Welcome to Doe Bay is a new SIFF documentary about the one percent: the connected and/or savvy music fans who know how to procure tickets to an intimate music festival at a resort in the San Juans that sells out in less time than it'll take you to read this review.
In chronicling the annual multiday festival on Orcas Island, local filmmakers Nesib Shamah and Dan Thornton provide a respectable primer of our Northwest music scene: the mix of rock, folk, and hip-hop acts that swim together (and are unendingly impressed with themselves for doing so). Inadvertently, the directors also capture the self-righteousness and exclusive spirit that exists in pockets of that scene. That's the fest's biggest selling point: All those other people aren't here.
"If you do provide for more people," according to Doe Bay organizer Kevin Sur, "you ruin the experience."
This is a doc about how good it feels for a select group of people to celebrate their tribe without the hassle of the unsophisticated masses and the Budweiser signage they attract. "I'd rather be heard authentically by 100 people," says one participant, "than inauthentically heard by 10,000 people." The message is clear: This is the real experience, these are the real people, and everything else is just a bloated orgy of mass-market beer and MySpace hot dogs.