Sappyfest will be held, as always, on the first weekend of August in Sackville, NB. The dates this year of this still surprisingly annual gathering of musicians, artists, writers, and dreamers, are August 3-5, 2018. And our "Early-Bird" Weekend Passes are available now! This early-bird advance purchase saves you a few ever-important dollars and really helps us through the lead-up to the festival. We hope you will join us in ushering Sappyfest into it's teen years!
Hello! And happy New Year! From the depths of cold winter, when it can feel as if we're kept so far apart, we dream of warmer times when we can gather back together. Sappyfest 13 is happening this August 3-5, 2018 in beautiful Sackville, NB. Sappyfest is a curated festival, but we would love to know what you've been working on.
Call for submissions: Please email streaming links, performance videos, short films, or other examples of your work along with a short bio to email@example.com. This call is open to submissions for music, art, performance, poetry, installation, dance or any other form of creative expression.
Submissions close on February 15th. Only those applicants who we think we may be able to include in the festival this year will be contacted.
Thanks for your interest and support!
SappyFest Inc. would like to invite its membership and those interested in becoming members to the 2017 Annual General Meeting at Struts Gallery (7 Lorne Street) on Wednesday, November 29th at 7 PM. This is an open meeting with presentations from staff and board members on the organization's activities, financials, and future.
The agenda, last year's minutes, current bylaws and the agenda, are available by request.
Key agenda items will include:
-- Elections to the SappyFest Board of Directors (2 year term).
-- Approval of 2016 Financial statements.
-- President of the Board of Directors statement.
-- Questions from the floor.
-- & voting on Amendment to bylaw 8e) “Election of Executive shall take place by secret ballot, at an annual general meeting of SappyFest, Inc.” to 8e) "Election of Board Executive: From time to time, and generally at the first Board Meeting following the Annual General Meeting of SappyFest Inc., the Board shall appoint a President, Vice President, Treasurer and a Secretary. The Board Executive shall, in addition to those prescribed by a by-law, perform such duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the Board. Executive appointments are held for one year."
Hope to see you all there!
Maybe you missed out on grabbing a Sappy Tshirt this summer (ooops!); maybe you spent all your money on Lido Pimienta merch and Fiver records (great choice!); maybe your size was sold out (dang!); maybe you couldn't make it to Sappy 12 but want to express your love and support (thank you!!!); maybe you want to give a gift of Sappy 12 to someone you love (so sweet!) - well, FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY, select Sappyfest 12 merch is available for mail-order! These t-shirts will be printed to order, so this sale is only open until NOVEMBER 19th, and all orders will ship in time for the holidays. Please visit the SHOP page to see the designs by artists Mollie Cronin, Patrick Allaby, Laura Watson, and Rachel Thornton.
With gratitude and love, Sappyfest
There's a time in my life
When it ran so cold
Can't find a friend
Anywhere at all
So my brother said to me
Charles gotta stand tall
Because life is full of sorrow
Heartaches and pain
We're heartbroken to hear about the passing of Charles Bradley. His performance at Sappyfest Six remains one of the greatest performances we've ever had the privilege to witness, here or anywhere. Powerful, intimate, generous, and deeply human. There is so much life in this music, a life and a music we will cherish and remember.
We can't tell it any better than Matt Charlton's lovely description of the show as published in the SappyForever book:
I was one of the stage managers at SappyFest Six. This meant that I spent the weekend standing next to Steve Lambke looking concerned, which actually describes a lot of my time living in Sackville.
The strongest memory I have of that year’s festival began during Bonjay’s set. If you didn’t catch them, they were amazing.
The whole time though, I couldn’t shake the fact that the performer that had to follow them could never live up to this. There was no way he could do anything but fail. Most people hadn’t heard his name before the festival and this was probably the last time anyone would after he became the wet blanket on this thundering dancehall sound.
Finally, Bonjay’s set finished and the next performer’s backing band calmly set up. I felt for them. They were professionals. They knew what they were in for. They were being sent to the gallows. And it was SappyFest’s fault. Who would put a soul band after Bonjay’s electro dance attack?
The band started playing. Just music. For a long time. Where was the singer? He must have known what was coming and fled town. It was probably the smart move.
When it seemed, even disregarding the poetic license I’m currently taking, to have been a notably long time that the band was vamping, I went to look for him.
I met an equally concerned Paul Henderson on the way. We both looked in through the window of the green room. We could only see a silhouette of a man sitting. He was just staring down, head in hands, calmly, not moving at all.
Looking back, it seems like an inspiring moment. It was the peaceful meditation of a fighter before he enters the ring, a man with his god.
At the time though, I simply thought, “Oh shit.”
