For a person, like myself, who loves travel, nature and music, Sasquatch! Music Festival is a must. As a photographer, these three make up a trifecta of awesome to capture and I spent Memorial Day Long Weekend 2012 (which is a major American holiday, fyi) doing exactly that.
I tend to spend a lot of my money on traveling, so I usually do it the cheapest way possible. In most cases, that includes mass transit, which isn’t helped by the fact that I don’t own a car. The Gorge Amphitheatre, however, is nestled in an area of central Washington less travelled. Aside from the 10’s of thousands of music fans who flock to the natural wonder, of course!
Upon making the trip down south, I rented a car, and armed with everything my partner in crime and I could think of, we made the trek down. Everything from the obvious passport to the necessary toilet paper to the excessive first aid kit in case of emergency. Though, the safety pins did come in handy! Luckily we had a friend arrive ahead of us and we even got the luxury of sleeping on air mattresses. The rental car quickly came in handy when we went into the nearby quaint town of Quincy, where we loaded our coolers with ice and bought ourselves food for the weekend. As tasty as festival food can be, it can also be quite pricey. Personally, I enjoyed my humus and spinach dip, along with veggies, chips and sandwiches too much to bother much with the food of Sasquatch. I did try a Philly Cheesesteak and I genuinely thought I would burst if anyone hugged with too much intensity! Best $9 I’ve ever spent at a festival! When it came to bathrooms, the main festival grounds were a stinky disaster! We were lucky enough to be camping in the premier area, and thus our port-o-potties were just lightly used. I would definitely recommend using them in the morning when they are freshly cleaned!
Excuse the pun, but this venue is seriously gorgeous! The waves of mountainous terrain are split with the stunning Columbia Gorge Canyon and the Columbia River running through it. With all the clutter and noise of city life hours away, its the perfect environment to just focus on 4 consecutive days filled with music.
I don’t even know where to begin with the music itself. Some of the standout acts for me included the hilarious rock and roll stylings of Jack Black and Kyle Gass as Tenacious D, comic actor turned rapper, Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, actor John C Reilly in his country music endeavour, eloquently called John Reilly and Friends, Caifornian DJ specializing in House electronica, Wolfgang Gartner, Jack White and his inconspicuous band, playing music from all of his endeavours, Wisconsin local folk band, Bon Iver, the genre-defying band out of New Mexico, Beirut, local Washington hero, indie songwriter Damien Jurado, as well as Canadian acts The Sheepdogs from the Prairies in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia-born songwriter, Feist, and our local guys (and gal) of Vancouver, Said The Whale. Beck closed out the festival, a performance with a surprising amount of energy from the audience after 4 days among the elements. Personally, I nearly exploded from the excitement to moment I heard the opening riff of “Loser” three songs in.
After attending and working at festivals in the UK as well as the States and back at home in Vancouver, I thought I knew what to expect. I had even been to The Gorge Amphitheatre a few years prior for Warped Tour. Sasquatch, however, is not something you can plan. From the drive down to my still-aching dust-filled-lungs to the costumes adorned by the attendees. What I did hope for was great music, fun people, good weather and better times. I can safely say that I wasn’t disappointed in any regard! How can I say anything remotely negative about a festival that made one of my dreams come true? I met one of the dudes from Jackass!