The much anticipated lineup announcement for RBC Bluesfest 2017 is expected overnight tonight. Although it’s always been hard to predict we thought we’d put together a wishlist of who we’d like to see / could see at Lebreton Flats this summer.

At this time of year the rumour mill is running hot with everyone’s predictions but we’ve got to hand it to Mark Monahan and his team for doing an excellent job at keeping their lineup a secret. It’s worth mentioning that we have not been able to confirm, or deny, any of the acts below.

The Major Headliners

There are a few tours that will intersect with Ottawa right around the time of RBC Bluesfest. Although it would make for an incredible event some of them are a major long-shot.

Metallica, photo: Herring Herring

Metallica, photo: Herring Herring

First up Metallica. They will be near the start of their WorldWired Tour which, as of now, has no Ottawa dates. The tour has openings on July 10-11, 13, 15, 17 and 18. Their current tour schedule leaves a minimum of 1 day between each tour stop so the only way Ottawa could happen were if Metallica made an exception to this pattern, which is unlikely. That and I believe that Metallica’s asking price would be far higher than RBC Bluesfest’s budget. That said, we love Metallica and we love miracles so we’re going to keep them on our wishlist anyway 🙂

Queen with Adam Lambert

Queen with Adam Lambert, Photo: Xavier Vila

Another supergroup expected to be in the Ottawa area around RBC Bluesfest is Queen with Adam Lambert. The availability is there for this one and they are doing back to back shows. Queen will be in the area and could cap off the festival with a performance on, July 16, the final night of the festival. I’m a die hard fan of Queen so seeing them live again would be amazing. Not sure what their budget requirements are but this one is high on my list.

Muse, Thirty Seconds to Mars and Pvris Tour 2017

A tour that I’m all but expecting to see on tonight’s lineup announcement is Muse with 30 Seconds To Mars and Pvris. The tour has most of July open leading into a stop at Quebec City’s Festival d’Ă©tĂ© de QuĂ©bec on July 16 which could see them hit RBC Bluesfest on any of the nights before that, likely July 14 or 15. I’m going so far as predicting that this one will happen. Muse (confirmed)

From a country music perspective we know that there will be at least two big name country acts at this years festival along with a few Canadian openers.

Luke Bryan performs at Boots and Hearts in 2014 photo by Trish Cassling

For this year I’m predicting Luke Bryan will be on the lineup early in the festival, he performs in Manitoba on July 1 and then is open until July 13 when he performs a show in New York state. With him already being announced for Boots and Hearts and other festivals like Dauphin’s Countryfest in Manitoba he’s all but a sure thing for RBC Bluesfest.

Little Big Town is on tour promoting their new album The Breaker and will headline the Cavendish Beach Music Festival on July 7 following which they are open until July 15 when they have a show in Wisconsin. I find it very unlikely that they’ll come to Canada for a single show so I believe they have a high probability of being on the RBC Bluesfest lineup this year. The group had been announced for Bluesfest a few years ago but was forced to cancel their appearance due to an illness in the band.

Kip Moore performs in Kingston, Ontario as part of his Me and My Kind tour October 13, 2016 photo by Ron Pettitt

I also believe that there’s a strong chance that Kip Moore could find himself on the RBC Bluesfest lineup this year. He’s already in Canada for appearances at Cavendish Beach Music Festival (July 8) and Trackside Festival (July 2). Seeing Kip Moore on the RBC Bluesfest lineup is, again, all but a sure thing.

Nine Inch Nails will be performing in New York State on July 30 which is the only date they have announced to date but they are expected to be making their festival rounds this summer and if that’s the case it would not surprise me to see them at RBC Bluesfest.

Don Felder performs at RBC Bluesfest in 2014- photo by Hendrik Pape Sound Check Entertainment

Don Felder performs at RBC Bluesfest in 2014- photo by Hendrik Pape Sound Check Entertainment

Styx is hitting the road this summer with REO Speedwagon and Don Felder the first half of July has no dates scheduled for their “United We Rock Tour” but seeing as Styx and Don Felder were just at RBC Bluesfest a few years ago I’m going out on a limb and saying it may be too early to bring them back. But if the price is right they could find their way back this year, although the lack of Canadian dates on this tour make this one a long shot.

Tedeschi Trucks Band is another red hot hopeful. The Florida Based group announced their “Wheels of Summer” tour earlier this month and although there have been no Canadian dates announced as of yet they will be in the northern USA at the time RBC Bluesfest will run so I can’t rule them out.

Another group that many, myself included, were holding out hope for was Iron Maiden but, like Metallica, they aren’t doing back to back dates on their tour and have things spaced out enough so that they only have one or two day between tour stops. Sadly I’m going to have to rule this one out for 2017.

