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Sappyfest fans to descend on Sackville this weekend

Coco Barracuda gets set to perform during last year's Sappyfest. This year's music festival takes place Aug. 4-6.
Coco Barracuda gets set to perform during last year's Sappyfest. This year's music festival takes place Aug. 4-6.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – An influx of music lovers are expected to descend upon Sackville once again over the New Brunswick Day weekend as the town gets set for its biggest happening of the summer – Sappyfest.

Hundreds of indie music fans from throughout North America will be visiting the community this weekend for the 12th annual Sappyfest, an event that is now regarded as one of the must-attend festivals on the summer circuit.

Organizers are putting the final touches together for the event, which, as usual, will feature a diverse line-up of indie music throughout the three-day festival, as well as an assortment of street vendors, a craft and zine fair, poetry and novel readings, artist talks and exhibitions, and much more.

“There’s just so many great things going on. There’s a lot to look forward to, that’s for sure,” said Steven Lambke, creative director for the festival.

Downtown Bridge Street will be the centre of the action for the weekend, where a mainstage tent will be set up, although many other venues throughout town will also be used for the various shows – including Thunder & Lightning, Vogue Cinema, the Legion, and Ducky’s.

As per usual, Sappyfest’s line-up includes a wide range of performers, said Lambke, from acoustic folk to jazz to electronic to punk rock and everything in between.

“We’ve got so much great music coming, it’s crazy. I think it’ll be a really cool weekend.”

Expected to hit the stage are Ancient Shapes, Bah Nah Nah, Construction & Destruction, Daniel Romano, Doldrums, Eamon McGrath, The Highest Order, Jon McKiel, Usse, Protruders, and Weaves, just to name a few.

Lambke said ticket sales have been going well to date, with an anticipated crowd of between 1,000 to 1,200 people expected throughout the weekend. Guests will be making the trip from all across Canada and the US, and some have even purchased tickets from Europe.

“It’s really cool that people are coming from all over for this,” he said.

Lambke said he believes the secret behind Sappyfest’s success, and the reason it continues to draw in both newcomers and returnees each year, is its small, intimate atmosphere. The festival, even after more than a decade, continues to be a community-run, volunteer-driven event that is organized “for the love of the music and the culture.”

“It’s done purely from the passion and excitement of people who want to put this together every summer,” he said.

The festival brings a welcome energy and vibrant atmosphere to the downtown during the lazy days of summer, and also helps provide a significant economic boom to the local businesses. Not only are the festival-goers purchasing a weekend pass for Sappyfest, but they are also spending their dollars on accommodations, meals, gas and merchandise.

“There’s a lot of people coming through so there’s definitely a great opportunity there for all the local shops and restaurants,” said Lambke.

People can buy tickets online or at the gate. For more information, visit

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