Top Ten Grickle Moments by Adam Sturgeon

Well, I should only really get a top 9, because I missed the first year entirely…

I didn’t even live in London at the time. I didn’t know the degree of nostalgia the Children’s Museum held and I definitely didn’t know what a Grickle was. Nonetheless, I was brought in the second year and had my mind blown, while also getting to be a part of the team! Thank you to that early crew: Savy Rae, Ryan, Katy, Deanne, Jeremy. There were others. Since that time, we’ve seen all the ups and downs and raised a damn near fortune for two great organizations Growing Chefs and The Children’s Museum. Big thanks also go out to both our partners in this project! Happy to say, that despite this not being my creation, I’ve been a real believer in what we tried to accomplish and have been honoured to do my part and present a soundtrack that speaks to our audience…. our inner child, free, wild, without abandon, creative and true. Here’s my top 10 Grickle memories.

10. Garden in a Bottle

This for me was always so much fun. Co-presented by our pals at Forest City Gallery, we’ve long made old pop bottle planters as take-away gifts for the kids. There’s forever a steady line-up of keen and green thumbers who learn that we need to do more than just recycle our old throwaways, but also need to care for the environment we so desperately need. A small and friendly way to start our young ones thinking about a cleaner way. 

9. Grickle Harvest

Along the same lines of number 10, we decided one year to try our luck at hosting a celebration feast with the Grickle Garden yield in the fall. All summer, local youth had helped maintain what was planted during the festival earlier that spring. It was a special and windy, blustery, cold that fall day when Bry Webb and Jennifer Castle joined us. A small gathering secured some friendships and reminded us of the challenges of hosting events, especially outdoors but also the rewards of our very own garden, planted by our wee ones. Despite the chilly circumstances, the performances were amazing and spirits were high that day.

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8. Petra Glynt in Space

Presented by Sweet Magic London, one of my all-time favourite performances and installations was that of Petra Glynt. With her bellowing vocals and powerful percussion, Alexandra Mackenzie set the Space Station ablaze behind her tinfoil backdrop. A warrior performer, Petra Glynt remains a personal and festival highlight and there are plenty of pictures to prove it!

7. LAL

“Move the fuck up” were the vocals to the first 5 minutes of LAL’s intense and empowering set. And “Move the fuck up” we all did, and then we all moved our fucking bodies. Mad respect to Rosina and Nick. Be sure to check out LAL’s new record, out now!

6. Grickle Park

We’ve always wanted to do more by our community. There truly feels like there is never enough we could be doing to make our city a better place. So many area’s to improve, so many letdowns and mistakes being made. We’re guilty of plenty of our own for that matter, and lucky when people help us through those mistakes. Everywhere we turn there’s a new challenge, so we also try to take a breath and remember some of the positives, and this festival has had many (this top ten being a tough list to whittle down), but sponsoring our own City Park and clean-up was something I admired. Grickle Grass has it’s own park?!! I’ll admit I didn’t have much to do with this, and was probably even resistant for some political reason, but Grickle Park will remain protected land and has seen a lot of improvements over the years, so it’s another small feat to be proud of.

5. LOAD_OUT

Load-in is tough, but loading out is insane. I’m not sure you understand how much goes into setting this show up, in such a very short period of time. By the time we load-in and soundcheck at 5pm, it already feels like 3am and we’re back at the locker unloading all the equipment from our rental. There’s been an incredible team behind this festival, a small and mighty crew that if not for them, this thing wouldn’t have happened. Sure it’s our production team (Piet, Paul, Pat, Lynne, Kyle, Celyne, Alayna, Alex, Jamie, Kyle, Richard) and volunteers, but it’s also been our dedicated “lugs" over the years that have really been the heroes. Team WILD DOMESTIC we might call them: Devon, Nate, Andrew, Joe, Eric, Steve and William. Y’all have been plugging in and out lights and climbing up and down ladders, running to get ice and picking up rentals, loading your gear and everyone else’s for 10 years. 

4. Green Room

Each year, our fantastic volunteers put together the coolest, most fun place in the entire building and none of our attendees get to join. That’s right, the Green Room is a serious “place to be”. With castles made out of mats and 20 foot centipede cushions, our artists are treated like gold. Each year their food is prepared by youth who attend Growing Chefs to learn the essential skills of food prep and healthy eating. Our fridge is stoked with Kombucha and tables are lined with amazing snacks. Our artistic visionaries for the space always make the Green Room so much fun and a nice place to escape the madness of the event!

3. Getting to see Janowskii’s full set

Grickle can be chaotic for everyone in attendance; performances in different rooms and floors, hangs in favourite nooks and crannies within the venue. The festival can be especially crazy for the organizers and it’s not often that I’ve had a chance to catch an entire set. Last year, upstart Fredericton band Janowskii was one such band that I wanted to be sure to catch a song or two before running off to the next task. Before I knew it the entire set had passed by and I realized that Janowskii stole Grickle 2018 and I was late delivering a microphone to another stage!

2. I ACTUALLY Smell Blood

One of, if not my very favourite local band of all time was I Smell Blood. Well, the year they played Eric, the drummer bled all over his drums AND Ronald McDonald. A great local band we sincerely miss. 

1. The Magic

I think what sold me was my very first year. The entirety of Year 2 made me a believer. I’ve always taken extra pleasure in talking about how special and inspiring Grickle Grass is and never feel ego or arrogance, because, well…. I didn’t create it and my first year attending was as magical a time as anybody else who has ever been has had. So there. 

See you June 1st!