Festival season is in full swing and as a result the National Capital Region is buzzing with events. If you’re in our lively city this week, be sure to check out some of the great shows and festivals taking place in and around Ottawa-Gatineau. Take a look at Eventful Capital’s weekly picks below for a glimpse into some of the cool things that are scheduled.
Ottawa Explosion 2016 runs from June 15-19 at various locations across Ottawa-Gatineau including Club Saw, House of Targ, Ritual, Le Temporaire, and St. Albans. This niche music festival, which features underground punk, rock, garage, indie psych pop bands from the region and beyond will present over 75 groups, the majority of which you’ve probably never heard of, but that you should definitely discover and encourage if you’re into those genres. This is what Ottawa Explosion is all about: a really loud, really fun celebration of underground music.
Ottawa’s largest theatre festival, the Fringe, is back for its 20th season from June 15 to June 286 at La Nouvelle Scène among other downtown venues. The 2016 edition will feature over 400 performances, many of which are local-based productions. The Fringe is one of the city’s most accessible festivals with tickets for performances priced at a ridiculously affordable price. What’s more, 100% of ticket sales go directly to the performers, and that alone is seriously amazing and worth supporting.
Ottawa prog rock/post hardcore newcomers Halfsleeper are having their EP release show at Babylon this Thursday, June 16. For the occasion, the four-piece will be sharing the stage with Ottawa post rock/shoegaze band No Mistakes in Space and Ottawa indie alternative rock band The Haig.
Toronto folk musician Justin Nozuka will be performing live at Zaphods this Thursday, June 16. The artist, known for his soothing minimalist style, will be playing alongside Ottawa folk singer-songwriter and guitar player Amanda Lowe.
The 41st edition of the Festival Franco-Ontarien kicks off this Thursday, June 16 and runs until Saturday, June 18. This year again, the family-friendly festival, which celebrates francophone music and culture, is being held at Major Hill Park and will present popular Francophone musicians and bands including legendary African artist Tiken Jah Fakoly, Montreal pop singer-songwriter Karim Ouellet, Acadian hip hop duo Radio Radio, and local indie rock trio Pandaleon among others.
The annual Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival & Powwow is being held from Friday, June 17 to Monday, June 20 at Vincent Massey Park in Ottawa. The family-friendly event, which offers free admission, will feature a variety of traditional powwow dance competitions along with live music shows, a drum contest, a family fun zone, workshops, artisans, crafts, a selection of traditional aboriginal foods and lots more.
From Friday, June 17 to Sunday, June 19, the Ottawa Asian Festival presents the 2016 Ottawa Night Market at Lansdowne Park. This free admission outdoor event will feature the best in Asian cuisine and allow attendees to enjoy classic and creative cuisine from some of the best chefs from both Ottawa and Toronto. There will be over 60 vendors and hundreds of delicious dishes to choose from. Come hungry!
This Friday, Zaphods presents an evening of live metal with Vancouver speed metal/hardcore/punk thrash band The Golers as well as Beamsville party metal/thrash group Laid To Rest, Ottawa doom metal/hardcore/noise/sludge project Tongue Eating Louse and Ottawa classic hardcore/prog punk rockers Slim and Popular.
GlowFair is back for a third edition and building on last year’s success. The festival’s 2016 installment, once again free to attend, will feature art performances, vibrant music shows and state-of-the-art light projections, which will make a stretch of Bank Street come to life on June 17 and 18. Headliners include Keys N’ Krates, Dragonette, and Rich Aucoin among other great performers. Be part of the action and experience the core of Centretown like you’ve never seen it before!
This Saturday, June 18, the Freewheeling Curator and Makerspace North present the Urban Picnic Craft Pop-Up happening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This one day pop-up will feature the best modern makers from the 613 & beyond as well as delicious picnic-inspired food and other fun surprises. Come hungry and support local!
Carivibe, the festival celebrating Caribbean culture in the Nation’s Capital, is back at Petrie Island on Saturday, June 18 and organizers invite you to reach the beach. This annual family-friendly beach party, which offers a diverse array of tropical rhythms, cuisine, carnival and culture, will celebrate the 2016 edition with headlining performances by reggae legend Sanchez, Hypasounds, The Bajan Soca Sensation and several others.
Ottawa based tech-death metal band Killitorous is celebrating 10 years of making music this Saturday, June 18th and to mark the occasion, the group, established in 2006, will begiving a live show at Mavericks and playing alongside tech-death group Teramobil, shred metal project Divine Realm, symphonic black metal formation Endemise and metal outfit Ending Tyranny.
Ottawa rock n’roll band Ukrainia will be returning to House of Targ this Saturday, June 18 and this time around, the 4-piece will be playing alongside Ottawa rock/soul/blues/folk powerhouse duo Riishi Von Rex. Good times to be had when live music, pinball and perogies collide.
Fans of Lynyrd Skynyrd will want to make their way over to the Rainbow Bistro this Saturday night to check out Southbound,Ottawa’s best Southern rock and roll tribute band.
Mother Nature hasn’t been too cooperative lately, so let’s cross our fingers that the weather will get nicer moving forward because Pozativ Vibrationz By Da Beach, a family-friendly outdoor event happening every sunny Sunday, kicks off June 19 at Petrie Island after being postponed twice. What more could you want than a free jam by the beach featuring top notch DJs, tasty eats & refreshing beverages provided by Banana’s Beach Grill & Rum Shack. Positive vibes all around, guaranteed and here’s to hoping the sun shines bright this Sunday!