EXPOSURES captures the moods and experiences of fans and artists, both onstage and off.
This time, Colin Medley traveled somewhere he's been many times before, this time with a bagful of film, as Sackville, New Brunswick's SappyFest celebrated its tenth anniversary in style. After a week of Guided By Voices singalongs and late night foundry shows, he emerged convinced: this festival is magic.
Full disclosure: This was my seventh time attending SappyFest during the course of its 10 year run. This festival means a lot to me, about as much as a music festival can mean to someone. I think this is because SappyFest just doesn't feel like any other festival around.
Sure, there are a lot of other amazing festivals that have sprung up since Sappy's inception, and a lot of them do a great job of mimicking Sappy's atmosphere. However, this was the year that finally convinced me: there really is something magical about Sackville, New Brunswick.
You would think after attending the festival so many times, I would have known this much sooner. In fact, the festival's slogan a few years back was even "Swamp Magic." Call me a skeptic, but I guess I just didn't actually believe in magic until now. What finally took me over the edge? I can't say for sure, but maybe these photos will reveal something....
To celebrate the festival’s 10th anniversary, SappyFest organizers brought back important performers from the festival's past such as Michael Feuerstack (F.K.A. Snailhouse), who helped kick off the weekend on Friday.
Peterborough’s The Lonely Parade (l-r: Anwyn Climenhage, Augusta Veno, and Charlotte Dempsey) were exhausted and hungry after their long drive.
ANAMAI played one of the festival’s most hypnotic sets at the Vogue Cinema.
…including one overzealous gorilla.
Jennifer Castle performed songs from her Polaris Prize-shortlisted album Pink City.
Once the main stage events were done, the crowd dispersed to other smaller venues around Sackville, such as the Legion…
…where we saw New Fries play an absolutely brain-busting set, showcasing a bunch of wicked new songs.
Montreal’s Last Ex might make music that sounds like a lost horror movie soundtrack, but rest assured, no one in the room was having a bad time.
The next day, having some breakfast with Last Ex (l-r: Olivier Fairfield, Simon Trottier, and Mathieu Charbonneau).
Coach Longlegs’ D.R. Barclay DJ’d at the SappyFest offices continuously from Friday at sunset until sunrise on Monday. That’s like, 57 hours or something crazy. All vinyl too!
Winnipeg’s Human Music (l-r: Mef Hollié, Jory Hasselmann, and Cole Woods) were stoked to be at Sappy, playing their own set and backing up Shotgun Jimmie.
Crosss kept the afternoon crowd transfixed.
Airick Woodhead of Doldrums couldn’t wait to hit the stage.
Museum Pieces played a surprise show in Jon McKiel's backyard and drew a sizeable crowd.
Angel Olsen came to the festival early just to enjoy the pleasant vibes…
…of course, a lot of people came to the festival to enjoy her pleasant vibes too.
Over at Struts Gallery, Shotgun Jimmie lead a room full of people in a Guided By Voices Sing A Long. A dream come true (at least for me).
One of the coolest things to happen at SappyFest this year were the unofficial late night shows at a burnt out foundry on the edge of town. Performers included Dorothea Paas, JOYFULTALK, Old and Weird, Moon, Parliament (Jody Zinner and Steven Wiseman) and…
…Freak Heat Waves, who deserve applause for helping get these cool shows off the ground!
Nap Eyes celebrated their excellent year with a return to Sappy’s mainstage.
Doldrums’ set was a massive dance party.
The feeling on the last night of the festival was that SappyFest had indeed “made it.”
Shotgun Jimmie, who has performed at every SappyFest, was an excellent choice to headline the mainstage on Sunday night. He even brought out Steve Lambke and Bry Webb of the Constantines for a rousing cover of "Young Lions."
Sackville’s newest band Partner blew some minds at the Thunder & Lightning bowling lanes.
Speedy Ortiz missed their slot on the mainstage, so we were treated to a much more intimate indoors show later that night.
The next morning, Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis and Darl Ferm got caught up with Sean Michaels' Sappy Times…
…while we said goodbye to our friends in New Fries (l-r: Tim Fagan, Ryan Carley, Anni Spadafora, Jenny Gitman).
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