Ottawa's RBC Bluesfest Cancels 2021 Festival

Ottawa's RBC Bluesfest Cancels 2021 Festival
The Canadian summer music festival season is looking increasingly grim, and the latest casualty is Ottawa's RBC Bluesfest. Today, the long-running festival announced it has officially called off its 2021 event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The RBC Bluesfest had been eyeing the 2021 dates of July 8 to 18. However, today RBC Bluesfest executive director Mark Monahan broke the bad news that the festival will not be happening this summer. Instead, it's aiming to get back into action in 2022.

Down below, you can find Monahan's full announcement, as well as a video of him breaking the news.



For those of you who don't know, I have been at the helm of the RBC Bluesfest since its inception in 1994. This last year has been a tough time for all of us, so today I'm announcing some good news, along with some bad news. The bad news first: we are not going to be able to proceed with the July, 2021 festival. We've been working hard at trying to figure out a way to put on this year's event, but we've simply run out of time, so we're just going to have to move on.




The good news is that we have confirmed Rage Against the Machine. They are going to headline the 2022 festival on Friday, July 15, with Run the Jewels as support. RATM is one of the most anticipated headliners we have ever booked, so we're delighted that they will, in fact, be performing in 2022.


Anyone who kept their 2020 ticket for the 2021 event will be eligible for a full refund, but we are encouraging Rage Against the Machine ticket holders to keep their tickets for 2022. This will guarantee the best prices possible. Current ticket holders will receive an email from Front Gate Tickets within the next 24 hours with further details about 2022 ticket options.


Sales of passes for the 2022 festival will resume today, April 8, 2021.


Last year, when we announced the cancellation of the 2020 event, it was hard to be optimistic. The pandemic blindsided us and we weren't sure what we were getting into. With vaccines rolling out, Health Authorities expect most people to be vaccinated by the end of this year, so the prospects for 2022 are quite promising. 


There are many exceptional acts that are showing interest in touring in 2022 and taking part in the RBC Bluesfest. This is very encouraging. We are working on the 2022 lineup right now, in preparation for one of our best years ever.




I would like to thank the festival board and staff for their ongoing efforts and all the fans of the fest for their support and patience during these challenging times.