The Complete Cascadian Summer Music Festival Guide

All the music your sunburnt face can handle.

May

27–30: Northwest Folklife Festival Since 1972, Northwest Folklife has chosen Memorial Day weekend in Seattle Center to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving musical traditions of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Seattle. Free (donations accepted). nwfolklife.org Notable acts: Draze, Karl Blau, Bulgarian Voices of Seattle Women’s Choir

27–30: Sasquatch! Located at the award-winning Gorge Amphitheatre, Sasquatch offers sweeping views of the Columbia River and some of the best in pop, hip-hop, EDM, and comedy. Started in 2002, the Memorial Day weekend fest stretches over four days. George, Wash. Four-day pass, $350 (camping not included). sasquatchfestival.com Notable acts: A$AP Rocky, Jamie XX, M83, Sufjan Stevens, The Cure, Grimes

June

2-5: Music Waste started as a protest against giant industry fests and boasts of not being one of “those music festivals.” The DIY-minded celebration sprawls over four days and features dozens of bands at 20 music venues across East Vancouver, most of which are drawn from the city’s thriving underground. Vancouver, B.C. All shows $5. musicwaste.ca Notable acts: Meteoric, MOSFETT, did you die, Skyote

3–4: Volume Music Festival Organized by Spokane alt-weekly The Inlander, the Volume Music Festival showcases 100 bands, encompassing a wide range of quality talent from across the region. The two-day celebration sprawls across the city’s downtown core. Spokane. $20, volume.inlander.com Notable acts: Shabazz Palaces, Mommy Long Legs, Youryoungbody

4: BIG BLDG Bash The third annual one-day, not-for-profit music festival offers 50-plus local acts, an arts and goods market, food trucks, local beer on tap, and free parking. It’s also set in a giant industrial warehouse-turned-artist studio. What more could you ask for? Seattle. $20. bigbldgbash.com Notable acts: Pillar Point, Charms, NRVS LVRS

10–12: Elkfest takes a grassroots approach with very little outside sponsorship. It has a reputation for being Spokane’s only true neighborhood party each summer on the streets of the historic Browne’s Addition neighborhood. Spokane. Free/$2 cover for beer gardens. elkfestspokane.com Notable acts: The Expanders, Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, Down North

14–17: Pemberton Music Festival Experience four epic days of music, comedy, food, and arts underneath majestic Mt. Currie at one of British Columbia’s biggest music festivals. Pemberton, B.C. $227 (camping is sold out). pembertonmusicfestival.com Notable acts: Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Bassnectar, DJ Snake, The Chainsmokers

16–19: Levitation Austin’s internationally acclaimed music festival comes to Vancouver’s Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park for a second year, with night shows in select downtown venues. The event offers a wide range of international and local talent with a special emphasis on artists with an experimental and/or psychedelic edge. Vancouver, B.C. All access pass $265, two-day pass $165, one-day pass $85, nighttime shows $12–$25. levitation-vancouver.com Notable acts: Of Montreal, FIDLAR, Flying Lotus, Tycho

17–19: Fremont Solstice You probably know it best because of the famed naked cyclists, but it’s got great music as well. Whether you decide to attend wearing clothes or just body paint, it’s a guaranteed good time full of free-spirited city pride, food, and art. Seattle. Free. fremontsolstice.com Notable acts: Hey Marseilles, The Helio Sequence, Luluc

17–20: What the Festival An electronic festival… in the woods! Described as a “carnivalesque summer camp for grown-ups,” you’ll see huge, interactive art installations, hookah lounges, people practicing yoga, and various states of bathing attire (the “Splash Stage” is straight up a giant wading pool). Dufur, Ore. $275, whatthefestival.com Notable acts: Thievery Corporation, Bonobo (DJ set), Lettuce

18: Block Party at The Station As the artistic heart of Beacon Hill, The Station cafe is the logical host for this stacked showcase of South Seattle’s bountiful musical talent. If you’re looking for a more community-minded alternative to the sprawling Capitol Hill Block Party, check out this hip-hop oriented affair hosted by Black Lives Matter organizer Nikkita Oliver and local comedian Brett Hamil. Seattle. Free. stationblockparty.com Notable acts: Stasia Menschel, DoNormaal, Sleep Steady

24–25: Paradiso A two-day electro-paradise with giant light shows and performances by world-class EDM artists, set in the stunning Gorge Amphitheatre. In addition to the music, there will be amusement park rides, art installations, sand sculptures, theatrics, and acrobatics. George, Wash. $239. paradisofestival.com Notable acts: Bassnectar, Datsik, RL Grime

24–July 3: Victoria International Jazz Fest This 10-day festival features more than 300 live acts covering jazz, blues, soul, and world music, attracting more than 35,000 people. Victoria, B.C. Prices vary. jazzvictoria.ca/jazz-fest Notable acts: Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton, Naturally 7, Pink Martini, Tower of Power

July

1–4: Waterfront Blues Fest This festival began in 1987 as the Rose City Blues Festival—a concert to support the homeless, sponsored by the Cascade Blues Association. Since 1988, the festival has raised close to $10 million and over 1,000 tons of food to benefit Oregon Food Bank. Portland. $35. waterfrontbluesfest.com Notable acts: Curtis Salgado, Dr. John, Maceo Parker

5–30: Seattle Chamber Music Festival A wide-ranging classical miscellany, arranged into 12 double concerts (solo recitals at 7, concerts at 8), plus outdoor events and a Family Concert. Seattle. Single tickets $50. seattlechambermusic.org Notable acts: James Ehnes, Chris Thile, Bion Tsang

8–10: West Seattle Summer Fest This family-friendly fest has something for attendees of all ages with music from a lineup of talented local artists, shopping, a children’s zone provided by the YMCA, and a variety of food and drink options. Seattle. Free. wsjunction.org/summerfest Notable acts: Tacocat, Grace Love & the True Loves, Chastity Belt

8–10: Chinook Fest Summit The inaugural Summit is all about bringing great music to the great outdoors. Expect the sounds of roots rock, funk, folk, and Americana musicians as well as local artisans, outdoor activities, and featured local brews, wines, and ciders. Snoqualmie, Wash. $55. chinookfest.com Notable acts: Current Swell, My Brothers and I, The Fame Riot

8–10: Vancouver Island MusicFest Set on the banks of the Tsolum River in the Comox Valley, the life of this festival lies in its six uniquely designed stages—from a barn to a woodland to a grassy knoll. Courtenay, B.C. $99–$169 (camping not included). islandmusicfest.com Notable acts: Little Big Shot, The Sojourners, Michael Jerome Brown

9–10: Ballard SeafoodFest Started in 1974 as a celebration of Ballard’s historic connection to the fishing industry and Nordic roots, this free two-day festival now attracts over 65,000 people who come to enjoy the traditional salmon barbecue as well as local music, arts and crafts, family entertainment, a beer garden, a skate event, and more seafood. Seattle. Free. seafoodfest.org Notable Acts: Lineup TBA

14–16: Timber! Outdoor Music Festival Set at the Tolt-MacDonald Park and Campground, this fest is part music festival, part summer camp (there are stargazing activities at night). The festival offers onsite camping, hiking trails, and tubing on the river. Carnation, Wash. Weekend passes $65. timbermusicfest.com Notable acts: Telekinesis, Deep Sea Diver, Langhorne Slim & the Law

15–17: Darrington Bluegrass Fest This 39-year-old fest has stayed true to its roots and is so esteemed that they named a park after it. Darrington, Wash. Three-day pass $50, one-day pass $25–$30, $35 for camping. darringtonbluegrass.com Notable acts: Balsam Range, Mountain Faith, Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa

15–17: Vancouver Folk Music Festival A unique community-based celebration with an internationally renowned reputation for presenting the finest traditional and contemporary folk music from around the world. Vancouver, B.C. $155. thefestival.bc.ca Notable acts: JoJo Abot, The Americans, Ajinai

15–17: Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival Located at the Blues Ranch on the Methow River in a resort town, it’s Washington’s largest and longest-running music festival. Winthrop, Wash. $90. winthropbluesfestival.com Notable acts: Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Too Slim and the Taildraggers, Randy Hansen

15–24: Victoria International Busker Festival For the sixth year, Victoria welcomes street performers from across Canada, Europe, Sweden, Australia, South America, and the U.S. Victoria, B.C. Free. victoriabuskers.com Notable acts: The FlameOz, Hand Me Down Circus, The Kif-Kif Sisters

16–17 + Aug. 13–Sept. 11: Olympic Music Fest Mostly chamber music (Bach, Bartok, and more) plus jazz and this and that. Port Townsend, Wash. $33–$40 (opening weekend $65). olympicmusicfestival.org Notable acts: Sarah Chang, Fred Hersch

21–24: Cascadia Festival Enjoy three days of camping with music, art, workshops, performances, and artisan vending in the beautiful Masonic Family Campgrounds. The festival is set up around five distinct “villages.” Granite Falls, Wash. $180. cascadianw.com Notable acts: Lee Burridge, YokoO, Oona Dahl

22–24: Capitol Hill Block Party Capitol Hill’s neighborhood takeover celebrates its 20th anniversary by showcasing more than 100 local and national artists. The grounds offer three indoor venues and dozens of restaurants and bars in addition to two outdoor stages built for the event. Seattle. Three-day passes $135–$165. capitolhillblockparty.com Notable acts: Odesza, Chvrches, Crystal Castles, STRFKR

22–24: Rock the Shores A three-day showcase of Vancouver Island’s finest homegrown talent as well as internatnional stars on a beachfront just outside Victoria. Colwood, B.C. Three-day pass $150, single-day pass $25–$65. rocktheshores.com Notable acts: City and Colour, Metric, Arkells, Eagles of Death Metal

22–24: PDX Pop Now Starting in true Portland fashion as a listserv that focused on promoting and discussing local music, PDX Pop Now! is dedicated to building interest in the Portland music scene. Portland. Free, pdxpopnow.com Notable acts: TBA

August

4–8: Doe Bay Fest On the coastline of Orcas Island, the Doe Bay fest invites top talent from the Northwest and beyond for an intimate weekend of camping and music. Orcas Island, Wash. $150/$100 camping fee. doebayfest.com Notable acts: TBA

5–7: Pickathon Nestled in the scenic Happy Valley, the three-day festival on 80 acres of land just outside Portland attracts a range of roots and indie artists as well as the bluegrass pickers that give the event its name. Happy Valley, Ore. Weekend pass $290, single-day pass $110–$125 (not including parking). pickathon.com Notable acts: Jeff Tweedy, Beach House, Wolf Parade

11–14: Summer Meltdown This four-day festival showcases a diverse lineup of musicians, both established and up-and-coming. It all takes place between a calm river and a glacier-capped mountain, where festivalgoers are invited to camp for the weekend. Darrington, Wash. $150–$195 (includes camping). summermeltdownfest.com Notable acts: Keys N Krates, Blue Scholars, Budos Band

27–28: Music Fest NW/Project Pabst This new joint festival is a two-day, two-stage affair featuring some of the biggest and best acts in music. The event is outdoors rain or shine, and 21 and over (it is named after a beer, after all). Portland. Weekend pass $90, single-day pass $50. portland.projectpabst.com Notable acts: Tame Impala, Ice Cube, STRFKR, Drive Like Jehu

September

2–4: Bumbershoot Seattle’s very own annual music and arts festival, Bumbershoot includes live music, comedy, theater, film, visual arts, dance performance, and more. A touchstone city event, Bumbershoot has become an integral part of Seattle’s cultural legacy. Seattle. $210. bumbershoot.com Notable acts: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Death Cab for Cutie, KYGO and Tame Impala

CORRECTION An earlier version of this story included the incorrect date for the Timber! Outdoor Music Festival. It also misstated the camping policy at Summer Meltdown. Both listings have been corrected.

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