Sackville’s SappyFest 9 a sellout success

Tribune-Post Staff
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SappyFest 9 organizers were dubbing the event a success before it really got under way.TOWER PHOTO


Musicians and music-lovers from around the Maritimes and across Canada descended on Sackville over the August long weekend to celebrate an annual tradition in Sackville: SappyFest.


The ninth annual running of the festival celebrated a record over the weekend.. it was the first festival to sell out its weekend passes, as all 700 tickets were snapped up by Friday evening.


Visitors to Sappy were wowed all weekend by a plethora of Canadian musical talent, in a variety of musical styles: Indie rock and pop, folk, metal and hip-hop, as well as a readings and musical performances in the Sackville Community Garden, and rambunctious karaoke night late Saturday night at Struts Gallery.


The festival’s motto this year was “Bring It On Home” as the three days of music was closed out by two popular reunions, Guelph Ontario’s The Constantines, and local heroes Shotgun and Jaybird. The festival also featured a return to the Sappyfest stage of one of the festival co-founders Julie Doiron of Sackville on Saturday night.


“It’s been amazing. I still can’t quite believe we pulled it off”, said Lucas Hicks, creative director of SappyFest. “This festival means so much to so many people, myself included, it’s great to see it continue”


Last year’s SappyFest 8 was a critical success, but ended up in deficit. A debt of $15,000 was erased thanks to a successful crowdsourcing fundraiser, and the production of a coffee table book “SappyForever”. Thanks to continued funding by the Town of Sackville and other sponsors, the festival managed to thrive in 2014.


“We deliberately shrunk the size of the festival, to sort of take it back to basics this year”, said Matt Tunnacliffe, president of SappyFest’s board of directors.


It was a time of change for SappyFest, as SappyFest’s previous directors and founders Paul Henderson and Jon Claytor departed after SappyFest 8 and were replaced by Lucas Hicks and a new volunteer board.


“We wanted to keep the same Sappy spirit that was there in the first 8 festivals. We’re just so happy that everyone came out to see it. To sell out is something we hadn’t expected’.


Tunnacliffe noted that while the numbers still have to be tabulated, it looks like SappyFest will end up in the black this year.


Plans are already underway for SappyFest 10, July 31st-August 2, 2015.



Geographic location: Sackville, Canada

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