I swear, nothing makes me feel more alive than music festivals. I have been a faithful follower since Field Day 2007 in Sydney, Australia, and Sasquatch 2013 was no exception to the psychotropic ecstasy!!
This was my 18th music festival, so I’ve got it down to a science. . . .
Festival Survival 101
1 – You are going miss some of your favourite bands; accept that before you even get in the car.
Someone will get lost, will have to go to the bathroom, or will need to go to the medical tent. But, mostly likely, the case will be the fact that it takes ten people three-and-a-half hours to get their shit together at the campsite before heading into the grounds.
This being said there is no point getting bummed or upset that you missed Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s set, because when you look back at the festival in months and years to come, nine times out of ten, you’ll remember sitting around talking shit at your camp site as the fondest memories.
Relax and go with it!
2 – You will get lost at some point, and probably not for very long. But, there will be a moment when you step out of a rank Porto-Potty, you look around and not recognize a single person, even though everyone on the grounds looks vaguely like the neighbour you buy weed from in East Van.
Do not panic – you will be found! You’ve seen the guy run around afraid in cape, half-naked, with no shoes on. He spots his crew through hazy crowd, they run, jump, embrace like they haven’t seen one another in years. If someone is looking for this guy, someone will be looking for you!
3 – There is a difference between a hit of acid and sheet of acid. That is all…
4 – Your friend Molly is one elusive bitch! Tracking her down will consume most afternoons, and it always seems you just missed her and now she’s on the other side of the camp ground! Goddamn!
5 – Festival food is hard on your butt hole. Pack a few granola bars!
Now that you have gotten your shit together, for the most part, heading into the grounds for the first time is nothing short of exhilarating! Grab a beer for each pocket and stuff your bra with ziplock bags full of vodka!
The Gorge is the most beautiful place on the fucking planet. I swear, God made it with music in mind: the mountains, the river, the sky line. . . It’s enough to take your breath away.
The natural amphitheatre is nothing short of humbling for festivalgoers and performers alike.
The lead singer of Mumford and Sons was proud to say that he would be happy to die here because this place was heaven.
You can tell this isn’t just another venue to some of the biggest names in music – it is a supreme honour to play there, and gratitude is felt to the festival’s fringes.
It’s a barebones organic experience, which makes bands like Empire of the Sun look pretentious and gimmick ridden. I was truly disappointed with their performance, even Ariel Pink’s calculated oddness seemed a little contrived. And, I’m sorry, but Disclosures’ song titles should be ‘Forever 21’, ‘H&M’, and ‘Artizia’, respectively, as it was generic background noise. Congrats you and your skinny jeans have mastered Garage Band. It all just seemed so silly in the wake of innate beauty.
The bands that really shone there were inherently genuine, Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, The Lumineers, The Tallest Man on Earth, Mumford and Sons, and Alt J.
A lot of acts fell through the cracks; The XX was boring as hell and their intimate sound was lost in sheer vastness of it all. Vampire Weekend was okay, Imagine Dragons were nothing short of generic and Block Party was lame as shit.
When you return, greasy, dirty and just straight stinky, your friends will ask, “Who was your favourite?”
I always have trouble with this one, but not for the festival in question.
Hands down, my favourite was Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
It’s strange because I don’t have any of his music, haven’t had a desire to listen to it since the festival, and, to be honest, I don’t really think he is that talented.
But, my God, what a beautiful human being he is, and I’m talking about the inside. He in undoubtable the most genuine performer I have ever seen.
I have never seen someone so thankful and humbled to play anywhere. I suppose it has a lot to with being from Seattle and growing up on this festival, stating that the best concert of his life was seeing OutKast at the Gorge as a kid.
He is bringing so much positivity to music when Seattle is too good at producing angst-ridden grunge.
He is using his song, ‘Same Love’ as a platform to address the issue of gay marriage; he seems to understand the responsibility that comes with success; yes, you make music, but right now you are in front of 25,000 people and you have a microphone. Macklemore made it count.
Truly, the highlight of the festival, for me, was that and getting weird to dirty beats in random DJ tents. It’s always the shows you never expected to see that end up being your favourite.
Sasquatch was fascinating and freezing, damp and divine; there is no place on earth as bewitching and beautiful!!
Festival season has begun!!!!!!