It is July, and the annual Picaroon’s Brewer’s Bash in Fredericton is a hipster’s paradise; a sea of humanity awash in sunshine, plaid, beards, and beer, punctuated with islands of live music and performance art. No fewer than sixty-three different craft brewers from across Canada had gathered around Officer’s Square this year, each dispensing a continuous deluge of fermented malt beverage in tiny half-serving mugs. I came prepared for a marathon, but others had come expecting a mad sprint, determined to sample everything the festival had to offer. By late afternoon there were already examples of previously upright citizens staring off into the middle distance, concentrating huge efforts of will into simply placing one foot in front of the other in something like a straight line towards their next drink. Mating rituals had begun in wild and ridiculous displays. The sea had the potential to get choppy.
I had noticed the painting earlier; the artist working away across a brightly coloured canvas under the shade of a tree. It made for a pleasant enough addition to the festival atmosphere in its unobtrusive way, people were milling about it, commenting on it and I occasionally marked its progress throughout the day. But that had been during the relative innocence of daylight hours, and now that the light of the sun was fading from the day the anarchistic mentality of a Thunderdome mob was setting in. Dead-eyed drunks were everywhere, Continue reading Tom Smith, Kayleigh Kristiansen & The No Fun Zone