Interview with an Up Here Veteran: Josée Nault

Photo provided by Josée Nault

Photo provided by Josée Nault

Up Here 5 is fast approaching, and the excitement is getting real! Recently, I caught up with seasoned a Up Here attendee: Josée Nault. She had a few things to share about the festival. Here’s a few pieces of our conversation.

First things first, can you tell people about yourself?

I grew up in Sudbury and had that weird relationship with the city that most of us do. I left for a few years but felt that strange magnetic pull to come home. I'm so happy I did! I spend my time taking care of my family and doing my best to fill my world with new music and coffee. I'm the almost middle aged mom friend everyone has.

How many years have you been to Up Here?

I've been to every installment of Up Here! I've never experienced FOMO about anything else. Official lifer.

Every year the festival brings different artists and acts to Sudbury, which reminds us just how special this place is. Do you have an “all time favourite” Up Here performance/artist?

I've thought a lot about an all time favourite Up Here moment and I still can't pinpoint just one. Year two saw Stars playing in the makeshift playground on Durham and I don't think I've ever seen so many people swaying and singing and teary eyed and just in the moment. The crowds are what make these shows so great. There's a beautiful connection with people you may or may not know, sharing such an intimate and unique experience. Also let's be real, there isn't a whole lot cooler than the mystery tour from last year.  Tommy and the Commies playing at the base of the Big Nickel was so Sudbury it hurt. Plus The Sorority?! Dear Criminals‘ 3D show?! It's all highlight reel.

What made those so special?

All of those performances were remarkable but holy, the crowd is top notch. Hive mind of happiness.

This year marks the fifth year of the festival, and the lineup is just as unique and exciting as ever. Are you anticipating any performance to create more memories just like the ones from years past?

I'm so looking forward to seeing Milk and Bone! After all these years of festival I'm surprised that I'm still surprised by the lineup, but here we are again. I've also learned to be excited about the things I don't yet know are happening. I've never once been disappointed and it's wonderful going in blind to some of these events and having my socks blown off.

From one festival goer to another, do you have any tips for pros and newcomers alike?

A phone charger so you never have to miss the notifications for pop up shows. Comfortable shoes for the mural tours. Talk to other attendees and make new friends! You never know who has a tip about a secret show or some cool info about an art installation. Be brave with your time. Eat many corn dogs at The Townehouse. Grab a park nap when you can. Hydrate. Look out for one another. Book time off for Up Here 5. 

Drew Maki