Slipping and sliding to Sled Island

By Jordyn Marcellus

Calgarians, buckle up for late nights, daily Tubby Dogs and a whole bunch of hearing loss. Sled Island is back this year and its rollicking line-up will make way for a procession of bleary-eyed hangovers — such is the magic of the music festival.

Organizing a festival is a hair-pulling, ultra-stressful affair. To help blow off the steam after a hard day’s night of trying to get Sled Island up and running, festival operations manager Sean Petsche and festival director Zak Pashak picked up Magic: the Gathering.

Spreading the nerdy love, they held an open tournament for Magic fans to test their mettle against the two in the hopes of winning some festival passes.

Looking up from his cards, Pashak explains how the organizers spend their days trying to get the best shows possible for audiences.

“We work really hard in the Sled Island office to get as many great shows going as possible,” says Pashak. “There are 50 bands from Vancouver playing and they’re all rad. I think Calgarians should check out the Vancouver scene. 50 Vancouver bands is pretty fucking remarkable.”

Petsche, who looks world-weary and sleep-deprived as he’s slinging his card-based spells, explains how the pay-off of his job isn’t the happy hipsters.

“Sled Island is exhausting,” says Petsche. “It’s 18-hour days, your entire pay off for the festival happens six days over 365 days. 359 days of work, six days of pay off and because you’re so busy you don’t even get to check out any bands.”

With $99 wristbands and over 200 bands lined up, make the retreat to Sled Island. It may not be the tropical paradise some want to spend their summer nights at, but the beer is far better.

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