With the expansive Columbia River Gorge and a setting sun as your backdrop, any visit to the Gorge Amphitheatre in the heart of central Washington will be a memorable one. So why not start your festival season at the genre-mashing Sasquatch! Music Festival? With more than a decade of steadily increasing the number of acts, fans and days organizers can jam into a four-day weekend, Sasquatch falls on Friday through Monday this year. Akin to being the Coachella of the Northwest, Sasquatch does set itself apart—and retain its indie cred—by featuring local talent aplenty while focusing on underground and rising stars that might not get equivalent billing at a more mainstream festival. The lineup is always bolstered by a few big names that could headline any fest in the country—or world for that matter.
This year’s evidence lies in an expansive selection of acts that includes Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant alongside adored psych rockers Tame Impala and The War On Drugs as well as those who have learned from them (Temples), plus rising indie rock stars (Future Islands, Father John Misty) alongside gods (Modest Mouse, The Decemberists, Spoon), a goddess or two (St. Vincent, Jenny Lewis, plus a pair in The New Pornographers), and members of hip-hop's hottest rap crew: Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q. Something to slow it down (James Blake) and then a strong miscellany of electronic dance makers—like Jungle, Hot Chip, SBTRKT, Little Dragon, The Glitch Mob, ODESZA, Chromeo and Flume—to speed it back up. And Seattle's Thunderpussy.
A consistent sell out, get your tickets early and expect 20-somethings to turn out in droves.
Friday, May 22 to Monday, May 25, 2015
Gorge Amphitheatre, Quincy, WA
$350 (includes day parking). Note: Camping is not included this year and standard camping passes start at the steep price of $149.50 per vehicle and go up to $2,500 for glamping.
Come early—really, really early—to be sure you don’t miss the one act you’ve been dying to see. Irritatingly long lines (literally hours long) will greet you on the road into the campground, so maintain a positive attitude. Then, it can be more than a mile-long trek to the venue where there will be security lines.
This is a youthful festival. Be equally prepared for brazen displays of partying like there’s no tomorrow as well as a sense of honest, oddball festie community. Basically, be able to go with the flow and that means dealing with lines at stinking Honey Buckets, mounting piles of rubbish, drunkenness and drug use, and bass music in the campground that may thunder all night long. (Earplugs anyone?) Potential large festival negatives aside, that iconic view of the main stage from atop the basalt cliffs as your favorite band plays your number one jam will forever be inscribed in the pure bliss cortex of your brain.
Besides the top-billed PDX megastars Modest Mouse and The Decemberists, you gotta get excited for Seattle's Ayron Jones and The Way and the aforementioned ODESZA plus Black Whales, Smokey Brights, Shaprece, Manatee Commune, Rose Windows, Porter Ray, Vox Mod and Cataldo.