DJs, dance and art come to rural Field for the weekend


Suzanne Gammon


Canada Day Weekend had a different kind of celebration along the Sturgeon River – Stacks on the Beach, a collective of 30 DJs, VJs, dancers, and artists performing on the sandy beach of Fishers’ Paradise in Field. For the third year, Jenn Stein and Jon Spyne of 40Hz Soundsystem made the trek from Toronto and landed upon the local campground in what has steadily grown into a premier gathering of dance and art enthusiasts from all over Ontario.

Jenn Stein describes the annual “beach party”, where she and Spyne show off their impressive DJ set-up: “The mighty 40hz soundsystem is a beast in the dance [world]. These handmade boxes, pushed by Powersoft technology, create a dream stage for many DJs and producers (…) ensuring a fully immersive sonar experience. Stacks is like an annual family reunion where artists, producers, and dancers gather to enjoy a 3-day camping and beach party while enjoying the sound system community.”

“It just keeps getting better and better,” declares Stein, “everyone is here with the intention of relaxing and frolicking in the sand and water, moving their bodies to the beats, camping, and sharing stories with friends we haven’t seen all year.” About 200 attendees were present, enjoying the weather and the curated landscape, including a massive mural peering out of the water at the shoreline. The large painted sculpture, altering its look with ever-changing light under a full moon, was created by artist Kizmet – his unique pieces are always a highly anticipated fixture of the gathering.

Volunteers from Stacks built a large, covered dome the day before the event kicked off. In it, the DJs were set up and dancers were enveloped by the pulsing wall of speakers – this is what 40Hz is known for, good vibrations. In the dark of night, VJs added to the spectacle with carefully timed mosaics of abstract videos projected onto billowing white fabric, entrancing dancers.

Julie Bertram, co-owner of Fishers’ Paradise said this year was the next level of sight and sound. “Usually at their events, I try to make it out for part of the day and part of the night to get the whole picture of what Jenn and Jon are doing, but this time I just couldn’t get away, it was too magical.” New for 2023 was a smaller dome called “Safer Stacks”, an area with blankets and pillows, water, juices, teas and snacks, lounging dogs, arts and crafts. There was also a new chip truck settled on the beach to feed those who didn’t want to leave the sandy area. “We’re happy that Tara Courchesne was able to feed attendees with her delicious poutine, burgers, and wraps. (…) It was definitely a hit,” Bertram enthused. 

Fishers’ Paradise is winding down from Stacks and winding up for its next big event, the River & Sky Music/Camping Festival on July 20-23. River & Sky is in its 15th year, hosting live emerging music, art installations in the woods, food, local artisan vendors, and various workshops while promoting sustainable camping life.

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