Outdoor music-festival venues are huge, so getting lost is pretty easy. Sometimes

Outdoor music-festival venues are huge, so getting lost is pretty easy. Sometimes it’s hard to find a place to eat that isn’t hawking price-gouged, slime-covered $16 teriyaki bowls. Sometimes it’s even hard figuring out how to get to the damned festival in the first place. But we here at Seattle Weekly, through our collective years of festival-going/hardcore raving, have put together a handy guide to navigate these venues. And to heighten your concert experience, we consulted Stevie Cheung, budtender at Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop (and, as Tele Fresco, DJ for JusMoni and Porter Ray of acclaimed Seattle hip-hop collective Black Constellation), to recommend a pot strain that might pair nicely with each venue’s distinct vibes.

Chateau St. Michelle

Woodinville, Wash.

Easily the classiest/ritziest place on this list, this upscale winery has hosted some crazy-big-name talent like Stevie Wonder; Earth, Wind & Fire; and Crosby, Stills & Nash. If you want the summer outdoor music experience but don’t want a bunch of kids tweaked out on molly rubbing up on you, this is probably your best bet.

What happens there: Chateau St. Michelle Festival of Jazz (July 25); Wine Country Blues Fest (July 26); Chateau St. Michelle Summer Concert Series, featuring Sheryl Crow (July 8), John Fogerty (July 24), Jackson Browne (Aug. 1–2), Steve Miller Band (Aug. 7–8), Michael Franti & Spearhead (Aug. 22), Randy Newman (Aug. 29), and more.

Where to eat: You’re in wine country, which means you’re surrounded by a lot of pricey restaurants like the Herbfarm, Purple Cafe, and The Barking Frog. But, hallelujah, Woodinville hasn’t become another Napa yet, which means that you can still find a greasy spoon—like Ezell’s Famous Chicken (17323 140th Ave. N.E., Woodinville), the Southern fast-food chain where you can get your fried chicken original or spicy and served with baked beans, mashed potatoes, or cole slaw. Don’t forget a piece of sweet potato pie or peach cobbler.

What to bring: Chateau St. Michelle’s shows are held on a large lawn, so blankets and chairs are a very good idea.

What not to wear: An Odd Future T-shirt and ripped jeans. Chateau St. Michelle is a classy, grown-up kind of place—dress like you are a grown-up.

How to get there: The Chateau is 20 miles North of Seattle. By bus, hop the 522 then transfer to the 236 in Woodinville, where you’ll have about a 20-minute walk to the venue.

Stevie’s recommended weed strain: “I recommend Purple SoCal Master Kush by Phat Panda. This indica-dominant strain offers a euphoric body high with a light, happy cerebral buzz. Great for sitting and enjoying music in a more-still setting.” 

Gorge Amphitheatre

George, Wash.

The Gorge is one of the most beautiful music venues in the country, a 27,500-capacity jewel right by the Columbia River, perched atop a breathtaking canyon. In 2013, a 20-year-old at the Paradiso EDM festival, likely high on molly, wandered eight miles into that canyon and wasn’t found until days after the festival. Don’t do that. Here are some other Gorge tips.

What happens there: Sasquatch! (May 22–25), Paradiso Festival (June 26–27), Watershed Festival (July 31–Aug. 2), Dave Matthews Band (Sept. 4–6).

Where to eat: Since you’re about to be watching bands in a beautiful, dusty gorge under, most likely, a very hot sun, you might as well keep your chow rustic too. At nearby Grainery (101 E St. S.E., Quincy), a coffeeshop/restaurant, you can get caffeinated and well-fed with “On the Run Buns”: a pretzel casing filled with meat, cheese, and herbed potato (!). There are also meat pies baked inside croissant crusts, deli sandwiches, big-ass salads, and homemade desserts like lemon bars.

What to bring: You are on top of a giant canyon with no trees to provide shade, so sunscreen is crucial, unless you want to look like a twice-baked naked mole rat by the end of the weekend.

