Sappyfest 2016: Day 1

Story & Photos by Jennifer Hyc

Happy Sappy! For starters, I will save you the grief of making a “Soppyfest” pun and just say it rained a lot on day one of the Sackville, New Bunswick festival. This may have spelled bad news for those doing last minute set-up, but rain and thunder didn’t appear to leave anyone stranded. While thunderstorms have threatened, and even cancelled, several major music festivals this summer, Soppyfest (sorry) chugged right along. Behind all of the wet clothes and stress sweat, the sense of a close-knit community brought about plenty of smiles and welcoming hugs amongst festival-goers and staff.

The festival, set up along a stretch of the town’s major street, is centered around two tents—one being the main stage, where most of the major performers could be found throughout the weekend, and the other housing the bar and merchandise tables. Other festival locations include bars along the same street (Thunder & Lightning), a small-scale community centre for veterans (The Royal Canadian Legion), as well as some “secret” house parties. In previous years, these secret shows would take place in deserted buildings, junkyards, and other spaces that were unaffiliated with the festival. After police involvement threatened the festival’s livelihood, secret shows were restricted to houses.

In the week or so prior to Sappy, children from the area had the option of forming their own bands, writing original songs, and performing them in front of festival-goers to kick off the festival. To no one’s surprise, the performances were endearing, and in less condescending terms, inspiring. Next up were Adrian Teacher And The Subs, who delivered a high-energy surf-rock set. Their live show included flutter boards, which they threw into the audience and crowd-surfed on.

Dilly Dally became everyone’s new favourite band with their powerful set. Those who had never heard of them before were converted in no time at all. Dilly Dally may have set the bar unattainably high for those following them with a set that people talked about well into the next day. Then, TUNS brought their own brand of energy to the festival’s main stage. The trio were gleeful and extremely comfortable onstage—it felt as if you were attending a family gathering, minus your weird and problematic aunts and uncles. This image was emphasized by the sight of young children watching and dancing on the sidelines.

While the main stage’s events came to a close, another aspect of the festival had just begun. I headed to Thunder & Lightning, the iconic dive-bar/venue, which was hosting the first Horses performance in ten years, as well as Maritime icon Shotgun Jimmie. Set in the backroom bowling alley, Horses played a fun and awfully sweaty set. The tone was extremely casual and was carried by the joy of reunion.

After sweating more than I had the entire day, I headed over to The Royal Canadian Legion, which was hosting an entirely different genre of performances. Nicole Ariana crooned over sensual, electronic ambience while bathed in a projection that included scenes from Sailor Moon. Then, Toronto’s own Petra Glynt took to the stage to close the night, decideding to test out some new equipment in the process. The attempt was not perfect—she had to start over several times to get things right—but the audience was supportive and patient. Glynt was deserving of a larger space, as the room couldn’t quite contain her sound and presence the way it was meant to be heard.

If Friday was a lot to take in, then festival-goers better take a few shots of espresso (or vodka, whichever suits your style) before tackling Saturday. It’s going to be a big one.



Adrian teacher and the subs 2.JPG

Adrian Teacher And The Subs

dilly dally 11.JPG

Dilly Dally

dilly dally 5.JPG

Dilly Dally

NicoleAriana 3.JPG

Nicole Ariana


Petra Glynt 4.JPG

Petra Glynt

Petra Glynt 2.JPG

Petra Glynt

tuns 3.JPG


tuns 4.JPG






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: