We have been most impressed by the Ottawa folk festival, which is where this post is from, sitting here listening to Royal Wood.
The scale of the festival is considerably smaller than the more well known festival in Edmonton, which is the festival we are most familiar with. It is easier to navigate a good seat for almost every show here and it is also a little more family friendly, at least in the daytime, where there are lots of activities for kids.
Our boys had a good time at a build-your-own drum workshop that was provided free of charge, and they also enjoyed Ukelele lessons 🙂
There is a real true folk feel to the festival – no too hippy-trippy, like some, but just super relaxed and not hyper-organized. There are fewer artists but the caliber is very strong. The setting in Hog’s Back Park is perfect with plenty of shade when you need it and a large indoor area that provides shelter when need be, as might be the case later today as Irene related weather heads north.
As usual, this fest has a very wide range of performances – all the way from the folkiest of the folky to straight-out alternative rock, including, heavy doses of blues and bluegrass throughout.
Stand-out acts so far include Justin Townes Earle (who did a rip-roaring old-time folksy blues set), City and Colour, Rick Fines, Bright Eyes,Matt Costa, Punch Brothers, Kim Churchill and Tom Morello (formerly of Audioslave and Rage Against the Machine)
Looking forward to Serena Ryder Jimmy Rankin and Levon Helm this eve.
Below are a few clips, contrasting the styles of Justin Townes Earle with Matt Costa (who graciously gave a beside the stage impromptu), and Tom Morello and the Night Watchmen, capped off with a short clip from Bright Eyes, which was likely the band with the biggest buzz at the festival.