Along with it’s amazing list of acts, the 2018 edition of RBC Ottawa Bluesfest has also been getting attention for a new entry policy. As of this year, pass holders will no longer be allowed in-and-out privileges, a provision that was typically only set on day passes.

by Owen Maxwell

“We see this as a security initiative,” said executive director Mark Mongahan. “So this is an effort to keep things consistent across the board.”. Festival patron Kristina Kolmar believes it may have the opposite effect. “If anything it will exacerbate the issue of people attempting to get in by way of crashing gates or trying to go over them,” she said.

With such a varied star-studded lineup including acts like Beck, Kimbra, Foo Fighters, and Noname, others believe Bluesfest is catching up if anything.

“This is actually standard practice at most festivals around the world,” said André Bisson who also runs a Bluesfest fan page. Though earlier local acts may be at a disadvantage, Monaghan has also clarified that the earliest weekend set is now 3:30 p.m. While patrons like Kolmar are also suggesting the policy feels “has the feel of being held hostage,” the festival is also reconfiguring gates to allow better flow and ease of access for patrons.

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