OTTAWA -- Bluesfest may have been cancelled but the show will go on with help from the National Arts Centre.

The NAC and RBC Bluesfest have teamed up for a weekend drive-in concert series called "#CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In", which will take place at the Place des Festivals Zibi Site in Gatineau.

You'll be able to drive up, park in a dedicated space, and listen to the concerts while physically distancing.

The opening weekend of concerts will be July 31 and August 1. Subsequent weekend shows are also in the works. Shows will begin at 7 p.m. and will go until 10:30.

The stage will be equipped with several 20' x 40' screens for a surround experience, Bluesfest says. 

The lineup includes:

  • July 31 - Marie-Mai, Donovan Woods and The Opposition, Neon Dreams, Terra Lightfoot, Julian Taylor, Kellylee Evans
  • August 1 - Sam Roberts Band, Shad, Haviah Mighty, LeFLOFRANCO, Nambi, Bboyizm
  • August 7 - Patrick Watson, Basia Bulat, Zaki Ibrahim, Asuquomo, Silla and Rise, Genevieve et Alain
  • August 8 - Tim Hicks, Kira Isabella, Chris Labelle, Crystal Shawanda, Lyle Odjick & The Northern Steam, Amanda Rheaume

"#CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In is an effort to help the live performance and music industry gradually come back and recover from months of disruption and cancellations due to the pandemic," a statement from RBC Bluesfest says.

The #CanadaPerforms concert series by the NAC began in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when live shows were being cancelled across the world. The NAC partnered with Facebook to create a $100,000 fund to pay artists for livestreamed performances on the NAC's Facebook page. The Slaight Music Foundation, RBC, and Sirius XM Canada also pitched in to grow the fund to more than $600,000 in late March.

The drive-in concerts will also be livestreamed on Facebook. 

Honouring Indigenous peoples

Bluesfest says #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In concerts, which take place at Zibi, will respectfully honour this site of great importance to the Algonquin Anishinabe and Indigenous peoples. Algonquin protocols, culture and artists will be part of the experience on site. The concert series will include multiple genres, emerging and established artists/bands, and local, Indigenous artists.