, Bluesfest!