By Trevor Greenway
The fifth edition of Marvest is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet, with more bands set to play in more venues than ever before during the Glebe’s local music showcase September 13 – 14.
Marvest, which runs alongside the city’s beloved CityFolk festival at Lansdowne Park, has ballooned from 13 venues in 2015 to a whopping 27 this year, with more than 70 local artists set to transform hair salons, banks, boutique shops and trendy restaurants into musical hot spots for the weekend. Marvest program coordinator Emma Francis says the quaint, rustic charm of the Glebe gives the festival a special vibe that is impossible to replicate anywhere else.
“With the variety of restaurants, shops and festivities in the Glebe, there truly is something for everyone, kind of like Marvest,” says Francis, adding that every Marvest show is completely free.
“Marvest programs every genre, from the blues to experimental, folk to funk, rock to hip-hop and everything in between. There are showcases in hair salons, pubs, toy stores, cafés, pharmacies, banks – you name it. It is the local spirit of the Glebe in tandem with the support of the Glebe BIA that truly champions Marvest.”
Marvest has hosted more than 300 artists and over 400 performances in the Glebe since its inception five years ago, which not only speaks to the thriving music scene in Ottawa, but the neighbourhood’s dedication to local art. More than 25,000 music fans flooded Bank Street during last year’s festival, packing area establishments to the brim for family-friendly shows during the day and lively performances in local bars and restaurants at night. Part of Marvest’s charm is that its footprint extends throughout the entire neighbourhood, making for a weekend of non-stop music. So, when big headliners Leon Bridges and Robert Plant drop the mic, the party doesn’t stop; festivalgoers can wander into any number of other spaces to get a glimpse of Ottawa’s burgeoning music scene.
“Marvest celebrates curiosity,” adds Francis. “As a patron, you are part of a crowd wandering from venue to venue discovering new music, new performers and new places. Perhaps you walked into one of your favourite restaurants or shops in the Glebe, only to discover a new local artist. Perhaps you went to see one of your favourite local performers during Marvest, only to discover an interesting new dining experience or boutique in the process.”
New this year, be sure to hop on the Magic Marvest Bus, a funky open-air tour bus with live music on board, carrying the sounds of Marvest throughout the Glebe.
This year’s festival includes an impressive nine new venues along Bank Street and at Lansdowne. Get a fresh ’do at Silver Scissors Salon while listening to the soothing sounds of a guitar. Enjoy being serenaded by a talented singer-songwriter while getting your nails done at Plush Beauty Lounge or groove to the beat of the drums while sharing with friends a fresh-from-the-oven pizza from Crust & Crate. This is the spirit of Marvest.
“Marvest is one of those made-in-Ottawa initiatives that make up the fabric of our great city. It brings people together in celebration of great local music,” says Glebe BIA programming manager Dana Thibeault.
“We are excited that even more people can experience this one-of-a-kind festival with the new Flora Footbridge connecting us with our neighbours in Old Ottawa East. Everyone is invited to come on down and see what it’s all about.”
Marvest runs September 13 – 14 with live shows Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. Visit www.cityfolk.ca/mavest starting on August 28, 2019, for the full lineup.
Trevor Greenway is responsible for communications at the Glebe BIA (Business Improvement Area).