03 August 2010

SappyFest 2010 - Photo Journal

I'm not sure how other SappyFest's have stacked up, but as my first experience with this festival things were fantastic! In it's 5th year of providing music, crafts, culture and the quaintness of Sackville NB I was amazed with all aspects of the festival. Even the stay in residence (at Mount A) was great, we came home feeling rested which is impossible rare for a 3 day music festival.

I took many, many photos. And as usual I will share them with you, whoever you are. Based on my only real experience with a community called Sackville I was taken by mega-surprise by everything in Sackville NB - it's a far cry from Sackville NS.

SO much more after the jump, like really...I hope your in a comfy chair.

We didn't get in until about 9:30 on Friday evening so we took in the remaining set at the main tent and then followed the crowd to a Roller Derby match - I guess Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore really started something:

I was very thankful that I had watched Whip It, or other wise I would have been confused. They did go over the rules, but it was impossible to understand given the acoustics are less than ideal in a rink and we were not right in front of them. Regardless, it was a great time and we actually saw someone get whipped ahead of the pack so I was a happy girl.

There were also two bands playing one song after the other - so they were going back and forth. One was clearly better than the other (in my opinion!!) so it was an added hilarity to the situation. It seemed each round of roller derby would last the length of the song. I don't remember that from Whip It, but okay.

Then there was wrestling, yes, wrestling. I was about as confused as you are. I'm not sure what about this was a good idea, the crowd didn't really seem into it, people (including us) were waiting for a band to play after the 'wrestling' but got fed up and left early. It was past 1:30AM after all so I didn't beat myself up too much over it.

It was like 'big fat guy' vs. Venom judging by the costumes or lack there of. Strange, whatever their intentions were!

Here's the sign, just in case you don't believe that this actually happened at a folk-indie festival (Swamp Magic was like the theme for the festival...because Sackville is on a swamp? I'm open to other suggestions) :

The next morning (Saturday) we were up and out of the residence before most people were even thinking about getting up. This was excellent since there was noone in the bathrooms/showers and we got prime seating at the cafe for our morning coffee fix. This was a perfect opportunity to continue my favorite thing at SappyFest - people watching. They had a farmers market and craft market for Saturday morning and most of the afternoon - very excellent.

This is a view from the deck of the (Bridge Street) Cafe:

Greg taking in one of our many coffee's of the weekend. We would have almost gotten a free one between the two of us if we had noticed the 'coffee cards' they had earlier on. We however, noticed them as we were getting our last coffees on Monday morning, shucks:

There were these two fine gentleman playing great blues/jazz tunes at the market, I really was content to just sit at that coffee shop for quite some time soaking it all in. Mini vacations where you don't have to take time off of work are the best!

There was much wandering around Sackville, it turns out it's quite tiny and you can cover a lot of it with very little effort. It all seems to have taken shape around the Mount Allison Campus which has a lot of very nice old buildings and tons of green space - well done Mount A! Although, I'm going to point out that you have a typo in your name - to be that much cooler it really should be Mount Alison.

They even have a duck/swan pond at the edge of campus. I'm not sure if it belongs to the city or the school, but in any case it was very still on Saturday afternoon:

At one point we saw a swan potentially chasing one of the ducks, I'm not too sure what that was all about. But my money is definitely on the swan:

We also walked through the Waterfowl Park and stumbled upon some chopped down trees, this one was starting to bud off and make a new tree, that's how that happens - right?

I have no idea what this structure is and what it's doing in the water off a little wooden look out that sticks into the marsh. But it looks neat, there was a lot of oil in this water which was sad, maybe it's supposed to be there? Oil is definitely natural..

A view of the marsh, the boardwalk is really neat since it's not actually on land and weaves through the water:

But since this was the decision, the boardwalk is a far cry from even, at one point it comes within an inch or so of being in the water. It's a good thing if you fell in you wouldn't go very far since it's really shallow:

More ducks, and very still water:

Hanging out at the marsh:

These awesome ducks were looking for food - I'm going to say that's what they were doing, I'm not sure what other reason they have for mooning us:

There was an interesting stick structure just off the boardwalk, again I'm not sure what it was about. But there were many birds hanging out on it just left of where I ended this shot:

I spied a dragonfly just hanging out, that seems fitting in a marsh:

Greg spotted this cat, I liked how he was just sitting in the ditch by the walking path on old scrap wood. I also like that he or she has their eyes closed - cute cat:

There were a few of these neat periscopes along the boardwalk. They didn't actually let you see around any corners but you could look through them and find strange and interesting photos/slides that you couldn't really make out. I liked them particularly for the colours and designs not the content, maybe I'm just not edgy enough?