What not to wear: Your sandals may look totally cute, but the Gorge is full of dust and densely packed drunk people who love to stomp around wearing thigh-high leather fetish boots—or, in the case of Watershed Festival, cowboy boots. Unless you want your feet to get totally dirty and crushed into bits, keep it closed-toe. Better yet, wear combat boots. Also, please don’t wear Native American headdresses, you idiot.

How to get there: The Gorge is in central Washington, about two and a half hours from Seattle. If you don’t have a car, your best bet is finding a carpool situation, which are bountiful near festival season. If you are brave, check Craigslist. If you aren’t as brave, check out sites like ridepost.com or ridebuzz.org.

Stevie’s recommended weed strain: “The Gorge is usually a large-scale, all-day thing. For something like that I’d recommend Alice in Wonderland. Mostly sativa, this strain provides a euphoric, sensory cerebral experience. Great for outdoor activities.”

Marymoor Park

Redmond, Wash.

One of King County’s oldest and biggest parks, Marymoor sits on the edge of Lake Sammamish, and is the kind of place dogs probably dream about at night. It’s all big fields and wide-open spaces. Marymoor’s concert series invites well-known acts to the park’s stage area, which is also great for picnicking.

What happens there: 107.7 The End Summer Camp (Aug. 15); Marymoor Park Concert Series, featuring Willie Nelson (June 27), The Decemberists (July 16), Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional (July 22), Alabama Shakes (Aug. 8), and Wilco (Aug. 11); and more.

Where to eat: You probably don’t want to deal with an authentic, drawn-out Indian meal, which is the most obvious thing to do when in Redmond. So I’d recommend a picnic lunch in this big, beautiful open space—but supplemented with a smoothie or salad from Jujubeet (10602 N.E. Ninth Pl., Bellevue), or one of their decadent sweets, like a $5 chocolate pot.

What to bring: Marymoor shows take place on a big stage in the middle of a giant field, so bringing a blanket to lie on, or some outdoor folding chairs with those neat built-in drink holders, is going to be crucial if you want your butt to be happy.

What not to wear: A tank top and nothing else. Let your mother’s stern “Wear a jacket” warnings echo through your mind before you head out to Marymoor, or you are going to get really chilly by the time the headliner comes on.

How to get there: If you don’t have a car, go to soundtransit.org, and in the Trip Planner type “Leary Way at SR520, Redmond” as your end destination—it’s the closest stop to the park, putting you within a mile walking distance. Coming from Seattle, you’ll probably take the 545 from Downtown or the 542 from the U District.

Stevie’s recommended weed strain: “I highly recommend Trinity by Trail Blazin. It’s energetic, light, and happy without any edge.”

McMenamin’s Edgefield

Troutdale, Ore.

Located on an adorable 78-acre historic farm, McMenamin’s Edgefield is as quaint as they come. The buildings are all turn-of-the-century and surrounded by organic gardens. Even though it’s 20 minutes outside of Portland, it’s about as Portlandy as you can get.

What happens there: Ingrid Michaelson (June 16), Willie Nelson (June 26), Death Cab for Cutie (July 8), the Decemberists (July 10–11), Morrissey (July 23), Pink Martini (Aug. 28–29), Ben Harper (Sept. 5), and more.

Where to eat: If you’re passing through Portland, snag a meal near the train station when you get in. Hot Lips Pizza (various locations) offers daily specials and lets you build your own, choosing from an array of sauces, cheeses, meats, veggies, nuts, and fruits (like local pears and local mushrooms). They also have microbrews, housemade sodas, and ice-cream sandwiches. As quaint as it gets for a pizza joint, it’s a perfect choice for this precious venue that won’t make you go broke.

What to bring: This is another lawn-concert-style venue, so blankets and chairs are key. But if you forget, you can rent chairs from the venue for $5 (with a $20 deposit).

What not to wear: Your Pavement T-shirt. Chances are relatively high that you will be waiting in line for a porta-pottie next to notable Portlander Stephen Malkmus, and that would be awkward.

How to get there: Catch the Amtrak (while you still can!). Then from downtown Portland, take the MAX light rail east to the 82nd Avenue Transit Station, then transfer to Tri-Met Bus #77 to Edgefield’s main entrance.

