SappyFest was founded in Sackville, New Brunswick in 2006 by Sappy Records, an independent label created by Julie Doiron in 1990 to release her music. Since then, the festival has supported independent music and arts.
The SappyFest main stage consists of two large tents, a beer garden, market and open space that fits over 2000 people. Taking place in the heart of Sackville on Bridge Street in late summer, SappyFest is a down to earth gathering that “seemed like a more feasible way to get all our friends together than a wedding,” as the Sappy gang once put it.
While the fest has covered most genres, SappyFest most frequently features lower key acts of the rock/pop persuasion. From contemporary singer-songwriter darlings like Angel Olsen and Prism Prize winner Chad VanGaalen to 1960s Greenwich folk staple Michael Hurley, the festival embraces generations of underground musicians. Recent Canadian artists include acid-art punk artist Petra Glynt, Buzz Records band Dilly Dally and no-wavers New Fries. Steven Lambke of You’ve Changed Records and member of the revered Constantines has served as the Creative Director since early 2017.
Following severe financial strains, SappyFest successfully released a 160-page coffee table book called SappyForever in 2013, including photos, essays, memories and a photo gallery of those who purchased the book in order to raise money for the otherwise flourishing event. It’s now back and, with its focus on its tight-knit community, stronger than ever.