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 three-day weekend, Sasquatch falls on Friday through Sunday this year (giving you Monday to recover and travel home). 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 the overlap with Coachella, including Outkast, Queens of the Stone Age, Foster The People, HAIM, Neko Case and Kid Cudi. A consistent sell out (even with this year’s second Sasquatch snafu), expect 20-somethings to turn out in droves.
Friday, May 23 to Sunday, May 25
Gorge Amphitheatre, Quincy, WA
$325 (includes general camping and day parking)—SOLD OUT
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 (it is legal up yonder, you know), 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.
Portland’s Portugal. The Man, Radiation City and Modern Kin alongside Seattle faves like Damien Jurado, La Luz, Fly Moon Royalty, Kithkin, Night Beats, Shelby Earl and more.