Bluesfest and CityFolk release mini, all-Canadian lineups

Bluesfest and CityFolk return with mini-festivals at Lansdowne next month and only those who are fully vaccinated can attend.

Music festivals at Lansdowne will require all patrons to be fully vaccinated

Live music will return to the site of CityFolk at Lansdowne Park in September. (Submitted by CityFolk)

Live music returns to the Great Lawn at Lansdowne Park next month thanks to the people behind Ottawa's Bluesfest and CityFolk.

Barenaked Ladies, Tom Cochrane and Our Lady Peace headline an all-Canadian lineup taking the stage for six days and nights in two mini music festivals set for Sept. 16-18 and Sept. 23-25.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday.

    Concertgoers will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and show proof of vaccination to get through the gate. The executive director of both festivals, Mark Monahan, said the decision was made after hearing from festival staff and volunteers. 

    Barenaked Ladies are slated to perform on Sept. 24 on a double bill with Jann Arden. (Kevork Djansezian)

    "They could just feel more comfortable if they knew everyone was vaccinated," said Monahan, "I do think this is quickly becoming sort of the accepted approach to putting on these types of events."

    Monahan says the festival continues to consult with the province about the easiest way to verify vaccinations, and will send those details to ticket-buyers closer to the event.

    WATCH | Mark Monahan on combining the two outdoor festivals: 

    Bluesfest and CityFolk are back in Ottawa — but you’ll need to be vaccinated to attend

    1 year ago
    Duration 0:49
    Mark Monahan, executive producer of Bluesfest and CityFolk, says the combined outdoor festival will provide musicians and technical crews with the opportunity to return to live music after an extended, involuntary break during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    This means there will be three weekends of live music in Ottawa next month, with Escapade Music Festival running on Sept. 4 and 5 at Ottawa's baseball stadium. Attendees also have to be fully vaccinated to attend that festival.

    With a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases, Monahan says attendance will be capped at 5,000, which is less than half the capacity, leaving space for physical distancing.

    "You can't just open the gates and pack them in like we might have in the past," said Monahan, "This is something we're very conscious of, and we want to make sure that not only do we do it, but we do it right."

    Other musicians on the roster include a number of Juno-winning artists: Jann Arden, reggae artist Töme, Montreal's Half Moon Run, and Ottawa blues outfit MonkeyJunk.

    MonkeyJunk performs on Sept. 25 on a triple bill with April Wine and Tom Cochrane. (Patrick Doyle/Ottawa Bluesfest/Canadian Press)

    MonkeyJunk frontman Steve Marriner says the opportunity to play before a hometown crowd has been a long time coming. The band recently performed for a live audience in Calgary.

    "It's kind of like if you're really, really, really hungry and then you have the best meal you could ever possibly have imagined," Marriner recalled, adding Ottawa music fans likely have the same appetite for the live music experience.

    "I think there will be a hungry audience ... I'm sure it will be really well attended."

    The festivals are marketed as separate events. Here are the two lineups.


    Sept. 16: Charlotte Day Wilson, DVSN, Roy Woods, Töme.

    Sept. 17: Our Lady Peace, Moist.

    Sept. 18: Dean Brody, The Reklaws, Sacha.


    Sept. 23: Half Moon Run, Tokyo Police Club, Aysanabee, Lauryn MacFarlane.

    Sept. 24: Jann Arden, Barenaked Ladies, Ryland James.

    Sept. 25: Tom Cochrane, April Wine, MonkeyJunk.


    Sandra Abma


    Sandra Abma is a veteran CBC arts journalist. If you have an event or idea you want to share, please do at


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