It was around 6 o'clock in the evening when Brodie Conley and his band Future States took the stage at Bluesfest Saturday evening before dozens of people. 

"It was awesome," said Brodie Conley, a local musician. "The reception from the audience was great. They seemed to like the music. It's a lot of fun." 

Saturday's performance was a first for Future States, but not for Conley - he played with a friend's band a few years ago. With hundreds of artists, and a focus on local talent, Conley said Bluesfest provides local talent with a rare opportunity to grow their brand. 

"For a band like us we play weird, experimental pop type music, so we see new, different crowds that probably wouldn't see us," he said. "So it was nice to be in front of them and have them say oh that's a type of music I didn't even know I liked." 

Future States performed on the same day as 50 Cent and Tegan and Sara, three well known international artists. Although his band is still relatively unknown, Conley said Bluesfest organizers treated them like any big artist. 

"Bluefest does really well with treating you like you're a large scale artist," he said. "The stages are managed well, the sound is amazing, the catering and they pay you like an artist should be paid, which we really, really appreciated."

Organizer Mark Monahan said getting a diverse collection of talent is important. 

"For the younger audience, this is a great opportunity for them to hear some live music. We have a lot of people who don't go to shows during the year and can't get into bars, so Bluesfest is a great safe location for them to come and listen to some great, live music," Monahan said. 

For larger bands like High Valley, the 10-day festival is a chance to perform outside in front of a Canadian crowd with an eclectic group of musicians. 

"Regardless of where you are from and what type of music you like, we want you to check out High Valley and we are so pumped to be at a music festival that embraces all kinds of genres and we think that is awesome," said Brad Rempel, one of the band's founding members. 

Rempel and his brother Curtis have performed all over the world but the Canadian country duo said Bluesfest will be a first outdoor concert of its kind. 

"Playing in front of so many people, it's impossible not to be charged and fueled by that energy," said Curtis Rempel. 

Bluesfest started on July 6 and wraps up at LeBreton Flats on July 16th. About 300,000 people are expected to attend the festival.