In the last 24 hours I've heard two separate, unprovoked complaints from two different Sasquatch! regulars about the festival's new ticketing structure. The annual festival--held over Memorial Day weekend at the Gorge--is charging $285 for a pass (on sale now) that includes tickets to all four days as well as onsite camping. Single day tickets, by comparison, will be $79 (on sale Feb. 14). But there is no option for a four-day music pass, sans camping, as has been available in the past.
The two most recent gripes about this are as follows:
1. You have to camp at the Gorge. Camping at the Gorge can be incredible. But if you're not in the mood, it's can be unbearable: Drunken Vampire Weekend fans, overflowing toilets, and diaper rash are a fact of life.
The person who leveled this issue with me goes to the fest every year, and always stays at the nearby Wild Horse Campground, a tamer alternative to the frat party that oft ensues among the tents at the Gorge. But it would be doubly expensive to fork out an additional $120 (for up to five nights) for camping at Wild Horse, when the price of camping is already rolled into the price of a ticket.
2. It's just too damn expensive. Last year, a three-day pass was $170. Even with the expansion to four days, $285 is a steep climb, especially when you consider how many people choose from abundant free camping along the Columbia river and "nearby" hotel options. One Sasquatch! devotee who typically doesn't camp onsite told me yesterday that this is the reason she's considering skipping the fest this year.