This bird just might have one leg, but it's balancing way better than I ever could:

There were lots of pretty purple flowers around the marsh, this one was by it's lonesome away from the rest - it's a trend setter:

This was spotted in the alleyway parallel to Bridge Street, I'm sure it had a name as well but whatever it is they should rename it to Leonardo Street:

The sign for the zine fair, I really like the print on it, and the zine fair was also great. I picked up a logic/puzzle zine with the subject matter of punks, anarchists and hipsters - awesome:

There was just a sink outside of a building, I think it was an art gallery. It was a very, very short sink and I'm not sure if it was function but it was interesting looking:

A City Mail banner, one of many at the festival. I learned just what City Mail is this weekend, and it's awesome. Here is what The Coast has to say about it.

Why not? This giraffe was taped to the wall outside the gallery:

We hit up the local used bookstore and I came across this book. After flipping through the pages and taking a little bit in I had to stop, it was hilarious and if I didn't put it down I probably would have sat in the conveniently placed chair next to this book and read the afternoon away:

I did actually buy a book, it's one of those EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COOKING Cook Books. I spent some time looking through it at the shop, but for $12 taxes in I felt that my money was well spent without checking out every page. I still haven't had the time to really sit down with it...maybe that will be a tomorrow thing.

Oh yea, so the festival..with music...right, here's a view down Bridge Street where the main festival tent is. This end of the street was blocked off making for a very awesome spot for crafters, hipsters and locals:

Inside the festival tent on Saturday afternoon, I can't remember what the name of this band is, but when I figure it out I'll update:

Pre-evening show beverages at Ducky's, this was my first experience with Picaroon's Blonde Ale, I give it to hearty thumbs up. So much so that it's all I drank for the rest of the festival. They were selling glasses of Picaroons for $4 each (AMAZING!). I was floored, especially since at Canada Day the beer of choice was Molson and for a crappy can of crappy beer I had to hand over $5 of my hard earned money. Another reason Picaroons is a superior beverage:

Catching Chad VanGaalen's set, I had no idea what to expect but it was great:

So where else do you go after the shows at the main tent are over, the Legion of course! We watched Horses (I think?) but were in no state to watch any one else and after some fantastic dancing we hit the hay:

But not before I could take a photo of this garbage can!!  They have a firm stance on drugs in Sackville it seems. I agree with you garbage can:

As much as I love Picaroons, I'm very disappointed by their car, both the style and the decals, sigh:

On our way to get coffee on Sunday morning, we cut across the campus and were greeted with a nice layer of mist. It looked really awesome:

We got coffee at the Cackling Goose, which in addition to selling caffeine sells lots of natural products (soaps, food) and local wears. They also have these adorable goose footprints all over the town to make sure you make it there:

I also like the stand up sign outside the shop:

On Sunday morning we made our way to Shediac where of course as any sane person would do we stopped to pose with the giant lobster:

There were also other 'maritime themed' gems, you know because we are super tight with the sharks and pirates in our neck of the woods. I wonder what legit tourists must think about this stuff:

Behind the tourism booth/shop was a really nice lake (it was SO beautiful) and they had lots of these swing chairs to sit on and enjoy it. You could even rent canoes to take a spin out on the wonderful water, next time Shediac, next time:

It seems they also are keen on getting people to clean up after their dogs (which I totally support) but they do so with these great signs:

From afar Greg pointed out that it looks like the dog is pooping directly into the scoop. Maybe that's something that dogs in Shediac do? They are just really well trained?

It seems Shediac is a pretty happening town, in addition to their lobster, beautiful lake and sharks hopping out of the boardwalk they have proboxing showdowns:

And motorcycle rallys:

They also have a really nice (totally aimed at tourists) market on Sundays from 9AM-12PM. There was quite the spread of food and local jewelery, crafts, pottery, etc. They also sell clever signs:

There was a booth, well large sets of shelves that had these great wall pieces:

After the market we went to Parlee Beach, it was my first time and MAN! That beach is nothing like the rocky shores of Nova Scotia!

The sand was AMAZING, very few bugs and the water wasn't really cold, it wasn't ideal for swimming but it was still early in the day. Maybe that had something to do with it.

We headed back to Sackville, where I admired more of their cuteness and of course we took in some shows.

On Saturday afternoon we caught Cousins, this two piece band that sounds way louder than two guys. We saw them for the first time way back at the Long Live The Queen Festival. They were once again impressive.

Early Saturday evening we lined up in front of this church to see Old Man Ludecke and Daniel, Fred & Julie.  We were thankfully near the front of the line and got killer seats, second row back and dead center. The church as absolutely beautiful inside and had awesome acoustics. Much better than the Civic Centre!

A hipster bike just hanging outside of the church. There was so much hipster it was great! But I'm going to save that for another post.

Daniel, Julie & Fred. This was the first time I actually heard their music and I wasn't sure what to expect. Especially after the crazy interesting set Julie did at the Long Live The Queen Festival. I was wonderfully surprised. They had amazing harmonies and with the exception of a few forgotten lyrics it was a perfect set.

Old Man Ludecke, a very blurry version but there he is. He also played a great set. I caught him at Hugh's Room in Toronto last January and I'm still amazed at how much sound and enthusiasm just one man and one banjo can produce:

After the show and after hearing how cheap this diner called Mel's was we decided to check it out. It was definitely cheap and relatively tastey - I made the poor choice to get onion rings with my club sandwich. It made SO much sense when I ordered it but two hours later I was still tasting them. I need to remember that for future greasy spoon visits. They did have this sweet Juke Box, filled with gems such as the Eagles and Shania Twain - awesome:

Here I am, looking slightly bloated...I'm going to blame the onion rings:

Later Sunday night The Sadies played. I've only heard them on CBC and particularly Radio 3 and knew that I wanted to see them but just couldn't remember what they sounded like. I was pleasantly surprised and they played a great set.

Later that night (after we had been officially informed at the church show) Sloan took the stage. Normally this would be a great surprise, but it was an even BETTER surprise when they played the ENTIRETY of Twice Removed straight off the record. That album is hands down my favorite Sloan has put out. I sang my heart out on many tunes and left the main tent on an excellent note.

This is Sloan although you can't really tell, I promise you it is:

Monday came all too quickly and our festival experience was up. This was the residence we stayed in, Windsor Hall. It was okay, it did the trick and for $30/night (a festival special) we were more than happy:

We wandered back to the Bridge Street Cafe along with half of the festival goers to get a coffee for the road. I spied this excellently painted bench the day before but forgot to take a photo. So here it is, it's the alphabet backwards and forwards along the top...this sadly took me some time to decipher - I'm going to blame my Picaroons consumption:

While waiting in a nice long line (full of great people to chat with) I spotted an interesting bit of text on the chalkboards:

Take note, under the Desserts board it says "Big Cookies" and then "Gelato", well in between these words it says "in season". Now I asked Greg if he thought that referred to the Big Cookies or the Gelato, while it makes more sense for the Gelato to be out of season (I think) I prefer to think of it as the Big Cookies being the seasonal choice. Only because they are big. The regular cookies are around all of the time (as you can see on the Dessert board), but it's only once in awhile do they have the Big Cookies. I'm not too sure what season that would be exactly - but that's what I like to think.

So this is on Monday, and maybe it's because we slept in until 10AM (which was both an amazing feat and so appreciated given our temporary housing location) but by the time we made it back to the festival location things were almost back to normal in Sackville, NB:

No more hipsters, no more giant white tent but lots of sidewalk chalk to remember the weekend by.

Well done SappyFest, you made a fan out of me. I'll be back next year if all goes well!


  1. I do believe the band in question was called "The Cold Warps"

  2. Oh Ali, I am so happy to read this post and see the photos! Can I say it makes me a wee bit homesick? =( So glad you guys had such a great time! 1.Mount Alison would in fact NOT be cooler than Mount Allison...it would only be equally rad. 2.What's the the Jaw's head next to the gallows? The pirate I get but Jaws? Come on. 3. A guy I know in Hali got a ride home from Sappyfest with old man ludeke and his wife haha Man I love the maritimes! Thanks again for all the amazing posts. I miss and love you! xoxoo


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