a peek inside the fishbowl

13 Jun, 2011

A peek inside Westfest 2011

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Multimedia experiments|Ottawa

Oh yah

Transparency alert: Westfest is a patron of this blog but I’m not actually obligated to write this post, and as always, opinions are my own.

The four of us spent a few hours on Saturday down at Westfest, and it was great. There were more people, more vendors, more food available, and decent weather too. All was good on that front, but this year I wanted to focus more on the music side of things.

I was very lucky to receive two VIP concert passes this year. (THANK YOU WESTFEST!) This meant that I had a roof over my head (and Mark too, as he came with me on Saturday night), a chair to sit on, access to food, an open bar, washrooms (outfitted with bugspray, hairspray and mouthwash), and of course (the whole reason I came out on all three nights) a great place to listen to some great music.

Here’s DJ Akash, spinning tunes between sets on Saturday night. It’s a short clip, but I love it because not only have I had the pleasure of meeting Akash, but he’s so obviously enjoying himself here. And I felt exactly the same way, all weekend long. Go Akash go!

For once in my life I had the perfect vantage point to take some great concert photos. I couldn’t decide which ones I liked best this morning, nor did I have the time to edit and crop all of them, so I just picked a bunch and uploaded them to my Flickr page. You can go right to the set, or watch a slideshow.

A few quick concert notes (please add your own if you were there)!

Friday night was Quaggiq, an Inuit showcase. I wish I had photos, especially of Tanya Tagaq. Holy mackerel. I enjoyed her performance most of all. I tweeted that she sounded like a freight train, or a hurricane (I couldn’t decide which) but she’s a throat singer with a huge presence. She reminded me of something out of a fairy tale. It was so amazing.

Saturday night was the big night. Bif Naked was the headliner. I’ve never seen her in concert before. I was really impressed. She was funny and sweet, and even brought people from the audience on stage with her a few different times. (What a way to make a lifelong fan eh?) She invited a girl from the audience to sit beside her during one of her songs. Here’s a quick glimpse of what that looked like (sorry for the shaky cam – I need a new video camera!):

I was also really impressed by The Pack A.D. They really rocked it, even though the weather wasn’t exactly on their side.

Sunday night was Ottawa night. I got there in time to catch Marc Charron (I’m a convert) and Mighty Popo, who had everyone singing and dancing (a rarity in Ottawa methinks). It was obvious they were having fun. And by the end of the evening my face hurt from smiling so much. How could it not?

Mighty Popo

As I mentioned, you can see the rest of the concert photos here.

Westfest knocked my socks off this year. How about you? Did you catch any of the music? What was your fave act? And what did you think of the new venue?

6 Responses to "A peek inside Westfest 2011"

1 | Rasha @ PBAddiction

June 13th, 2011 at 2:02 pm


Great recap! I could only make it out there Friday night but I wish I went Sat/Sun too. Seemed like a lot of fun!

2 | neeroc

June 13th, 2011 at 3:34 pm


Very cool I’m sorry to have missed it, especially Bif Naked.

3 | Alicia

June 13th, 2011 at 8:04 pm


Great recap. I was there for Bif Naked – she was great! I love your clip of DJ Akash – makes me want to dance :)

4 | binki

June 13th, 2011 at 9:38 pm


Fantastic photos!

5 | Melanie

June 13th, 2011 at 10:06 pm


Only caught Sunday night this year, but it was fantastic! Great local talent on stage.

6 | Roshan

June 19th, 2011 at 2:04 am


Westfest sounds like a fun community thing. I wish we had such festivals in my town. Fun festivals not loud noisy religious boredom!

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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