Before I had a moment to voice concern, the silhouette stood and walked out the door. Without acknowledging the waves of stress emanating from us, he continued to the stage. Strongly. We walked behind him, drafting his sense of purpose.
He got to the stage, walked on and…it’s hard to really describe what happened next.
His calm poise instantly turned into an amazing hip-thrusting bird dance. Then he walked to the mic and everything changed forever. And I don’t say that lightly. Everything actually changed forever.
Charles Bradley sang the opening line of Heartaches and Pain:
“There’ve been times in my life…”
…and it was so shockingly good that the crowd shrieked. It was out of joy, but the intensity of the moment made a thousand people sound like awkward teenagers all at once. They (we) shrieked like something truly horrible had happened (watch the Youtube clip to see what I mean).
No one was ready. There was no way we could have been.
Everyone was instantly in tears and it was impossible to escape this strange but unmistakable feeling that a thousand people were exactly where they wanted to be. That’s an odd and beautiful thing. It’s something that I didn’t even know existed.
I stood next to Steve Lambke, much less concerned.
Charles Bradley is the greatest performer I have ever seen. It was a flawless set that I could have watched for the rest of the night and simultaneously didn’t need another note from. We watched a piece of history unfold, this was SappyFest. Swamp Magic.
We're never quite done - we always lean a little harder on the scales.
How do we make Sappyfest 12 even better? With Doldrums' extra sensory overload of ecstatic beats; with a rare and coveted and surely well-dressed performance from Daniel Romano's Ancient Shapes; with the artful grooves of Saint John, NB's Usse; with the drama and introspection of Guelph, ON's Shopkeeper; with the Peterborough/Toronto voice and electronic duo Joyful Joyful!
We are also thrilled to welcome poet Sue Goyette, who's wonder-filled Ocean has been companion and guide into strange corners of life on the edge of the deep. Sue's the real deal and has things to tell you.
HERE IT IS! The (nearly) complete musical lineup for Sappyfest 12! Our new announcements are in bold:
BAH NAH NAH / Beverly Glenn Copeland / Bird City / Bernice / Booji Boys / BUDI with Aquakultre / Construction & Destruction / The Courtneys / Daniel Romano / Eamon McGrath / Erin Wunker / Exit Someone / Fiver / Heaven For Real / The Highest Order / Jane Blanchard / Jon McKiel / Kirsten Olivia / Klarka Weinwurm / Lido Pimienta / The Magic / Myriam Gendron / Not You / Partner / Protruders / Richard Laviolette / Sarah Denim / Sweet Dave and the Shallow Graves / Teenanger / Tess Roby / Tough Age / Vulva Culture / Weaves / Willie Thrasher / Zones
Toronto based songwriter Eamon McGrath will be travelling to Sackville, NB this August as Sappyfest’s 2017 Songwriter-in-Residence. Eamon’s work is based in a deep commitment to independent, grassroots arts and cultural production. He has released five full-length albums and published his first novel Berlin-Warszawa Express with ECW Press in May 2017. He is a member of Julie And The Wrong Guys, with Sappyfest co-founder Julie Doiron and Mike Peters and Jaye R. Schwarzer of The Cancer Bats. Eamon performed at Sappyfest in 2012 backed by members of Eric’s Trip, and as part of The Greville Music Tapes Revue in 2016.
“I'm thrilled at the opportunity to spend the month of August writing on the east coast as the Sappyfest artist in residence. This festival represents everything that's honest, grassroots and true-to-the-core of the Canadian music community, and is comprised of dedicated, hard-working and passionate people who exemplify the traits and characteristics of "Canadian" art: a spirit and attitude that transcends distance, and a unifying, diverse and eclectic outlook on musical styles and artistic approaches. Whether or not you play hardcore punk or folk music, if you've braved a winter snowstorm on the Trans-Canada to get to a gig, you come from the same place and can understand each other's experiences and stories, and Sappy really embodies that kind of genre-defying identity and outlook.
As a Torontonian I'm also ecstatic at the chance to leave the high pace and full-throttle speed of the city for the warm and welcoming summertime east coast air. With the pressures of having to support yourself in the competitive and expensive environment of TO, it's easy to get swept up in the more administrative aspects of the music industry and neglect the real reason why musicians do this in the first place. At Sappy this year I'll be focusing on completing a follow-up to 2014's "Exile" LP, as well as ironing out the first working draft of my second book.”
Eamon McGrath's participation in Sappyfest 12 is made possible by funding support from the Artist In Residence Program of ArtsNB.
Okay, we are going to level with you - we need your help! We are using a new ticketing system for the festival this summer and we want to have a chance to make sure everything is working properly and that we are well prepared to smoothly welcome you home. We want your arrival at Sappyfest to be without incident. We want you to glide effortlessly into the cool waters of Sappyfest 12 with not a worry or trouble.
