Sasquatch! Music Festival 2010 Preview
Memorial Day Weekend, May 29th-31st
The Gorge Amphitheater, George, Washington
Back in 2002, promoter Adam Zacks was so excited about the idea of a large scale indie rock music festival that he felt compelled to place an exclamation point in the name. The early 2000’s marked a time when large touring festivals like Lollapalooza stopped being so prevalent and huge regional festivals (starting with Coachella) became more the standard in the music industry. Zacks had recently moved to Seattle after booking/promoting shows at the Roseland Theatre while living in Portland. He felt there was a demand for a “certain kind of festival that catered to the eclectic tastes of music enthusiasts.”
Sasquatch!, now in its eight year, takes place at the Gorge Ampitheatre in George, Wash. It’s a scenic 25,000 seat natural amphitheatre set directly atop the Columbia River Gorge. Widely considered one of the premier outdoor venues in the world, it offers scenic views and a high chance of enjoyable concert-going weather.
What happens when thousands of people get together in such a lovely setting out in the middle of nowhere, drink tons of alcohol, take drugs, and take in some live music? Last year, one couple was so moved by The Decemberist’s set that they very publicly had sex, in plain view of the whole audience. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMUECr66pqk. There’s also the now-infamous case of the “crazy lone dancer.” His moves were so expressive that he inspired dozens of others to get up and shake their asses to M.I.A. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA8z7f7a2Pk.
Sasaquatch! made its name by focusing on what would be considered “indie rock” music. Every year the line-up showcases the newest, coolest and hippest bands around. But the festival doesn’t just limit itself to this genre though. Recent years have seen an increase in hip hop (Common Market, Kanye West) performances, folky singer/songwriters (Iron & Wine, Ben Lee) and even a couple of jam bands (Ben Harper, String Cheese Incident) in the mix.
The bill for this year’s festival is especially exciting. The biggest news for most music geeks is the triumphant return of 90’s heroes Pavement. The forefathers of indie rock will be accompanied by the new guard (Passion Pit, Dirty Projectors, The xx, She & Him, MGMT and Portugal the Man) as well as known entities like Nada Surf, Tegan & Sara, the Long Winters, and Broken Social Scene. Hip-hop is represented by icons Public Enemy and buzzworthy locals Shabazz Palaces and LCD Soundsystem will eloquently mash Indie and electro. For a complete list of artists visit Sasquatch!’s official website.
Check out Dan’s Mayer Hawthorne preview.