Festival Guide: RBC Bluesfest 2016 – July 10

Good news: the forecast is clear of rain.

After two wet days at RBC Bluesfest, Sunday is expected be on the sunny side of things, and should hopefully serve as better conditions to enjoy the collection of performances before heading into the two day break tomorrow. As per weekend scheduling, the shows start at 1pm this afternoon, and with space for a few extra bands in the lineup, Sunday is set to be a fairly busy and fully loaded Day 4.

Photo by Kamara Morozuk
Photo by Kamara Morozuk

Browse through our festival guide for our favourite picks of the day below, and for more information head to the official Bluesfest website.

Grand River Ramblers

Claridge Stage: 1:00 – 2:00

Bluegrass outfit Grand River Ramblers are starting things off on Sunday with their energizing brand of traditional folk music. Supplying music you can dance your heart out to, Grand River Ramblers are ready to stomp, jump, and dance along with festival goers as the afternoon gets underway.

Jordan McIntosh

City Stage: 3:00 – 4:00

The past few years have been good to Ottawa country pop star Jordan McIntosh. The 21 year old has shared the stage with Brett Kissel and One More Girl, was featured on George Canyon’s Christmas album, and to top it off, McIntosh won the 2014 Country Music Association of Ontario Rising Star award. Having grown up listening to Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks, and whomever else was playing on the local country radio station, the Ottawa musician has brought over some of the influences from his predecessors into his music, but not without his own youthful style.


Claridge Stage: 4:00 – 5:00

Contemporary pop trio Bahari is an all-girl group based out of southern California. Their coastal upbringing and lifestyle transposes into their blend of singer-songwriter, folk, and pop, creating an airy, genuine beachfront sound. Formed back in 2013, the young band are on their way up as the three different girls bring together their own style to form one cohesive unit.


Monster Stage: 4:30 – 5:30

Time to get a little weird…New Orleans-based gypsy-polka-jazz-punk ensemble Debauche was formed back in 2008 by Ukrainian-born lead singer Yegor Romantsov and since then, the wild group have brought their “debauched” sound to audiences around the world. Known as the “Russian Mafia Band”, their drunken kitchen party style is not for the faint of heart, but rather those with the heart of a nomad.

Belly – City Stage: 5:15 – 5:45

After making his entrance into the Canadian music scene almost 10 years ago (you might remember the track “Pressure”), Ottawa-based rapper Belly returned with his 2015 mixtape Up For Days, which  featured Travis Scott, French Montana, and The Weeknd, whom Belly has collaborated with numerous times as well. For many fans, it will be a nostalgic performance at RBC Bluesfest, but for many new fans, it will be the first live look as Belly continues his career forward.


Monster Stage: 6:00 – 7:00

With a rugged voice twice his age, Australian singer-songwriter Archer finds inspiration for his earthy, rustic brand of folk-blues from his travels and nomadic lifestyle. As weathered as the souls of his shoes, Archer’s sound is hauntingly distant, yet mostly experienced in the moment through live performances with a limited number of studio recordings. His rich baritone voice is riveting and encompassing, hypnotizing audiences as he passes through cities and festivals.

Wild Child

Monster Stage: 7:30 – 8:30

Formed back in 2010 by friends Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins, Wild Child is the dynamic Austin-based folk pop that has won the hearts of indie music lovers around the world with their genuine storytelling, and lush melodies, passing off their heartfelt secrets as songs and kitchen parties as concerts. The same way Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros create free-spirited energy, and Ingrid Michaelson composes an emotive experience, Wild Child builds an intoxicating connection between band and audience.


Blacksheep Stage: 8:00 – 9:00

Want to know how to throw a good ol’ fashioned dance party? Just ask French electro-swing-pop group Ginkgoa. Formed in Paris, France back in 2010, Ginkgoa throw together the irresistible beginnings of French swing with the contemporary dance party influences of electro-pop for a unique and fun-loving sound. Don’t be alarmed if you find yourself in a frenzy of uncontrollable dance moves and having a wild time.

Yukon Blonde

Monster Stage: 9:00 – 10:15

Kelowna indie rock group Yukon Blonde released their critically acclaimed third full-length On Blonde last year, and the newly shaped four-piece took over the alternative radio stations with their lead single “I Wanna Be Your Man”. Their combination of fuzz-rock, swingy indie pop, and good ol’ Canadian alternative rock has brought the band international success and now they are returning to Ottawa once again to bring their high energy performance to Bluesfest.

San Fermin

Barney Danson Theatre: 9:30 – 10:45

Brooklyn composer and Yale graduate Ellis Ludwig-Leone is the musical and creative genius behind indie baroque-pop ensemble San Fermin; lyricist, composer, arranger, songwriter, Ludwig-Leone is San Fermin. With the help of his friends in the studio, Ludwig-Leone has turned the one-man show into a fully-function, touring 8-piece troupe. A controlled frenzy of horns, strings, percussion, and complimenting vocals, San Fermin is an intense musical venture: unpredictable, melodramatic, and exhilarating with every note. Throw in the exceptional vocal contrast of co-lead vocalists Charlene Kaye and Allen Tate, and mini-orchestra’s playful use of time signatures as a backdrop, San Fermin are not to be missed.

Honourable Mentions:

The Ramblin’ River Band  – Monster Stage: 3:00 – 4:00

The Jimmy Tri-Tone Band – Blacksheep Stage: 3:30 – 4:30

Adult Children – Barney Danson Theatre: 3:30 – 4:30

Carson Downey Band – Blacksheep Stage: 5:00 – 6:00

Thrust – Barney Danson Theater: 5:00 – 6:00

Steamers – Claridge Stage: 6:00 – 7:00

Steve Hill – Blacksheep Stage: 6:30 – 7:30

TJ Wheeler – Barney Danson Theatre: 6:30 – 7:30

JD McPherson – City Stage: 7:00 – 8:00

The Texas Horns – Barney Danson Theatre: 8:00 – 9:00

Thomas Rhett – Claridge Stage: 8:00 – 9:15

Madeon – Blacksheep Stage: 9:30 – 10:45

John Fogerty – City Stage: 9:30 – 10:45

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