With that in mind we thought it best to give ourselves a practice run, a chance to work out any kinks and bugs with our ticket processing and to smooth out the bumps. So we've scheduled two nights of high-grade entertainment at Thunder & Lightning (23 Bridge St. Sackville, NB) and are selling advance tickets with the hope that you, with the generosity of spirit and understanding we know you to have, will purchase a ticket and attend one or (even better!) both of these fine evenings of cultural programming. Think of it as a practice run for the summer! Think of it as a mini-fest doubling as a systems check doubling as a community building exercise.
For your efforts, as an advance ticket holder you will be entered into a draw for redeemable credit on Sappyfest 12 festival merch this summer, and other fun door prizes!
Please help us out by clicking on the above links! And of course Sappyfest 12 festival tickets are available on our main ticket page.
Sappyfriends, we've been quietly working away these last few months, cleaning house, finding lost keys, having deep conversations, and making plans. We have heard your expressions of support and enthusiasm and we have been touched and moved. Thank you for your continued belief in Sappyfest! Thank you for making plans to be with us, as we make plans for your arrival, and thank you for your patience.
So, today we are thrilled to announce that Weaves, Lido Pimienta, Daniel Romano, Willie Thrasher, Partner, Bernice, Tough Age, Teenanger, Myriam Gendron and The Highest Order will be performing at the 12th Annual Sappyfest, taking place in Sackville, NB from August 4-6, 2017.
In addition to our music programming we will be presenting an exhibition and artist talk by Lido Pimienta (in collaboration with Struts Gallery and Owen's Art Gallery); a reading by Notes Of A Feminist Killjoy author Erin Wunker; and a film program presented by Native North America V1 curator and music historian Kevin Howes. We are also excited to present the Golden Bus, a converted school bus that will host intimate and surprising acoustic shows.
Some of these names belong to old friends returning, weirder, wilder, and more wonderful than ever, and we are excited to welcome them home. And we are thrilled to welcome those coming to Sappyfest for the first time. There are details and links for all of the participating artists on our Lineup page.
This is just the beginning, so please stay tuned for further announcements in the coming days and weeks. And we've increased the number of Early Bird Tickets available! So get them now before they are gone!
Between blizzards and ice storms, SappyFest was hard at work this winter searching for our next Creative Director. Guess what! It's our longtime attendee and performer Steven Lambke, and we couldn't be happier to share this with you.
For nearly two decades, Lambke has been a prominent figure in the Canadian music landscape. A member of the revered indie rock act the Constantines, and a celebrated songwriter who has released albums both eponymously and under the Baby Eagle moniker, Lambke also has a wealth of experience working with artists behind the scenes. Through his independent record label, You’ve Changed Records, Lambke has been at the fore of championing thoughtful, creative, and groundbreaking music, literature, and art.
“Since 2006, SappyFest has been a haven for independent musicians, for poets, punks, and artists of all types,” says Lambke. “It's been a place where the usual measures of success and failure can be put aside for more humane, tender-hearted, and inclusive efforts. I look forward to working with SappyFest, and the community of Sackville, as we continue to set a stage for wonderful musical performances, surprising art, literary adventures, and a little summertime swamp magic.”
Get ready for this summer everyone!
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS - SAPPY XII
Submissions are now closed for Sappy dooze. Successful applicants will hear from SappyFest by late April when the snow melts.
SappyFest XII: August 4-6, 2017
thank you, Team Sappy.
SappyFest is now accepting applications from qualifying musicians to the 2017 SappyFest songwriter in residence program. This program is grant-dependant and is contingent on receiving funds from the province of New Brunswick.
The residency offers one songwriter or songwriting team for a period of two to four weeks in July/August 2017 the opportunity to live and create in Sackville. The successful applicant will be provided with accommodations and a private studio space to write, rehearse and practice new material. Artists will also have the opportunity and be encouraged to facilitate community outreach programs such as talks, workshops or performances, intended to promote interaction and professional development. Artists will also be asked to perform at SappyFest XII: August 4-6 2017.
The ideal applicant will have an extensive history of performance in Canada, and a desire to embrace the unique cultural and physical setting of Sackville, New Brunswick.
Applications must include a statement of interest (500 words max), brief personal and artistic history and examples of any previous recordings. Please send all relevant information (no large attachments please) to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for this application is January 25, 2017.
xo Team Sappy.
Ever wanted to help run SappyFest? Now is your chance:
SappyFest is hiring a Creative Director for the 2017 festival. This is a one-year contract with the possibility of renewal.
Responsibilities of the Creative Director include:
· Festival Programming: organizing the line-up, booking and coordinating with artists involved with Sappy XII in consultation with the SappyFest Board of Directors.
