Cranium Festival


Home to Bluesfest, Winterlude, Canada Day, and the Escapade Music Festival, Ottawa has built a reputation as one of the leading festival cities in Canada and around the world. Although it’s November and snowing outside, the festival vibes aren’t done.

This weekend, the first edition of CRANIUM, Ottawa’s latest festival offering, will be taking place from November 14th to 16th. Spearheaded by hip-hop vets and community staples Patrick “Jugga” McCormack, Justin “Dynamic” Gunderson, and Michael “Rookie” Kirton, the festival will be hosted at indoor venues across downtown Ottawa.

Performers include local, national and international talent, including City Fidelia, Lia Kloud, JustJamaal the Poet, Apollo Rae, Freddy Printz, Mischa, Circa Beatz, as well as Montreal’s K Goon.

The weekend will also play host to the latest editions of Capital Rap Battles and Cap City Cyphers on Saturday, November 16th, as well as the two-day Cranium Conference, featuring panel interviews and networking, to be held at Kinki Lounge on Friday night and the Origin Arts & Community Centre on Saturday night.

Although, Canada’s capital is often overlooked as a hotbed for urban music, there’s been much energy and momentum in recent years with the success of artists like Night Lovell, City Fidelia and Maurice Moore.

In an official statement, the organizers, known as the Capital Region Association for Nurturing the Industry of Urban Music (CRANIUM), stated, “CRANIUM Festival was developed by the founders of CRANIUM to be a catalyst for a new era of urban music in Ottawa. Leveraging the festival to bring in successful artists and industry professionals and cross collaborate with the Ottawa music scene was done by design…Ottawa, while full of talent, is not recognized as a city with an urban music scene. CRANIUM is but one of the grassroots efforts that is poised to change all of that”.

For more information about the CRANIUM Festival or to purchase tickets visit