BluesFest Ottawa: Nickelback, Noah Cyrus, 50 Cent, City Fidelia and more

Ana Sofia de la Parra • Jul 8, 2024


(Ana Sofia de la Parra/CHUO)

BluesFest kicked off its highly anticipated 30th edition with an explosion of music and energy in Ottawa. On Jul. 4, 2024, the festival began at LeBreton Flats, setting the stage for a summer of diverse musical experiences in Canada’s capital.

The festival’s second day continued the momentum with a lineup that showcased various artists across various stages, offering something for every musical taste.

Headlining the RBC Stage, Canadian rock icons Nickelback returned to BluesFest, drawing a massive crowd of a reported 30,000 people. Known for their 2000s hits and powerful stage presence, the rock band delivered a nostalgic set including fan-favourites like “Photograph,” “This Afternoon,” and “Rockstar.”

Nickelback’s frontman Chad Kroeger on the RBC Stage’s big screen (Ana Sofia de la Parra/CHUO)

Nickelback’s performance didn’t just bring back memories of their early days performing at Ottawa’s ByWard Market, but it also reaffirmed their status as one of Canada’s most beloved bands.

Over at the River Stage, Noah Cyrus played a mesmerizing set and captivated the audience with her soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics. Despite performing simultaneously with Nickelback, Cyrus captivated her young audience with emotionally charged songs like “Make Me Cry,” and “I Got So High That I Saw Jesus.”

However, due to sharing the same time slot as the band her crowd was significantly smaller. Still, her performance created a contrasting yet entreating atmosphere, showcasing her talent and connecting deeply with listeners.

Adding to the day’s lineup Warren Zeiders made a big impression with his soulful tunes, including “Pretty Little Poison,” and “Weeping Willow,” which earned him numerous cheers from attendees who discovered his music for the first time.

Friday at BluesFest was not just about the music – it was a celebration of community and culture. Despite the threat of rain, the weather held off, providing ideal conditions for the fans to immerse themsleves in these cohorts and have a grand time at the festival.

Saturday saw performances from Ottawa rapper and CHUO’s own programming director, City Fidelia. He opened for Killer Mike and 50 Cent with signature freestyles and hits like “Soulmate.”

City Fidelia opens the RBC Stage at Bluesfest, Sat. Jul. 6 2024 (Parujee Akarasewi/CHUO)

Fidelia engaged the crowd with chants and backgrounds on some of his songs, dedicated to family and friends. He ignited the stage with hometown pride and infectious energy, setting the tone for the night.

Mt. Joy’s performance was a pleasant surprise, exceeding expectations and drawing in a packed audience that stretched from the stage barricades to the War Museum entrance.

Meanwhile, at the Barney Danson Theatre, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers’ unique accordion-led performance was a delightful addition to the festival’s eclectic lineup, leaving festival-goers surprised and intrigued.

Fan-favourtie Killer Mike’s powerful presence and socially conscious lyrics resonated deeply with the crowd, addressing topics ranging from teen parenthood to reproductive rights. Killer Mike delivered a stellar performance and used his platform to advocate for important social issues, elevating the evening’s significance.

Despite a passing rainstorm, around 20,000 fans eagerly awaited 50 Cent’s headline act. True to form, the legendary rapper delivered a show-stopping performance, complete with dazzling lighting effects, smoke, and pyrotechnics.

The American rapper’s BluesFest performance also coincided with his birthday.

Backed by a dynamic team of dancers, 50 Cent electrified the crowd with his iconic hits like “In Da Club,” “Candy Shop,” and “P.I.M.P.,” showcasing his trademark style in a striking blue tracksuit and eye-catching chain.

The Bluesfest energy was palpable and the atmosphere was electric as fans came together to enjoy the live music.

As BluesFest continues in Ottawa, music fans can look forward to more memorable performances and unique experiences from the festival’s commitment to showcasing emerging artists as well as famous ones. Keep the energy high and allow BluesFest to deliver unforgettable moments as well as affirming its spot as a highlight of summertime in the capital.