There has been some discussion about possibly seeing Buddy Guy make the lineup. Guy is playing at the Montreal International Jazz Festival on June 30 in Montreal so there’s a good chance we’ll see an Ottawa date but I’m more inclined to think he’ll be added to this summer’s TD Ottawa Jazz Festival lineup.

July Talk perform at the 2016 Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival photo by Sean Sisk

July Talk perform at the 2016 Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival photo by Sean Sisk

Rock The Park in London often books a number of artists that also end up on the RBC Bluesfest Lineup. I anticipate that this year won’t be much different. California based Sublime with Rome will appear at Rock the Park on July 15 along with The Offspring, Bleeker and July Talk (confirmed). All four of these bands will be open at the time of RBC Bluesfest but with The Offspring scheduled to perform at Rockfest in Montebello on June 22 I think the odds of an Ottawa appearance might be slim.

Canadian Content

Let’s take a look at some of the Canadian acts we would like to see on the lineup.

The Barenaked Ladies are always fun to see perform live and it’s been a few years since they performed at the festival. The group is on tour and performs at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia on July 7 and then Thunder Bay on July 8 for Thunder Bay Bluesfest. This would make them an ideal addition to RBC Bluesfest either on opening night or one of the later dates.

Sam Roberts Band Toronto Massey Hall

Sam Roberts Band Toronto Massey Hall photo by Trish Cassling for Sound Check Entertainment

Sam Roberts (confirmed) is a regular on the RBC Bluesfest lineup and hasn’t appeared since 2014. Roberts is currently touring in support of his new album Terraform and has open dates around RBC Bluesfest.

2017 Juno Nominees the Strumbellas have performed at CityFolk in the past and with their recent success, and popularity in Ottawa, I strongly believe they will find a place on one of the stages at RBC Bluesfest this summer.

Tim Hicks performs at CFB Kingston photo by Sean Sisk for Sound Check Entertainment

Tim Hicks performs at CFB Kingston photo by Sean Sisk for Sound Check Entertainment

From a Canadian country perspective I think there’s a decent chance that we might see our good friend Tim Hicks (confirmed) make a return appearance at RBC Bluesfest this summer. Having just wrapped up his nationwide Shake These Walls tour Tim is doing festival gigs across the country this summer.  Many of his festival dates are in Western Canada but he has an appearance scheduled at Cavendish Beach Music Festival (July 9) a date at Dauphin Countryfest in Manitoba (June 30) and a date in Surrey, BC on July 22 leaving him open for a visit to RBC Bluesfest.

Chad Brownlee photo by Linda Heldman for Sound Check Entertainment

Another good friend of ours, Chad Brownlee, could also find his way onto the RBC Bluesfest lineup. Chad also recently wrapped up his Hearts On Fire tour but didn’t have any dates on this side of Canada and, aside from a short radio tour last year, hasn’t spent much time in Ontario. Brownlee currently has two festival dates in eastern Canada booked for this summer. Cavendish Beach Music Festival (July 8th) and Boots and Hearts (August 10-13) leaving him wide open for a spot at RBC Bluesfest.

Nickelback photo credit: Richard Beland (Used with Permission)

Nickelback photo credit: Richard Beland (Used with Permission)

The Canadian band everyone loves to hate, Nickelback, are back with a new album, Feed The Machine, and tour. Although no Ottawa dates have been announced we haven’t seen Chad Kroeger and the boys in Ottawa since 2012. Their scheduled stop at the Canadian Tire Centre for July 2015 had to be canceled due to an operable cyst that had been discovered on Kroeger’s vocal chords. Kroeger is back in tip top vocal shape and I fully expect Ottawa to get their Nickelback at RBC Bluesfest this summer, likely with a mid-festival date (the band has no shows scheduled July 13-19).

Death from Above 1979 (confirmed) had to cancel last years appearance at RBC Bluesfest, they are in a position to appear this year…could it happen?

DJ Jason “Human Kebab” Parsons of USS performs at Algonquin Commons Theatre in Ottawa photo by Dave DiUbaldo

DJ Jason “Human Kebab” Parsons of USS performs at Algonquin Commons Theatre in Ottawa photo by Dave DiUbaldo

USS (Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker) hinted at a summer return to Ottawa during their recent show at Algonquin Commons Theatre. Could RBC Bluesfest be that return? It’s not impossible…a few years ago Dear Rouge performed at RBC Bluesfest and returned to Ottawa for a headlining show in the fall.

Who do you want to see in Ottawa this summer? Let us know in the comments or via social media.

Stay tuned for the official RBC Bluesfest lineup coming early tomorrow morning. For full festival details visit