If you care which brand labels are being displayed on your clothes, don’t come to Shazamfest.
If you spend more time planning the perfect Instagram shot, than taking it, don’t come to Shazamfest!
Shazamfest is not for everyone.
Shazam is for the misfits.
If you feel like wearing a dragon costume, come on down.
Want to wear patio lanterns around your body? Go for it.
Sporting a crazy mullet? Step right up, you may even win a prize.
Shazamfest is a magical and whimsical place, where you can be whoever you want to be, without judgement.
Actually…everyone is invited, but you just have to chill out.
As Stacy (dad to the Perfect Strangers brothers) said: “I don’t care how uptight you are when you arrive, when you leave…that’s in the past.”
The brainchild of Ziv Przytyk, Shazam is a 3-day event in the heart of the Eastern Townships on his parent’s organic farm. (Read our last article to get more on the Shazam back story.)
My wife and I attended Saturday’s festivities, and what a perfect day it was. The sun was shining, and as we entered the main area, a giant slip-n-slide shot kids and adults down towards the main area, filling our ears with laughter and joy.
Jah & I
We made it just in time to setup our chairs and tune into Jah & I performing some summertime Reggae.
A socially distance crowd danced under the rays of the sun, while the vibes lifted all our spirits.
How we have longed for this time, to hear live music and free our bodies to the whims of the musical forces before us.
Jamaica came to the Eastern Townships and we just soaked it all up.
Papi Chulo y Su Grupo Invisible
Next up on stage was a band that shows just how deep Ziv goes to curate an eclectic mix of performances.
Listen to some Papi Chulo and try not to dance!
It reminds me of that rave scene in the final Matrix trilogy…Futuristic & primal.
Listen to their latest release on Spotify.
I invested some of their set waiting for a burger. While this was by no means “fast” food, it was worth the wait. I had the Shazam Burger and maybe it was the extended wait, or the whole Shazam experience, but it was one of the best burgers I have ever had!
After another sharp musical 180, we enter French Hip-Hop territory.
Sarahmée has a gravitational pull that is undeniable.
The moment she takes the stage, your attention is immediately sucked in, and she won’t let you go till she is done and finished with you.
Armed with charisma to spare, she struts across the stage waxing poetic while her tireless dancers kept the energy up.
Needless to say, all but a few were up on their feet dancing, which Sarahmée called out.
Being a DJ for over 25 years, it’s hard to get me outside the comfort zone of my turntables. But there I was, dancing along with Ziv and all the other misfits, and we loved every minute of it.
Before the Perfect Strangers took the stage, I spoke to Stacy, the father of singer Kalil F. Johnston and Nicolas Lajeunesse (keys).
The brothers were always immersed in music, especially belting out songs while being driven to baseball games, which was a big part of their early life.
Stacy’s extensive record collection was a gateway to a myriad of styles, but the one style that seemed to have stuck is Funk.
Perfect Strangers performed last year at one of the Shazam mini shows, so I knew we were in for a good night.
Sure enough, as the band took the stage, the dancefloor intensified, and we all let the music take us away.
Francis Morin is always entertaining on drums, this time sporting some giant stuffed animal head to begin the show.
Justine Girard packs a lot of punch on that guitar, and the band was even joined by Ziv’s girlfriend on trumpet for a few songs.
If you recognize Pierre-Yves Letellier on Bass, it’s because you probably have seen The Damn Truth who were at last year’s festivities in the audience.
Alas, we had to head back before Barry Paquin Roberge hit the stage to finish off the night, with their disco infused set. I’m sure the party just kept on going into the wee hours of the night.
Friday Amphitheatre DJ Set
A new stage was built and it was inaugurated by none other than DJ Tony Montreal of Bran Van 3000 fame & Alain Vinet, former musical director of Cirque du Soleil.
“The Amphitheatre launch was a brilliant success with so much music that was all over the spectrum. Alain Vinet brought his A-Game and made sure our set came across as Cirque -Du-So-Cray!” shared Tony Montreal.
Where else can you go and be introduced to such an eclectic mix of bands?
Where else can you go and let your inner unicorn out, yet feel completely at ease, knowing that nobody is going to judge you. In fact, you will probably meet some of the nicest people and make new friends.
Where else can you spend a good amount of time talking with a clown on his break about the variety clown culture. I have to say, I got schooled on that whole sub-genre.
Where else can you bring kids and feel like they are safe?
The last article, I compared Shazamfest to Woodstock meets Osheaga. I might have been off a little.
Shazamfest is Woodstocks meets the Circus Carnival.
I can’t wait till next year.
Writer + Photos + Videos: Randal Wark is a Professional Speaker and MasterMind Facilitator with a passion for live music. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. His Podcast RockStar Today helps musicians quit their days jobs with out of the box advice from Ted Talk Speakers, Best Selling Authors and other interesting Entrepreneurs and Creatives.Share this :