By: Jenny Henderson


As the 26th annual RBC Bluesfest quickly approaches and anticipation of who is performing this year builds, the wait is now over! Rest assured, the wait was definitely worth it to see the lineup of bands and artists that are heading to the nation’s capital this summer. Whether you’re a Gen Z who just recently turned 19, or a Baby Boomer who’s experienced your fair share of festivals already, this one is bound to be unforgettable for all ages.

We’re super excited about all of the fantastic bands and artists this year, but we decided to showcase three to get you as fired up as we are to attend RBC Bluesfest July 9th-19th at Lebreton Flats!


Can you believe this national treasure was born right here in Ottawa? The Glebe Collegiate High School graduate not only became a local icon with her pop/alt rock music, but also took the entire world by storm when her album Jagged Little Pill was nominated for a total of nine Grammy Awards and even won 5, including Album of the Year. This made Alanis the youngest artist ever to win, until Taylor Swift won this record years later with her album Fearless. This is interesting as Alanis’ song “You Oughta Know” was her dissing her ex-boyfriend a decade before Taylor Swift sang about her exes. Alanis’ song is relatable to the emotions of a breakup, and is also a great song to yell along to.

You Oughta Know (1995) Music Video:

And certainly no one could ever forget her song “Ironic” which still has people debating to this day whether or not all of the instances she references in her song even are ironic. Some say they think the song is all situational irony, while others argue that the word ironic wasn’t used properly at all. What do you think? And regardless of where anyone stands, Alanis has always been able to poke fun at herself and have a laugh by partaking in comedic skits referencing the song’s debate during various talk shows.

Ironic (1995) Music Video:

Alanis Morissette’s 2020 tour is actually the 25th anniversary of her 16x Platinum U.S. record Jagged Little Pill so you better believe that she’s going to bring the performance of a lifetime! A 25th anniversary of something so special only happens once so it makes perfect sense that she’d want to celebrate her success by bringing her world tour to her hometown of Ottawa. Be sure to come out and support this local legend!



This band was formally known as Figure 8, Duct Tape, and even blink before a near lawsuit with an Irish band of the same name. They finally settled on the name blink-182: a name that will forever be remembered in pop punk music history. So much can be said about the legendary trio of Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus, and Travis Barker. Before Tom parted ways to perform in his new band Box Car Racer then later Angels & Airwaves, and Mark and Travis went on to perform in their new band +44, blink-182 had absolute smash successes which will never be forgotten.  Their song “Mutt” from their extremely successful album “Enema Of The State (1999)” was selected to be part of the wild teenage cult classic movie “American Pie” in which the band actually makes a cameo appearance. And their music video for “All The Small Things” parodies boy bands, such as the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, as well as other popular artists of the 1990s, including Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. The music video was a mainstream hit which to this day has garnered nearly a quarter BILLION views on Youtube.

All The Small Things (2000) Music Video:

The blink-182 boys were certainly no strangers to living life on their own terms, and their hit single “What’s My Age Again” lyrically revolves around the idea of aging rather than maturing. This music video shows how some people fail to implement changes in behaviour and still partake in fun but reckless adventures. They decided the best way to prove the point of the song in the most literal sense was to streak naked (or nearly naked in skin coloured speedos) through the streets of Los Angeles for all of the public to see. Although the music video was extremely popular on channels like MTV, it gave the band a reputation for nudity which made the boys have to clean up their image a bit, but they never stopped having that carefree attitude we’ll always remember and love them for.

What’s My Age Again (1999) Music Video:

Even though this legendary trio hasn’t performed together since their last split in 2015, their replacement guitarist Matt Skiba, who is also in the band Alkaline Trio, certainly has the skills to prove that he’s got what it takes to fill Tom’s shoes. Matt could never fully replace Tom, but he can provide the musical talent it takes to still let blink-182 be alive and well for the masses to experience live!



Last but certainly not least, Rage Against The Machine, or RATM, is a band that perfectly combines the element of rock, metal, and rap, whose lyrics are politically charged and meant to open people’s eyes to injustices. A prime example of the band using their musical platform to entice standing up for the greater good and positive change was when they created their hit protest song “Killing In The Name”. In 1991 there was footage of 4 white Los Angeles police officers who beat a black motorist, Rodney King, to death. The acquittal of the police officers sparked an outrage amongst the city leading RATM to write “Killing In The Name” which very obviously reflected the racial tensions and police brutality in their city and America. 17 years after the song debuted, it skyrocketed to the Christmas #1 spot because of a Facebook campaign for audiences to stand up against establishments to stop telling them which music to buy. The band said they would donate sales from their song to a charity to help economically disadvantaged children work with music. And in 2010, the band even played a free concert in London, England as a thank you for getting “Killing in the Name” to #1.

Killing In The Name (1992) Music Video:

Rage Against The Machine continued to create songs about their anger towards the corrupt bureaucracies which can be especially heard through their lyrics in “Bulls On Parade”. The chorus’ lyrics, “Rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells” references the politicians who RATM sees claiming to care about family value, and yet proceeds to send their citizens to war who will potentially die just so the politicians can make money. Throughout the decades, Rage Against The Machine has had people both shocked for how blunt they are, but have also gained vast amounts of respect for standing up against the system and never giving into the status quo.

Bulls On Parade (1996) Music Video:

The last time they performed together was in 2011 making their 2020 reunion performances the first time they’ve performed live in 9 YEARS! Their show at RBC Bluesfest this year is one you won’t want to miss considering the crowds in their videos have some of the most passion we’ve ever seen. Will you be one of their audience members screaming from the crowd for their unmissable reunion?

And don’t forget about the other HUGE honourable mentions coming to RBC Bluesfest this year which include:

Billy Talent
Blue Rodeo
Boyz || Men
Jack Johnson
July Talk
Vance Joy

And so many more!

RBC Bluesfest this year is going to be AMAZING and you don’t want to miss getting a ticket to ensure your spot for Ottawa’s huge 11 day party! 1 day pre-sale tickets go on sale this Wednesday, February 19th at 10am and regular tickets are available as of 10am on Friday, February 21st at Get your ticket before they’re all gone. We’re excited to see you there!

And be sure to check the boom 99.7 socials as well as the official RBC Bluesfest accounts for more information, including the FULL LINEUP down below!