· Festival Management: collaborating with the town of Sackville and local businesses to coordinate venues, street closures, technical rentals and other festival logistics. Working alongside and supervising 1-2 SappyFest interns with volunteer coordination, media outreach, and festival logistics.
· Festival Outreach: working with organizations in Sackville and beyond to develop new partnerships and initiatives to help strengthen the festival's relationship to its broader arts and music community. This also includes seeking out fundraising and sponsorship opportunities.
· Grant writing and report writing as necessary and in consultation with the SappyFest Board of Directors.
Contract Duration: February 1 to August 14th 2017. 20 hours per week before May 15, 40 hours per week for final three months.
SappyFest is an equal opportunity employer. SappyFest welcomes and encourages applications from women, racially visible persons, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities.
If interested, please submit your CV and cover letter to email@example.com by January 15, 2017. Only candidates chosen for an interview will be contacted.
SappyFest XII runs August 4-6, 2017.
Looking forward to working together!
Annual General Meeting
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 7PM
7 Lorne Street, Sackville NB
SappyFest would like to invite its membership and those interested in becoming members to the 2016 Annual General Meeting. This is an open meeting with presentations from staff and board members on the organization's activities, financials, and future.
The agenda, last year's minutes, current bylaws and the agenda, are available by request.
Key agenda items will include:
- Elections to the SappyFest Board of Directors
- Approval of 2015 Financial Statements
For the last seven years dear friend and author Sean Michaels has penned Sappy's Sappy Times: a daily journal, printed on real paper, distributed across the festival site. Every night I'd get home at 1 or 2 a.m. and collect my thoughts on all the marvels I heard. The Times were penned between the hours of midnight and 6:47 a.m.
(To view the Sappy Times archive, click HERE).
Due to life's beauty & complications Sean was unable to make it to the eleventh edition of SappyFest this summer, however, we had local artists Patrick Allaby, Geodie Miller, Erin Wunker, and Jerry Ropson produce the Sappy Rag & Review // Telegraphic.
Participants in the 2016 edition of the Kids Corner Power Jam camp during SappyFest XI have collected and recorded songs from their performance at the festival to share online. The group known as Night Fox consists of 9 talented musicians from Sackville and beyond, lead by the mentorship of Steve Haley and other collaborators.
Check out all of the music from Night Fox on Bandcamp.
For our final week of The Doiron Questionnaire, we had Halifax's own Jenny Gillespie A.K.A. Coco Barracuda tackle the questions in true style. Check out what she had to say below and catch her set at SappyFest XI on Sunday, July 31st at 1PM on the Main Stage.
What is the principle vibe of your music?
"A serum of sour grapes. A rubber sand dune that jiggles as you jiggle. Running free in a virtual body. Dream rider: L'Ange de la nuit. Baby-grade pineapple juice. I'm always crying."
If you weren’t in your band, who’s band would you be in?
"I'd wanna collaborate with Jun Togawa during her Yapoos phase... right now, I dig/respect Lido Pimienta from Toronto so much, and would be so sick to sing with her one day."
What defines a good base line?
"Bass that makes you clench your teeth like your squeezing a cute puppy."
What are the worst qualities of the best musicians?
"Artists being absolved of racism, sexism, etc. because of their creative output."
Your idea of the worst live show?
"Sausage fest. And no windows when it's hot!"
What talent would you sell your soul for?
"When I was a kid, I used to wish the same thing every time: 'I wish I had all the powers that elves have in Elfquest.'"
Your idea of the best stage outfit?
"A body suit with an absurd amount of layered, coloured chiffon, making me into a big fluffy, flowing monster!"
Your idea of the worst stage outfit?
"Anything that restricts movement, or leather pants?"
What would make you quit a band?
"A creative direction where being offensive for the sake of being "edgy", rather than for an underlying message. Do whatever you want, but that's not my thing."
What are you afraid of?
"Not being productive enough--stagnating into oblivion. Purgatory???? It's something I'm trying to let go of because the pressure of that can get too much sometimes."
What quality as a musician do you most wish you had but don’t?
"Being able to function without adequate sleep. I can be a cranky baby."
Which musician, political figure or event of the past did the most damage to music, be gentle?
"I could write an essay about this."
Which musician, political figure or event has done the most good?
"In recent memory, women of colour who are asserting themselves and their art unapologetically. More representation, please!"
Would you rather a child, a dog, or a toyota privia?
Favourite small town other than Sackville?
"I grew up in Deep Brook, NS. I wouldn't say it's totally my favourite, but those special childhood spots are pretty sacred to me."
What is your motto?
"I don't know... a mish mash of stuff. Learn your boundaries, be empathetic and kind-hearted. Be genuine and only fuck with people who truly care about you. That last one takes awhile to figure out."
What do you wish everyone else’s motto was?