Another summer weekend, another glut of music festivals for your enjoyment! You have your choice: near or far? Camping or sleeping in your own bed? Electronic beats or acoustic singer-songwriters? There's something for everyone.
Shambala Music Festival
This family-run festival is held at the Salmo River Ranch, a 500 acre cattle ranch in fairly remote West Kootenay region of southern interior British Columbia. It started in 1998 with just 500 attendees, and has blossomed to well over 10,000 attendees and sell-outs since 2010, just by word of mouth. Shambala does not accept any corporate sponsorship, and when there aren't thousands of folks thrashing about to up-and-coming electronic music talent from around the globe, the ranch is a working far and small sawmill. The photos from past events make me think of a BC version of Burning Man.
Squamish Music Festival
Squamish, BC (about 45 minutes north of Vancouver)
This music festival seems to be a tame Canadian version of Sasquatch! You can camp there. There are a few big name headliners, with music generally geared to electronic, indie, and rock. It's outdoorsy, surrounded by trees and mountains. Band of Horses, Vampire Weekend, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis...but also (NGD dearly adored artist) Diamond Rings, Reignwolf, and a bunch of unknowns.
Doe Bay Festival
Doe Bay Resort, Orcas Island
Who can resist the allure of music in the San Juans? Doe Bay Fest has become increasingly popular as bigger names and word of mouth spreads about this fun and eclectic good time. Featuring a mostly-local lineup, Doe Bay Fest brings you Built To Spill, Shabazz Palaces, The Grizzled Mighty, La Luz, The Maldives, Passenger String Quartet, Star Anna, Fly Moon Royalty, and a host of other lesser-known locals. It's nice to see a festival that caters to primarily local acts. A sort of "Listen Local", if you will.
Summer Meltdown is now in its 13th year, but it's the first time I've heard of it. Have I been in a hidey hole? I like to think I'm pretty up on this information. The lineup looks stellar and varied: Minus the Bear, Emancipator, Marchfourth Marching Band, Beat Connection, Polecat, Shenandoah Davis, Impossible Bird, Briana Marela, etc. topped off with lasers, belly dancers, and professional hula hoopers. This is where I would be this weekend if I weren't already camping.
Arts In Nature Festival
A fundraiser for the Nature Consortium, the Arts In Nature Festival is for those of you who don't really care to leave the city, but want to feel outdoorsy, too. Considering Nature Consortium works to meld arts and nature while restoring the city's largest urban forest, such a music festival makes perfect sense. In fact, they bring musicians out to play in the woods while volunteers pull blackberries and build trails. Pretty freaking cool idea. I don't really recognize many bands in the lineup, but with dance, performance art, literary features, and interactive family-friendly activities, this is probably where all the cool artsy families should end up this weekend.
Oh and don't forget all the mega-shows happening this weekend, too. 107.7 The End's Summer Camp show, with it's rather good and usually interesting up-and-coming showcase, will be entertaining the masses out at Marymoor Park in Redmond. If you have less cash (as in, free-but-accepting-donations), definitely check out the 2nd Annual Summit Block Party, on Summit Ave between Olive and Howell on Capitol Hill. Finally, you could also go check out the Little Gerbils 123 Block Party at Ground Zero in Bellevue, for your all-ages fix of Dreamdecay and others. They have a 12-6pm outdoor show and an indoor show starting at 6pm, complete with food!