Sasquatchmainstage/ Blue Skies & Hillside at Sasquatch’s Main Stage photo credit: Anne Lundquist
The distinct aroma of mud, hot dogs, sunscreen, kettle corn and honey buckets will forever bring back memories of my camping experience at the annual Sasquatch Festival, located at the Gorge Amphitheater in eastern Washington. As a citygirl with a camper heart, nothing beats spending a weekend under the stars listening to live music with my best buds. If you are like me and don’t mind getting a little dirt under your nails, basic camping is the way to go. I spent the crisp mornings watching the sunrise from my tent while bundled up in a sleeping bag and sipping piping hot coffee. However, for music lovers who enjoy a tad more cushion, Sasquatch offers star camping to keep you nice and cozy in an RV. Making a flag or bringing a balloon is a great way to mark your home away from home especially while learning to navigate the crowded grounds.
The venue is about a mile walk from the campground so I recommend packing a backpack with snacks, an empty water bottle (no liquids can be brought inside) and warm clothes for the chilly evenings. I was impressed with the variety and quality of food available for purchase inside the festival. Besides the classic chicken strips, hamburgers, hot dogs and curly fries, I enjoyed bites of gyros and yakisoba bowls. Portions are fairly large so I ended up splitting meals among two or three friends.
Mumford &Sons photo credit: Garrett Hendricks
To say the participating musicians were incredible would be a gross understatement, but don’t take my word for it, the lineup speaks for itself. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Mumford & Sons, The Postal Service, Imagine Dragons, Cake and (my personal favorite) The Lumineers.
There was nothing more invigorating than crowding among hundreds of people all yearning to get as close to the stage as possible in the notorious pit. I braved this venture a few times, and I advise if you go in a group, pick a meeting place for after the show in the inevitable event someone gets separated. (Cell phone batteries tend to die, and crowds make it difficult to hear so the meeting spot was a real life saver). If the idea of being sardined in between dozens of strangers is not your thing, the main stage’s hillside provides ample seating to spread out, have a picnic and even take a late afternoon nap. You may not be able to feel the sweat of your favorite lead singer, but you certainly have the best view in the house. The breathtaking natural backdrop behind the stage creates a mind-blowing landscape. It is no surprise that many of the performers who play hundreds of concerts worldwide claim the Gorge is the most beautiful venue they have ever seen.
80,000 people, 125 bands, five stages and one unforgettable weekend later, I am still coming down from a natural high ignited by music felt in the bottom of my stomach and lyrics sung at the top of my lungs.