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Bluesfest Returns To The ‘Flats’

OTTAWA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) -– Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest organizers have announced that they will stage the ever-popular music event at the new National Capital Commission festival site at LeBreton Flats, adjacent to the new Canadian War Museum. The main intention is to hold the 2007 Bluesfest on a site that can comfortably accommodate an increasing number of fans. In 2006, more than 250,000 people attended the 10-day event. The 2007 edition of Bluesfest will run from July 6 through July 15.

Bluesfest was held at Lebreton Flats from 1999 until 2001. The event was then moved to Festival Plaza at City Hall in 2002 while the Canadian War Museum was under construction. The NCC incorporated a festival and special event site next to the museum as part of this project. The LeBreton Festival Site, bordered by trees, will serve as both a festival plaza and a place where people can gather to relax and enjoy the views of the Ottawa River and Parliament Hill. NCC planners have sketched a broad triangle of open space in the very heart of the development. This 3.6-hectare site south of the Canadian War Museum will be the largest developed outdoor festival site in the Capital. A state of the art 250-seat indoor theatre was also built in the confines of the Canadian War Museum to accommodate live music in an intimate setting.

Due to Bluesfest’s increasing popularity, organizers were facing difficult logistical challenges at their former site, despite the ongoing dedication and support of City staff. "If we wish to stage the festival in optimum conditions, we must move to a location with a larger, more comfortable capacity," says Bluesfest’s executive director, Mark Monahan. "Many fans have indicated that the preferred site out of all our past locations was LeBreton Flats. Since leaving in 2002, it was always our intent to consider a move back once the location was ready."

The new site provides unobstructed views of the stages and roughly twice the available space in a picturesque setting. The site will also allow organizers to add a stage featuring acoustic acts in the Canadian War Museum’s newly built theatre. "The most noticeable change with the new site is that it will allow us to have two large stages on the NCC’s new festival site between the Museum and the Ottawa River Parkway, with a capacity of 40,000," says Monahan. "These stages will feature alternating acts and allow patrons a view of both stages at the same time. This should go over well with the majority of fans who have missed the park-like setting that we offered at LeBreton Flats," Monahan added. Along with the two main stages, Bluesfest organizers plan to include at least three additional theme-based stages.

"We applaud the NCC’s vision in creating the pre-eminent festival site in Ottawa and we look forward to working with the NCC once again. We also look forward to working with The Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC), which manages the Canadian War Museum, and with Joe Geurts, CEO of the Canadian War Museum, and the rest of his team," concludes Mr. Monahan. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers