Founded in 2002 by Pacific Northwest-based concert promoter Adam Zacks, the inaugural event included Jack Johnson, Ben Harper and Blackalicious on the bill.
Zacks described the birth of the event in an interview with Seattle Weekly as an “idea that was born on a hunch that there was untapped demand for a certain kind of festival that catered to the eclectic tastes of music enthusiasts”.
“It started in 2002, which was shortly after a number of the touring festivals (Lollapalooza, Lilith, Horde) had petered out and the beginning of the wave of regional festivals that started with Coachella and now is a dominant force on the music landscape, with Bonnaroo (and) Austin City Limits,” he said.
Just like Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits it grew quickly with ambitious lineups unveiled year after year.
Which in turn makes it easy for the outdoor venue of the Gorge Amphitheatre to fill its capacity of around 20,000 each year.
The venue provides the perfect setting for a music festival. While there are five stages across the area the main stage in the Gorge allows for every music fan to see the stage.
Therein lies what makes Sasquatch stand apart from its counterparts. While Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Coachella might have the same mind blowing lineups they don’t cater for music fans in the same vein that this festival does.
Just take Sasquatch’s crowd capacity as the main point of comparison. While 20,000 people might be a lot, it pales in comparison to Bonnaroo’s 90,000-sized crowd.
The festival gives you the same high quality acts, but doesn’t make you compete for space like other events do. Which ultimately makes it a far more enjoyable experience in the end.
In 2014 Sasquatch will further one-up its music festival counterparts by providing two different lineups over the course of two weekends.
The May lineup boasts the quadruple headlining cast of the recently reunited Outkast, Brooklyn brooders The National, the Homme led Queens Of The Stone Age and everyone’s favourite rapper provocateur MIA.
Foster The People, Mogwai, Liars and Banks will feature songs from their 2014 releases, while the likes of Haim, Neko Case, Foals, Tyler The Creator, Cage The Elepahnt and Cold War Kids will play songs from their respective 2013 records.
Aussies on the bill include Cloud Control, Big Scary and Cut Copy.
The second weekend in July is no less exciting either. Electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, grunge masters Soundgarden and Manchester legends New Order all make up an old guard of headliners.
Joining them will be R’n’B singer-songwriter Frank Ocean, Swedish pop singer Robyn and Norwegian outfit Röyksopp, the reunited Neutral Milk Hotel, Danger Mouse and James Mercer’s Broken Bells and Texan four-piece Spoon.
Local talent on the bill includes Courtney Barnett and Boy & Bear.
To see the full lineups of both weekends click here.
Where And When
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Weekend numero uno will take place from May 23rd to the 25th, while the second edition of 2014 will spread across the July 4th weekend to coincide with America’s Independence Day celebrations.
Sasquatch Music Festival is held at the Gorge Amphitheatre near the Columbia River in George, Washington.
How To Get There
With the closest major city to the festival site being Seattle the following list of return airfares have been sourced from this metropolis.
The prices below are from major Australian cities only and are approximate values that were available at the time of writing.
Ticket holders have the option of choosing from airlines such as Delta, Virgin Australia, Qantas, American Airlines, Air New Zealand and Emirates amongst others.
Adelaide: One-stop flights start from $2300, while two-stop journeys are valued upwards of $1500.
Brisbane: One-stop flights start from $1800, while two-stop journeys are valued upwards of $1500.
Melbourne: One-stop flights start from $1500, while two-stop journeys are valued upwards of $1400.
Perth: One-stop journeys start from $2400, while two-stop flights are valued upwards of $1500.
Sydney: One-stop flights start from $1500, just as two-stop flights are valued upwards of $1500 as well.
From Seattle punters have two ways they can get to the festival site. Either they hire a car there or carpool. You can find a ride to the Sasquatch by searching their forums here.
If you’re already in the States or intend to fly into a different city, the festival site offers the following directions that drivers can take.
From Seattle, WA: Take I-90 east and exit #143 Gorge Amphitheatre. Follow Amphitheatre signs approximately 6 miles. Approximately 3 hours total.
From Spokane, WA: Take I-90 west and exit #149 Gorge Amphitheatre. Follow Amphitheatre signs approximately 7 miles. Approximately 3 hours total
From Quincy, WA: Take Highway 281 south, Beverly-Burke Road, Gorge Amphitheatre. Follow Amphitheatre signs approximately 7 miles. Approximately 25 minutes total.
From Portland, OR: Take I-84 east, Hwy 97 north, I-90 east, exit #143. Follow Amphitheatre signs approximately 6 miles. Approximately 5 hours total.
From Vancouver, BC: Take I-5 south to I-90 eastbound. Follow I-90 east to exit #143 Gorge Amphitheatre. Follow Amphitheatre signs approximately 6 miles. Approximately 5 hours total.
Where To Stay
Sasquatch offers three different levels of camping that punters can choose from.
Standard Camping is included in your ticket and includes the bare minimum of a patch of grass to set up a tent on.
For US $165 the Premier Camping option is located in a fenced off area that has incredible views across the Gorge, private restrooms, free shower facilities and a shuttle service to the amphitheatre.
Gold Camping is valued at $245 and gets you an oversized space located close to the amphitheatre away from the main campground. The area comes with its own private restrooms and free shower facilities as well.
The Terrace Camping option is located in a private and quieter area that is separated from the main campground. It includes views across the Gorge, private restrooms, free shower facilities, a concierge, complimentary pastries and coffee and a shuttle service to and from the amphitheatre. This pass will set you back $330.
How To Get Tickets
Tickets to Sasquatch Music Festival are valued at US $325 for either weekend or $550 for both weekends.
No extra fees are added on top of this besides the shipping costs of your ticket.
If you’re feeling the need to splurge VIP Supertickets are there for those who can afford the $900 (or $1700 for both weekends) price tag. VIP gets you access to exclusive viewing platforms, two special hospitality areas with free food and drinks, private restrooms, a VIP host, and priority when buying VIP tickets in the future.
Non-standard camping tickets are not included in the ticket price, however if the Terrace, Premier or Gold options sell out you can still purchase them regardless.
Buy your tickets here!
Insider Tips & Tricks/Things You Shouldn’t Miss
For both weekends the gates to the campgrounds will open at 1pm the day prior to the first day of the event. You cannot reserve a spot to camp next to your friends; they’re allocated as you arrive.
We recommend you get to the campsite the day before to beat the lines, get set up and avoid missing out on any of the action on day one.
The good news for Australian ticket holders is that unlike many of our own festivals you’re permitted to take alcohol into the campsite. Which should allow you to save a few dollars when it comes to buying drinks in the Gorge.
Those extra dollars saved will help Standard campers pay for the $3.00 showers.
The Gorge is notorious for its sporadic weather patterns too so bring clothes for all situations. While it may be warm in the day it cools down quick at night and don’t be surprised if it rains while you’re there either.
Camping festivals allow you the opportunity to save money on food. While there are delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian options in the Gorge, if you bring your own grub you’ll save yourself plenty of dollars.
Along with your own food you should probably bring your own toilet paper as well. Enough said.
For more details head to the official Sasquatch website.