SappyFest: Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

It seems like SappyFest VIII festival-goers didn’t comply with its cheeky slogan, “don’t get your hopes up.” The buzz around this year’s event can’t be ignored so FredLocals got you some answers.

Straight from the horse’s mouth, SappyFest organizers answer your questions about what to expect this weekend at SappyFest 8! The festival takes place August 2-4 in Sackville, NB.

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Photo Credit: Colin Medley

How did SappyFest begin?

In early 2006 Julie Doiron, Jon Claytor, and Paul Henderson revived their on again, off again record label Sappy Records. With the idea of celebrating the relaunch of the label the trio began plans for a small event for friends, with friends performing. A variety of new and old friends agreed to play and the plans were set in motion for the first SappyFest, originally called the Sappy Records Music Festival. The most prominent band on the first bill, and the act that projected the festival into the national consciousness was Eric’s Trip, who agreed to reunite for the event.

SappyFest has been growing modestly ever since, attracting a diverse range of artists, and audiences from across the country and beyond, becoming one of the most highly recognized cultural events in the region, and a national treasure.

How does the town support and react to SappyFest and how has this changed?

The community of Sackville, its citizens, businesses, and municipal government have been extremely supportive since the beginning. We rely on an incredible amount of volunteer, in-kind, and financial support from over 65 business and 125 volunteers in our town.

Who are you most excited about?

SappyFest has never been particularly interested in the idea of headliners, it is very much about creating a whole experience. We stand behind every artist we book and feel the work they produce is as interesting, accessible, and creative as anything you’ve actually heard of.

What makes SappyFest unique?

So much! But the easiest one to pinpoint is our physical location/site. Not only being in Sackville, a town of 5000 in the middle of the Maritimes, but taking over the downtown with our main stage and adjacent venues. Most festivals are either large multi-venue urban experiences, or rural folk events in a field, SappyFest has inadvertently created something that falls between the two, a small-town, walkable, collective experience, with cutting edge programming, where you can camp, get a hotel, swim in the ocean, and get a fabulous espresso and free wi-fi.

The second and harder to pinpoint uniqueness is the atmosphere or spirit of the event. Essentially free of corporate branding, lineups and the various trappings of most festivals and industry events, SappyFest has come to embody the creative community that is on the stage and often in the audience. We tried to create the event we wanted to attend, and that continues to resonate with more and more people.

For more information, click HERE.

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