By: Curtis Sindrey (@SindreyCurtis) –
The Ottawa Folk Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary with headliners Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Patti Smith, Vampire Weekend, among others.
Running from September 4-8 at the beautiful Hog’s Back Park, which overlooks the spectacular Hog’s Back Falls on the Rideau River, this year’s edition is much more than a folk festival with artists from an array of diverse genres like rappers Kendrick Lamar, who released his critically acclaimed second studio album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, last October, and Juno Award winner and 2008 and 2010 Polaris Music Prize nominee and who will release his new album, Flying Colours, on October 15th, Shad.
This year’s festival also isn’t without its diverse selection of local artists including folk/rock/pop/electronic quartet Little Stella, folk trio Three Little Birds and pop group Shannon Rose and the Thorns.
Rising from the ashes of the Festival for the Folks (1976–1979), the Ottawa Folk Festival has experienced its fair share of issues including dire cash flow issues in 1996, but since their inclusion of mainstream (read: non-folk) artists in the 2000s, the Ottawa Folk Festival has become one of the premier festivals in North America.
Buy your festival wristbands here.
Who To See At Ottawa Folk Festival 2013
The legend that is Neil Young is unparalleled. His contributions to not only music but also to establishing Canada’s identity has made him not only a national treasure but a worldwide one as well. From his peak years in the early to mid 1970s with albums like After The Gold Rush (1970), and Harvest (1972), to his experimental years in the 1980s and beyond, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is an “artist” for his unwillingness to compromise his vision and his eagerness to experiment regardless ofcommercial success. If you choose one artist to see, make it him.
Frontman for Portland-based folk-rockers The Decemberists Colin Meloy, who recently announced his first solo tour in five years and a new solo EP of cover songs, which he will sell during the tour, is a spokesman for intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals alike the world over. Best known for his grandiloquence in his songwriting, his music isn’t for everyone, but it can stop and make you think unlike other artists on the radio.
London, ON native Shad, who has enjoyed numerous award nominations since the release of his 2005 debut album, When This Is Over, including two Polaris Music Prize nominations, and a Juno Award win, he has since become a critical success with being “spiritual without being preachy, righteous without being self-righteous, and human without sounding mundane”, according to Pitchfork’s review of his 2010 album, TSOL. Even if you don’t like rap, Shad’s unique brand of introspective, story-telling flow will quickly make you a fan.
Amos the Transparent
Ottawa-based indie rock band Amos the Transparent, who are likely the only reason Canadian vinyl record manufacturers are still in business with the release of numerous EPs on 45 Records, will bring their newest album “Goodnight My Dear…I’m Falling Apart” and their delicate mixture of heavy and light, soft and hard, and loud and quiet to the Tartan Homes stage on September 5th. Support a hugely talented local band and see them when they perform!
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