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Addictedtoedm / Byron Muir

On Tuesday, July 9, 2019, we had the pleasure of covering the 25th-anniversary edition of Ottawa’s RBC Bluesfest 2019. And headlining the City Stage was none other than the impeccably talented Kygo.

We’ve previously attended a few shows on the grounds of this highly anticipated series of events. Without any hesitation, we are ecstatic to confirm that this special opportunity stood out among all of the rest; here’s why…

In the past, entering the festival’s gates wasn’t always the easiest task. We were delighted when we realized that the process was quick and easy! Entering the grounds, we were greeted by friendly volunteers who swiftly directed us to the designated entrances. If anyone had any questions, there was always someone eager to assist and ready to provide a memorable experience for all.

Although there were hundreds of party-goers entering the gates, the barriers and clear signage allowed for an efficient check-in process. Numerous security guards conducted thorough bag checks. Additionally, airport metal detectors ensured everyone’s safety upon check-in. The excitement to discover what laid beyond the entry point was consuming us.

Stepping into the 25th-anniversary edition was like nothing we had experienced in the past. You could tell that the organizers had put an extensive amount of time and thought into the overall layout of the grounds. There were several beer tents and food vendors on-site, resulting in short wait times. Furthermore, there were many volunteers walking around the festival selling beer, ensuring IDs were checked.

Speaking of wait times, the dreaded festival porta-potty lines were actually quite good. The cleanliness of the porta potties, as well as the grounds, was impressive, taking into account the number of attendees.

The organizers surpassed our expectations by adding several special touches, including a Ferris wheel!

[Event Review] Kygo 'Stole The Show' at RBC Ottawa Bluesfest 2019

To get a sense of the layout, check out the detailed site map below; it’s truly impressive.

[Event Review] Kygo 'Stole The Show' at RBC Ottawa Bluesfest 2019

After treating ourselves to some beverages, we continued to explore the grounds. We ended up discovering a bunch of hidden treasures such as a hair braiding booth, and a Videoton phone charging station.

[Event Review] Kygo 'Stole The Show' at RBC Ottawa Bluesfest 2019

Music wise, Tuesday’s lineup offered a wonderful musical variety, even incorporating Blues by the legendary Buddy Guy! Gashi was not able to perform due to illness, however, the site offered a wide range of activities to keep everyone occupied. The Scary Bear Soundtrack got the party started, however, Lennon Stella kicked off the vibe with her stunning vocals!

[Event Review] Kygo 'Stole The Show' at RBC Ottawa Bluesfest 2019

Also billed to perform were: Bearings, DJ Prosper, Sue Foley, The Kim Pollard Band, and The Trews.

After frolicking around for a little over an hour, the moment everyone was waiting for finally arrived! Right on schedule, the ‘Not Ok‘ producer took the City Stage. What happened next, no one could have predicted…

Kygo dropped some of his newest tracks, including ‘Carry On‘ and ‘Higher Love‘. And when the Norwegian DJ played ‘Higher Love’ you could almost feel Whitney Houston‘s presence. From the baseline to the vocals, the energy that filled the air was nothing but positive; sheer bliss.

During his set, Houston wasn’t the only angel present. Kygo paid tribute to Avicii by playing his single ‘Without You‘ ft. Sandro Cavazza. Although Houston’s presence was, arguably, there, during that moment, we felt as though Avicii was living through Kygo. The way that Kygo was moving on stage was almost identical to Avicii’s stage presence. We could have burst into tears. At that moment, it was hard to ‘Carry On’. However, the show continued with spectacular mixes, including an AC/DC track mixed into ‘Lose My Mind‘!

The production throughout the performance was incredible! Pyrotechnics including fireworks, and more, kept everyone captivated. What truly ‘Stole The Show’ was when he ended the set by playing his chart-topping classic ‘Firestone‘. Kygo played the piano while an ensemble of violinists and cellists accompanied the musician.

We couldn’t have asked for a more magical evening. These moments will stay with us for years to come. Congratulations on 25 years of beautiful memories, and wish you many more to come. Thank you for having us, and for everything in between. We look forward to seeing what Bluesfest has in store for 2020!

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Words by Byron Muir
Music Editor