Festival Guide: Republic of Sappy aka SappyFest XI

Where: Sackville, N.B.
When: July 28-30

What it is

Every year, music lovers and musicians alike circle the end of July (or early August) on their calendars and plan a trip back to the Republic of Sappy. It’s like summer camp for adults where friendship rules supreme.

This year marks the 11th edition of the festival and has a lineup that features SappyFest mainstays Adrian Teacher, Shotgun Jimmie and Julie Doiron playing with the Wooden Stars. Seriously, nobody would bat an eye if statues of those three artists were erected at the gates of Sappy. Local Sackville heroes Partner and other New Brunswick bands get to show off their stuff while Sappy favourites like Ought, By Divine Right and Nap Eyes return.

There’s a beer garden, piles of band merch, food trucks, chill afternoon shows in a theatre, late night shows in bars and the legion. It’s a relaxed weekend with no shortage of entertainment.

For more SappyFest related excitement, check out our All Roads Lead To Sappy blog where members of Jay Arner are in the midst of documenting the journey across Canada to Sappy.


Tuns, Ought, Cakes Da Killa, The Dirty Nil. For the full schedule, visit the Sappyfest website.

To listen to (almost) all the bands playing Sappy this year, check out our SappyFest playlist.

Mix Pick

If you’re a fan of Hooded Fang, chances are you’ll like Phèdre. The band is made up of Daniel and April from Hooded Fang, so naturally there are some similarities since both bands feature the same humans. Hooded Fang has more of an indie-rock and garage rock sound while Phèdre has an electronic influence and frantic dystopian sound. Pitchfork described Hooded Fang’s 2016 album Venus on Edge as sci-fi surf-punk which is interesting as Phèdre certainly has sci-fi elements to it. Maybe the sounds of the two bands will converge and we’ll be left with a supergroup of Hooded Fang and Phèdre. Who knows what the future holds.

You can check out Phèdre Sunday on the mainstage at 3 p.m. Hooded Fang play the mainstage on Saturday afternoon, same time.

Mix Tip

Expect the unexpected. Who knows where you’ll find your favourite artists hanging out and maybe performing. There’s no barrier between artists and audience members, so if you like an artist, go up to them and tell them. Most bands leave merch in the main tent all weekend, so it’s easy to support your favourite artists financially as well.

About Jonathan Briggins 71 Articles
Editor-in-chief of Mixtape magazine.