Okay folks, I have a treat for you all! I recently email interviewed this years Sled Island festival director just for you! ( you being the people who read my blog, being Dave Ferris.)
So here you go::::
( while you read, why dont you start up this youtube playlist I made of bands playing at olympic plaza on the saturday this year right here.) I like Of Montreal lots.
Who are you and what are your credentials?
My name is Lindsay Shedden and I’m the 2011 Sled Island Festival Director. I have been an independent promoter for ten years and toured extensively with bands of all sizes for the last 4 years.
How did you come about landing this gig?
Zak approached me about becoming the festival director when I finished up my gig touring with Arcade Fire. I had been coming to the festival since the beginning, first as a fan, then as a volunteer. I have been to festivals of all types, around the world, and Sled Island has always been my absolute favourite. I really feel that this is the most fun you can have in 4 days.
Have you attended the festival before? If so what stands out as a highlight
for you in the past years?
Monotonix at Tubby Dog in the afternoon 2009. It was ridiculously packed, inside and out. Part way through their set (as they do), the band was carried by the fans from the back of the restaurant, all the way to the front, out the doors and into the street, where hundreds of people had gathered. Traffic was stopped, as was a bus full of people getting off work. We could see their faces pressed up against the windows in awe. It was amazing!!
The Ship’s Kick Off Party, Wednesday night of every year, is always the best way to start the festival.
Fucked Up in 2008 at The Palomino. It was the Sunday after the official 4 days of Sled Island had ended, and I hadn’t been to bed yet (or all weekend for that matter). I was talking to Damian outside(had he slept yet??) and we could hear this racket going on inside. He stopped mid sentence and was like “I think that’s my band”. I chased him inside as he was stripping off his shirt and running full tilt into the crowd gathered around his band. He knocked over a couple of people eating breakfast and BBQ, beer flying- and dove his way across the floor grabbing the mic. If you have been to the Palomino, you will know the floor is not a smooth, slippery surface. It’s a thousand year old hard wood floor, worn soft by the feet of a million sweaty beer-drinkin’, barbaque-eatin’, fun-lovin’ party animals. Needless to say, when Pink Eyes got to his feet, his belly was full of splinters and bleeding. People lost what was left of their minds and we all pushed and hugged and yelled and danced and loved every minute of it.
I have more, but I also have a festival to plan
Would you be able to shed light on the name of the festival? as I understand
it, there aren’t many sleds or islands involved.
It’s a two word poem.
Which was the most difficult band to procure this year?
Hmmm…. Well Sleep, I guess, but only because they rarely play shows. Or Quintron, because he hates Sled Island.
Was there anyone who will regret not joining us that was asked?
Oh, hell yeah. Hell yeah! But there is always next year, so I am not about to call anyone out just yet.
Which band is Sled Island festival most proud to present?
This will sound cheesy, but it’s so true. We are proud and happy to have each one of the bands we are presenting this year, be a part of the festival. From the biggest headliner, to the local favourite. Each one is an important part of the Sled Island family.
Have you worked with anyone performing at the festival? Any good stories?
I have. A bunch of them. I TM’d for Bison B.C a few years back on a killer cross country tour with Barn Burner. While every night is a story in itself, I’ll choose one that is relevant to Calgary. Somewhere along the way Bison got itself the reputation of knowing how to party. We had been planning on staying at Will’s house, but something about hot sauce or ketchup and the last time Bison was through town sort of quashed that idea. We tried hitting up the Snake Mountain/ Madcowboys but they had recently moved out of their huge home and into smaller places that wouldn’t accommodate all the beards in our crew. Lightbulb! We ended up squatting in their old house, which still had hot water and heat and was cleaner than any house we had stayed at so far on tour. With the sleeping arrangements out of the way, we bought a shitload of beers and went down to the river to watch people float by. Sergey brought a watermelon and a hatchet and we all stood in the middle of the river in just our underwear and shouted at jocks floating by. It was a riot. I should send a photo.
I put on a show for Sleepercar a few years back at The Biltmore in Vancouver. If you don’t know, Jim Ward formed Sleepercar after Sparta broke up, after At the Drive In broke up. Anyway, they are from El Paso, Tx and are really, really nice people. Until you give them whiskey. I was living at Zak’s house on Commercial Drive at the time and Sleepercar came for a sleepover. So much whiskey and dancing and Youtube and wrestling and very upset downstairs tenants. I think I had to pay them off to not tell Zak. I figure since he just sold the house, he might as well know now.
How were the guest directors decided on this year?
The guest curators are all chosen for a different reasons. Vine ripened and hand picked for perfection.
What is it like to work with these dudes?
I have only ever worked with Bogus Tokus, and by work, I mean drank with played softball. But Getting this fest organized with everyone is a blast. I’m so pumped for June!!
Who are you most excited to see?
All my friends that play in the bands and come out for the fest from all over Canada. But since I’ll be working all through the fest, the few bands I will try and find an excuse to see are Kurt Vile, Hunx and his Punx, Pierced Arrows, Pujol, Wild Flag, Wild Nothing, Cursive, All the bands on Friday at Olympic Plaza, Alberta Cross, Parts and Labor, The BellRays, Zola Jesus, Jim Ward, Man Man… wait. I am going to need a body double. Or an assistant.
How involved is Zak Pashak this year?
He booked the entire line up! He also sits on our newly formed Board of Directors. He also groomed me for this position. It was extensive and painful, but I think he is happy with the outcome. Zak has recently taken a much needed vacation to South America and I’m told he is bringing me back a capybara. I will name him Scrappy and he can live in the office like I do.
I understand you received some extra support from the city and province to
make the festival happen this year. With the departure of Zak Pashak from
Calgary, can we expect more Sled Islands in the years to come?
Let’s hope so! If people keep buying wristbands and spreading the good word of the best party Calgary knows, there will be no end in site for Sled Island. As you can probably guess, it’s not cheap to run a festival of this size, and 200 bands for $200 is a pretty killer deal!
Of course this left me with more questions, perhaps I will have to try and ask her in person come June.