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Marshmello, Jack Johnson coming to Bluesfest 2020

Bluesfest fans are in for a holiday treat with the early announcement of two of the 10 headliners expected at next summer’s festival, plus an earlybird ticket special.

Enigmatic DJ/producer Marshmello and singer-songwriter-surfer Jack Johnson are the first major acts confirmed for the 2020 edition of RBC Bluesfest. For Johnson, it’s been three years since his Ottawa debut at CityFolk; he will headline Bluesfest on July 14, topping a bill that also includes Riptide singer Vance Joy and fast-rising British newcomer Jade Bird. 

Meanwhile, digital mega-star Marshmello, the EDM producer who wears a custom-made marshmallow helmet and was the first artist to perform a live, in-game concert on a virtual Fortnite stage this year, performs in real time on July 16, headlining a youth-oriented program that also features 17-year-old Queens rapper Lil Tecca.

It’s the second year in a row that Bluesfest has announced acts and a ticket deal before Christmas, a strategy that not only reflects the festival’s race to sign current artists but also a desire to benefit from the gift-giving season.

Jack Johnson. jpg

“We had a pretty significant uptick in ticket sales last year,” said Bluesfest director Mark Monahan. “Although you never know exactly why people buy tickets, I think people like the idea of giving it as a holiday gift.” 

Earlybird pricing is available on regular and VIP day tickets for July 14 and 16, as well as regular, Clubhouse and youth full-festival passes. Prices are the same as last year, with a regular adult full-festival pass ringing in at $205. The online-only sale runs from 10 a.m. Tuesday to midnight Dec. 24 at ottawabluesfest.ca. 

Bluesfest organizers are also pledging to match charitable donations in recognition of Giving Tuesday, a global movement to support charities and non-profit organizations. Funds donated to Bluesfest’s music education programs on Dec. 3 will be matched by the festival, whether or not a ticket is purchased. 

Next year’s instalment of Ottawa’s biggest summer music festival runs from July 9-19 at LeBreton Flats Park on the grounds of the Canadian War Museum. Some 300,000 people attend the event every year.  

The full lineup is expected in mid-to-late February. 

lsaxberg@postmedia.com

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