OTTAWA—Sad news today for Ottawans hoping to chow down on Jimmy Eat World or get their Dixie Chicks fix at this year’s Ottawa Bluesfest. Festival director Mark Monahan has revealed that this year the event will be “pop, country, rap and metal-free”.
“This isn’t a snap decision,” Monahan explained. “We started having some doubts during our Iron Maiden period. Many of us within the organization began to wonder: ‘Have we lost our way? Just how far can we bend the definition of blues?’ I didn’t know.”
Among the unexpectedly cancelled acts that were originally slated for this year’s festival are Rush, Weezer, Tegan and Sara, and Alice In Chains.
“AIC… Yeah, I think that might have finally broken it for us. Certainly for me,” Monahan said. “I thought: my God, here we go again? And what do we add next year to keep it fresh and varied for the fickle masses? Alt-Polka? Neo-prog Barbershop? Gregorian Chantcore? Should we keep pushing the limits of blues definition? Is it too late to put an end to this annual stylemash farce once and for all?”
Apparently not too late, as artists like Matthew Good, Great Big Sea, and Björk found themselves cut from their scheduled performances while the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, B.B. King, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd were elevated to headline status.
“I think Mark has righted a terrible wrong here,” said Whittaker Stinkfinger, one of the recently-added replacement acts. “Despite the filler in the original lineup, he still had the remnants of a solid core: The Blues Broads, Old Man Luedecke, W.C. Clark… These guys are household names. Well… in my house, anyway. It’s a Gotye-free zone.”
“It’s bound to shock some folks, but you all had it comin’,” added W.C. Clark, the ‘Godfather of Austin Blues’, “It’s bad enough you stole the blues from the black man in the first place, but when I’m playin’, I sure as heck don’t wanna be seein’ mullet heads in Mötley Crüe T-shirts holdin’ up their Bic lighters… or honkey rapper wannabes in Eminem bandanas flashin’ me made-up gangsigns. This year it all be different. If people be strollin’ aroun’ the grounds with funny looks on their faces sayin’: ‘What the hell is this noise?’ I be shoutin’ back: ‘It’s the blues, you wiggercrackers. You wanna see Wu-Tang Clan, get yo’ ass to Hip Hop Fest!'”
Bluefest begins July 4th. Tickets are on sale now.