Partner, Big Budi Band w/ Aquakulture, The Highest Order, Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback, The Magic, Exit Someone @ SappyFest 8/6/2017

I went easy on myself for the Sunday of SappyFest and explored the town a bit. There was plenty to do though including poetry on a bus, films that inspired Native North America and book readings.

My music day began with the electropop tunes with Exit Someone from Montreal. The pop music continued with The Magic, who dazzled the stage with silver glittering suits that reminded me of Elvis impersonators from Vegas. Their saxophonist even had a silver sax!

After a drinking break I went back to the  main stage for Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback. Thrasher is a Inuvialuit singer-songwriter from Northwest Territories. People listened intently as he paid respects to people and the environment. He made us feel like family, frequently dedicating the moment and the songs to the audience. After his set, I saw him thanking groups of audiences as they hung around waiting for the next set.

Toronto veterans The Highest Order performed us psychedelic tunes with gorgeous songwriting. The talented band members were also seen throughout the week in other bands and showcases.

The strangest set of the week was probably Big Budi Band. There was a lot of jazz improvising from the members of Vulva Culture, Egg Century and more. Lido Pimienta joined on stage for one tune before R&B singer Aquakulture brought out love songs with smooth vocals. The set ended with an emotional free-rap.

Switching gears, Partner was the finale of the main stage, playing in front of fans, friends and family in their hometown. There’s no show like a hometown show, a new song began the set with a surprise bagpiper joining on stage. There were several new songs in the set mixed in ones on their upcoming LP In Search of Lost Time. The band got the audience in a frenzy as they crowdsurfed and danced until the very end.

There was after shows, but I thought Partner was the best way to personally end the festival. I smiled happily being part of a week that felt like we were all big friendly family. For a festival that was in the middle of nowhere in the East Coast, this was by far the most inclusive booking (LGBTQ, females, kids, POC) I’ve ever been to and I’m hoping that more people get to visit this charming town and festival in the future.