OTTAWA -- Live music returns to Lansdowne Park this evening, as CityFolk music festival kicks off.

The organizers of RBC Ottawa Bluesfest and CityFolk are hosting the Ottawa Fall Festivals - Two live music events on the Great Lawn at Lansdowne over the next two weekends.

CityFolk runs from Thursday to Saturday, while Ottawa Bluesfest will run from Sept. 23 to 25. 

COVID-19 restrictions include only fully vaccinated fans allowed to attend the festival, all patrons must wear a mask at all times except while eating and drinking and capacity is capped at 5,000 people a night.

Attending their first live event in months, married couple Asher and Asha Kaye Jesionka picked a spot on the Great Lawn away from the crowd but still close to the stage.

"I was texting my wife earlier today and say, 'Hon, I'm so excited to go to a show with you and finally experience a snippet of summer,'" said Asher Jesionka.

"It's great, it feels a little weird,” said Jesionka’s wife, Asha Kaye. "Everybody’s vaccinated they’re enforcing mask use so it feels like the right step."

Following Ontario's road map, Step 3 allows festivals like CityFolk to return to the Great Lawn – A big leap for Ottawa as it continues to get through the pandemic. 

"I think the fact we are taking the measures has comforted people and people want to hear live music again and this is a great opportunity," said Mark Monohan, executive director of RBC Ottawa Bluesfest and CityFolk.

This is the first of two major live music festivals taking place this month at Landsdowne Park. Next weekend, Bluesfest makes its return which is expected to draw crowds back to this space.

"I’ve missed this; it’s good to be back. It’s good to be back," said Akka Dawood, who showed up to CityFolk with his friends to see Roy Woods perform live.

"There’s a lot of space to be able to move and dance and the front crowd isn’t even crowded that much compared to pre-pandemic, so I felt pretty comfortable around here."

Here is a look at what you need to know about CityFolk.



  • Tome – First Up with RBCXMUSIC
  • Roy Woods
  • DVSN
  • Charlotte Day Wilson


  • Command Sisters
  • Moist
  • Our Lady Peace


  • Sacha
  • The Reklaws
  • Dean Brody


Tickets are only available online for CityFolk and RBC Ottawa Bluesfest. There will be no box office onsite to purchase tickets.

Visit Ottawa Fall Festivals to purchase tickets.


Ottawa Fall Festivals are completely cashless for all purchases on the site, including drinks, food and merchandise.

You can use Apple Pay, Google Pay, tap to pay and all major credit cards at CityFolk and RBC Ottawa Bluesfest.


Attendance will be capped at 5,000 patrons each night during CityFolk to ensure enough space for physical distancing.

Organizers say this is below 50 per cent of the Great Lawn's full capacity.


Only fully vaccinated COVID-19 fans will be allowed to attend CityFolk this weekend and RBC Ottawa Bluesfest next weekend.

"There are no exemptions (religious or medical reasons) without proof and (patrons) will be required to prove status at the gates either through a digital or printed copy," says a message on the website.

Attendees must comply with the Festival Fan Health Pledge.

Everyone must wear a mask onsite at all times. Organizers say the removal of a mask is allowed as per provincial guidelines when you are eating, drinking, or for other medical reasons.


OC Transpo service is free to and from the festival. Show your ticket to board transit from three hours before gates open and three hours after the final performance of the night.

Parking is available at Lansdowne Park.

Valet bike parking will be available at Lansdowne.