Five Must-See Acts at Ottawa Bluesfest 2024

Running July 4 to 14, the festival features Nas, Neil Young and more

Photo: Kris Krüg (via Flickr)

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Mar 5, 2024

Ottawa Bluesfest is awe-inspiring in terms of scale — is there a major festival that runs longer, and features more headline acts?

The event's 2024 edition is no different, with nine days spread between July 4 and July 14, each of them featuring big-name headliners and up-and-coming support acts performing at LeBreton Flats.

With tickets on sale now, here are five must-see acts from Ottawa Bluesfest's 2024 edition. For fun, we picked five acts from different days, offering a taste of the festival's scope.

Killer Mike
After a decade spent making rap crushers with El-P as one half of Run the Jewels, Killer Mike returned to his solo career in 2023 with MICHAEL. It has moments that are every bit as banging as his RTJ material while also digging deeper into emotional songs about loved ones.

With 1994's Illmatic, Nasty Nas secured his place in the rap pantheon with an album that still stands as one of the genre's best. But rather than rely on his legacy, he has enjoyed an incredible renaissance in recent years, with his Magic and King's Disease trilogies with Hit-Boy delivering six excellent albums since 2020.

Tokyo Police Club
TPC are a must-see in 2024 because it will be the last time! The long-running indie rock band have announced that they're calling it quits with a series of Toronto shows in November, and they've added Ottawa Bluesfest to their farewell lap.

JJ Wilde
Kitchener's JJ Wilde is one of Canada's biggest rock success stories of the decade so far, with hit single "The Rush" smashing home its huge hook with swaggering bravado. Having won the JUNO Award for Rock Album of the Year, her brash rock tunes give Bluesfest its titular blues.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
At 78 years old, Neil Young is unlike almost any other artist of his generation: he steadfastly refuses to become a "legacy artist," instead continuing to release new albums, explore new sounds and take strong political stances. Returning to the road after a pandemic-induced break, he will be joined by his faithful backing band Crazy Horse in 2024.

Tour Dates

Latest Coverage