It’s music time! Although the full lineup has yet to be finalized, I can go ahead and tell you who to see right now. Who am I to tell you who to see? Just an expert snob. A music expert snob. So here goes!

Day one (Wednesday July 8): It’s just Skrillex. I’ll be skipping it. You can too. Although if you want to go hang out with a ton of glow-stick waving kids, it will likely be a great party!

Day two (Thursday July 9):

Ottawa singer-songwriter Tara Holloway:

Juan De Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All Stars – I am not familiar with Juan De Marcos, the new leader of the band. But this band has been around seemingly forever with an endless parade of supremely talented musicians. Think Buena Vista Social Club.

Kira Isabella / Jason Aldean – Putting them together, because it’s the crowd they bring moreso than their music. Kira Isabella is a solid young Canadian country singer and Aldean is a more established, very good American act. But country music crowds, guys. Country music crowds.

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires:

Day 3 (Friday July 10):

Brea Lawrenson:

Again guys. Country music crowds. I can’t stress this enough.

Day 4 (Saturday July 11):

Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts – The former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver singer may be a colossal douche, but he is mad talented. That’s how he keeps getting work.

Iggy Azalea – Yeah, I know, it’s pop. But you know what? She’s also very very good, and this will be a hell of a party night. Likely with a nice aroma.

Nas – A guy I never considered for Bluesfest. Not on my radar at all. But then the name popped up and he was instantly the #1 name on my list to see – one of (if not THE) greatest lyricists in rap history, a massive name in hip-hop, and creator of one of my favourite albums (any genre) with Illmatic.

Day 5 (Sunday July 12):

The OBGMs – The oOohh Baby Gimme Mores are a Toronto punk band that is seriously on the rise:

Also many great local acts today (Silvergun & Spleen, Pony Girl, Joe Gaspar Band, etc) and The Arkells are always great. Also solid – rocker Philip Sayce and Australian reggae act Sticky Fingers.

Day 6 (Tuesday July 14):

More great local acts (New Swears, the Lucas Haneman Express) and the amazing Australian jam band John Butler Trio, who have played several times before. But of course, there is but one big reason to go to Bluesfest on the Tuesday.

Lynyrd Skynyrd:

Day 7 (Wednesday July 15):

Run The Jewels – rap duo comprised of Killer Mike & El-P, their show will be two things – a great party, and really really good hip-hop.

De La Soul – The #2 act I have to see. Another act with one of my all-time favourite albums, their debut 3 Feet High And Rising. Hippy, flower-power hip-hop that is nothing but fun. And awesome. Fun and awesome.

Day 8 (Thursday July 16):

Keith Urban and Dallas Smith – Again, country crowds. Have I said this before?

Day 9 (Friday July 17):


Punk fans: Dropkick Murphys – always a high-energy, high-volume, ass-kicking show

Blues fans: Marcia Ball – 66 years old, New Orleans blues pianist, who last time I saw her opened for Iron Maiden. And was better.

Country fans: Little Big Town – who goes to Bluesfest without doing a little day drinking?

Classic rock fans: Tragically Hip, of course. And Canned Heat! LOVE Canned Heat!

Local fans: The Jivewires

Day 10 (Saturday July 18):

Interpol – New York indie rockers who are reminiscent of Joy Division or Echo & the Bunnymen – terrific stuff.

Marcia Ball – Again! Two days in a row, will likely be amazing again.

The Lowriders – One-time members of the classic band War, named themselves after their biggest hit…I bet they close with ‘Low Rider’!

Deep Purple – well, you just gotta, don’t you?

Day 11 (Sunday July 19):

Monkeyjunk – Best local blues band going right now. A local supergroup, if you will. And a great party.

The Tea Party – I’m excited for this show, but I’m not gonna lie. The second they finish playing ‘The Bazaar’ I’m moving on.

Weid Al Yankovic – No idea what to expect. But I do NOT expect him to suck. I think this will be an awesome time.

Okay, that’s it. Follow my simple plan (while skipping the actual band Simple Plan, if you can) and you will have a fantastic musical time at Bluesfest. Now go!