LOTS, LOTS MORE ARTISTS TO BE ANNOUNCED!
Westfest is thrilled to announce this year’s headliners. Always seeking out incredible and diverse Canadian musical talents, 2019’s festival headliners will include multi-Juno Award winning local country artist, Charlie Major; Polaris Music Prize nominated psychedelic folk-metal experimentalists, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan; and beloved Ottawa hip hop artist, Aspects! Westfest 2019 will also include a variety of local food vendors, beverages from Beau’s, local artisans, an Indigenous pavilion, and activities for the whole family—including workshops and art education for kids, balloon artists, buskers and more—all accessible in the main stage area.
There’s a whole world contained within Yamantaka // Sonic Titan. They’re a NohWave prog collective, a black-andwhite (and sometimes red) theatre company, an operatic psych cult, and the speculative prophets of humanity’s impending doom. Above it all, though, they’re a thunderous rock band, and on their third album, DIRT, they’re the heaviest they’ve ever been. DIRT is the band’s first album since 2013’s UZU, and their second straight to be shortlisted for the Polaris Prize as one of the best Canadian albums of the year. Now totally Toronto‐based, they’ve added new singer Joanna Delos Reyes, guitarist Hiroki Tanaka, and bassist Brandon Lim, who, along with the towering drums of leader/artist Alaska B, singer/theatre artist Ange Loft, and keyboardist Brendan Swanson, turn the group into a driving engine of sound.
Live, the band can be sprawling and theatrical or concise and visceral, filling the stage with noise, melody and cacophony. They think big, but they’re not a thought experiment. They’re a force.
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He’s more Mellencamp then Merle. His lyrics champion the ‘Blue Collar Hero’ in a manner that resonates of Springsteen and other roots rock legends, but it is in the country music format that Charlie Major finds his home. Born and raised right here in Aylmer, QC he rose to the forefront of the Canadian Music scene in the early to mid-nineties, becoming the first Canadian artist in history to score six BDS #1 hits off of his debut album. Nine more chart topping hits would follow, and Charlie would crisscross the world headlining tours and connecting with his fans at fairs and festivals.
O ver a decade later Charlie is as successful as ever—he headlines his own tours and pairs up with the likes of ZZ Top to rock arenas full of fans from coast to coast. He has sold nearly half a million records in Canada alone and won 3 Juno Awards and 7 CCMAs, but you wouldn’t know it to meet him, and he wouldn’t tell you. He wears the cloak of humility, just like the hardworking folks that he represents in his music.
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Hailing from Quesnel in beautiful British Columbia, Aspects has been rocking for almost 20 years now. A true musician in all “aspects”, he has worked with Grammy award-winners and played alongside Motown legends. He has worked on videos with the Wu tang clan, had Eminem’s team rap about him in a song, and worked heavily with the Outlawz, an American hip hop group founded by Tupac Shakur.
Past Westfest attendees might recognize him as the father and singing partner of pint-sized talent Illiyah Rose, the 9-year old with the huge pipes who has performed alongside him at several Ottawa festivals including Bluesfest and Westfest. His newest album, set to be released later this year, is a soulful rendition of everything that he is. From country folk, to blues, hip hop, and even a touch of funk, Aspects musical ability and song composition sweeps across genres and never fail to get the crowds on their feet.