RBC Bluesfest is Back and We Need Your Help!

Did you know? RBC Bluesfest Bike Park is Bike Ottawa’s biggest fundraiser of the year?

The last two years we’ve missed the chance to fundraise for Bike Ottawa via the RBC Bluesfest Bike Park, so this year is more important than ever and we need your help!

Scroll down for info on how to volunteer.

Ride your bike to RBC Bluesfest, park it securely for free at #OttBikePark!

North, east, south, or west… wherever you’re coming from there are safe and easy routes to ride your bike to RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest, and you can relax while your bike is safely stored at Bike Park.

Where is Bike Park at RBC Bluesfest?

Bike Park is located on the west side of Booth Street across from the War Museum, just next to the Ottawa River pathway. Did you know that Booth Street has cycle tracks now all the way from Albert Street to Chaudiere Island?

How do I park my bike at Bike Park?

It works just like a coat check: we’ll get you to sign in, we’ll park your bike, we’ll give you a tag, and when you come back, you give us the tag and we give you the bike! We’re open daily during RBC Bluesfest from 2:30 to 11:30 p.m. You can leave your lock, bags, and helmet with your bike.

If you are an RBC Bluesfest volunteer on a shift that ends at or after 11:30pm, please inform the Bike Park volunteer and they will make arrangements so that your bike is taken care of.

How do I retrieve my bike at Bike Park?

When you’re done enjoying RBC Bluesfest, show your tag to a Bike Park volunteer and hold onto it until you get your bike back. If you come after the last show ends, there may be a lineup, but we promise it moves fast! (Make sure you’re in the line that corresponds to your claim tag colour)

How much does Bike Park cost?

It’s free! We want you to ride your bike to RBC Bluesfest, and we want to give you a safe place to park it while you’re there. 

But if you like… we do collect donations (suggested $2), which go to Bike Ottawa and Bluesfest’s educational programmes: Blues in the Schools (BITS) and Be in the Band (BITB).

Who can use Bike Park?

Anybody can check their bike into Bike Park during our opening hours, including Bluesfest volunteers and people not directly connected to Bluesfest. 

We also accommodate nonstandard bikes, e-bikes, and skateboards. We’ll give you a purple tag to handle your special vehicle.

E-bikes must be shut off so our volunteers do not accidentally activate the accelerator.

Volunteer for RBC Bluesfest Bike Park and see shows for free!

Yes, you can see free shows… if you volunteer! 

Register to volunteer at volunteers.ottawabluesfest.ca as early as you can before the festival and choose “Bike Park” as the area where you want to volunteer. As of mid-June 2022, there are still some spaces open, especially late shifts ending at 11:30 or midnight. You need to sign up for a minimum of 5 shifts over the 10-day festival, and then you can see shows on days where you don’t have a shift or before/after your shift on days that you do. 

By volunteering at Bike Park (the most fun volunteer area at Bluesfest!), you’ll get a Bluesfest volunteer t-shirt on your 1st and 3rd shifts and receive a volunteer meal voucher for each shift. Your wristband can also be used on OC Transpo for a couple of hours before and after festival hours. Bike Park volunteers get extra perks, like cake, but you’ll have to sign up to find out the details! Plus, you’ll be helping out at Bike Ottawa’s biggest fundraiser of the year!

How do I get to RBC Bluesfest by bike?

Note: most NCC pathways are not lit at night. 

You can use Bike Ottawa’s mapping tools at maps.bikeottawa.ca to find a route, but here are general suggestions:

From the south/west: 

  • Take the pathway along O-Train line 2 and turn toward downtown on the pathway just north of Bayview Station. Ride west on the pathway past Pimisi station. 
  • After passing under the Booth Street bridge, follow the pathway to the left in front of the condos and take Fleet Street to Booth.
  • Turn north on Booth Street (at Pimisi Station) and ride the cycle track past Wellington Street until you get to Bike Park!
  • Note: The Ottawa River Pathway behind the War Museum may have reduced access during festival hours.

From the east:

  • Take the Laurier Avenue segregated bike lane west, through the Ottawa Tech field, down the hill to Albert Street. Ride on the Albert Street pathway to Booth Street (at Pimisi Station) and ride the cycle track past Wellington until you get to Bike Park!
  • Note: the pathway behind Parliament hill is closed west of Bank Street. 
  • From the Market, you can also ride the Alexandra bridge over to Gatineau and take the MUP along the river then cross back along the Portage bridge or the Chaudiere bridge.

From Gatineau:

  • Cross the Chaudiere Bridge, then cross the intersection at the pathway before the War Museum, and we’re right there!
  • Cross the Portage Bridge, turn left down to the riverside pathway, and continue through the Mill Street Brew Pub parking lot to the riverside path and we’re on the other end of that path!

O-Train/Rack & Roll:

  • Line 1: Get off at Pimisi station, ride the elevator on the downtown side of the bridge, then ride the cycle tracks north on Booth Street past Wellington and the Bike Park tents will be on your right.
  • Line 2 (bus rack & roll): Get off at Bayview Station and ride the MUP west