On Friday September 20th I ventured to the lawn in front of Tabaret Hall at Ottawa U to check out the latest festival addition to our dear city, E.L.E. Festival.
E.L.E. stands for “Everyone Love Everyone,” and let me tell you there was certainly positive energy in the air and people of all ages enjoying the vibe.
Setting the tone for the evening was AkoufèN, a French Alternative Pop Metal band. First of all, major props for having a French band play, more festivals around town should start doing the same. The band had great energy and a great message. For example, their song ”#nomorebullies ” is all about raising awareness of the bullying epidemic that is running rampant through high schools nowadays. Bon job gang!
Many other great local acts took the stage, and not your usual suspects. Tickling our ears were The Lionyls, Monday I Retire, Erich Mrak, 13eaudry Muzik, Neegus, Garden of Weeds, Arrows & Anchors and Still Native. This was a very diverse group of artists, and all the bands were great. I had to leave early due to other commitments and did not get to see every band. The highlight for me was Still Native though.
They began as a two-piece, guitar and drums, rocking with the energy of the Black Keys, whom they covered. Once the third member joined, the set was taken to the next level, with songs such as ”Private Eye.” But what really set them apart was inviting my favourite Ottawa MC, none other than Atherton, on stage with them for a killer piece. There is something so awesome about some slick rap over blues rock.
The festival’s goal is to create opportunities in the Ottawa music scene and support local. One of its major commitments is to engage youth and get them more involved in the blossoming arts community in Ottawa. If that wasn’t enough, they also teamed up with The Candelighters Childhood Cancer Support Programs of Ottawa, which helps children and families in the region cope with cancer in a variety of ways.
So it was for a good cause, it was free with donations encouraged, it was outside and had a lineup chock full of Ottawa talent… yup it was as good as it sounds.
A sweet bonus of the festival was free Vitamin Water which really hit the spot. All in all I thought Sean Callaghan and his crew put together a good time and I truly hope to see E.L.E. become a regular amongst the plethora of festival in the nation’s capital.
Read Ottawa Showbox’s interview with E.L.E. co-organizer Sean Callaghan here.
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