Going Out Guide: the Westfest edition

Westfest weekend is finally upon us, and of course there is no shortage of entertainment on hand. So to simplify life just a little bit, here are a few things that you really should not miss out on this year.

Adults-only soiree

Brand new for this year is Westfest’s adult literature showcase, Westfest Lit. Saturday evening promises a provocative and fun evening curated by Ottawa writer, former Xpress columnist, spoken-word performer and poet Sylvie Hill.

Taking place in the basement lounge of the Barley Mow, this evening features a stable of sexy writers ready to share their most titillating work with an adventurous audience. Some readers for the evening include retired vibrator saleswoman Jasmine Aziz, comedian Janna Klostermann, and musician/poet Danniel Oickle.

Taking place from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., this should be a fun way to fill some time before the musical headliners hit the stage for the night.

Speaking of music

Of course Westfest has some legendary headline acts in Sarah Harmer and Lynn Miles, but there is one other act that should count as a must-see. And that’s The Acorn, or in this case a solo performance by Acorn main man Rolf Klausener. Klausener has been releasing music as The Acorn for over a decade now and has enlisted the help of a revolving collective of Ottawa’s best musicians over the years, for this night he’s going it alone.

The Acorn sound is madly creative, from traditional folk to electro with a flurry of syncopated beats and bizarre time signatures thrown in to make a sound like nothing else you’ve heard.

The Acorn take the stage Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. ahead of headliner Lynn Miles and Friends.

For Saturday night

Of course you can’t miss the lovely, legendary, inspiring Sarah Harmer, but here is a reason to get down to the stage early: Craig Cardiff.

Cardiff is a veteran Canadian folk singer that hails from the Ottawa Valley. Based in the humble town of Arnprior, Cardiff has travelled from coast to coast, playing gigs in every corner of the country. He’s been nominated for a Juno award and received high praise from the music press and his fellow performers.

His voice is soft and whispery, yet weathered and raspy and his lyrics are pure, honest storytelling – what many people might call an old soul. The set starts at 7:45 p.m., yeah it’s Saturday night, but go out early and catch this show, you will not be disappointed.

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