Stevie’s recommended weed strain: “I recommend Dutch-47 by Trail Blazin. It’s stimulating and creative with a great piney-citrus taste.” 

Seattle Center

Seattle, Wash.

Even though the Space Needle lives here, Seattle’s iconic wayfinder, I still get lost wandering around Seattle Center. It always feels like I’m walking in a giant circle, mostly because the Seattle Center is a giant circle. But fear not—there are handy map kiosks throughout, which you should reference as often as you can, lest you end up at the McDonald’s across the street under the monorail.

What happens there: Northwest Folklife Festival (May 22–25), KEXP Concerts at the Mural (Fridays in August), Bumbershoot (Sept. 5–7).

Where to eat: Just a few blocks away on First Avenue is Chutney’s (519 First Ave. N.), one of my favorite Indian restaurants in Seattle, with lots of vegetarian and vegan options if that’s your thing. Pakoras filled with paneer cheese or flaky fried vegetable samosas will set you back only $6 and $5, respectively. Or make a meal of any of their hearty Indian breads ($5), like a naan stuffed with potato and peas or a kulcha filled with onions and cilantro.

What to bring: If you are a tourist, some extra cash, because Seattle Center is full of goofy Seattle-centric trinkets and keepsakes, if that’s your thing. Tons of vendors descend on the Center at festival time too, selling all sorts of great/awful things like vegan hacky sacks, blacklight posters of Kurt Cobain, and belt buckles with salmon soaring over the Space Needle.

What not to wear: Again, this is a super-touristy area, so maybe don’t wear your Space Needle shirt, since the Space Needle is right behind you. Also, maybe don’t wear a New England Patriots shirt unless you want to get heckled.

How to get there: The #3 and #4 bus lines will take you right to Seattle Center from the main metro hub downtown—just make sure to bring $2.50 for fare.

Stevie’s recommended weed strain: “At Seattle Center, I would probably want something lucid, uplifting, and blissful like Golden Pineapple by Phat Panda. It’s a powerful sativa-dominant hybrid.”

Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Portland, Ore.

Full of gorgeous cherry blossoms and with a picturesque perch on the Willamette River, Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park is a dreamy destination for outdoor concerts, but also a great place for any occasion, really—romantic walks, picnics, biking, running; presidential speeches have even been given there.

What happens there: Countryfest (May 31), Great White and Slaughter (June 5), Waterfront Blues Festival (July 2–5), MusicfestNW (Aug. 21–23).

Where to eat: Southwest Portland is truly your oyster when you’re catching a show at this gorgeous park. But let’s keep it real and stick to our budget. Farm House Cafe (101 S.W. Main St., #125)slow-roasts their own meats for sandwiches (in the $8 realm), including a pulled pork, a roasted honey Dijon, a French dip, and a tuna melt. They also make soups from scratch. Don’t be put off by the big corporate building it resides in. This little deli is popular with the locals.

What to bring: Your bicycle. It’s Portland, after all. But really—traveling through the expansive Waterfront Park on two wheels is ideal, otherwise you might get tired of hoofing it by the time your favorite band starts playing.

What not to wear: Your Sounders gear. Keep it classy, Seattle.

How to get there: Not only do the Blue, Green, Red, and Yellow MAX Light Rail lines go straight to the park, but so do multiple TriMet bus lines and the Portland streetcar. It’s hard not to end up at Waterfront Park.

Stevie’s recommended weed strain: “I recommend Gorilla Glue by Phat Panda. It’s a super-strong 60/40 sativa-dominant hybrid that provides a lucid, fun, and giggly high.”

White River Amphitheatre

Auburn, Wash.

It’s appropriate that the White River Amphitheatre is located near Enumclaw, a town whose native Salish name translates to “thundering noise.” There are going to be lots and lots of thundering noises there, as it is a favorite tour destination for loud ’80s metal bands like Van Halen, AC/DC. and Def Leppard.

What happens there: KUBE 93 Summer Jam (June 20), Mayhem Festival (June 30), Van Halen (July 5), Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa (Aug. 2), Vans Warped Tour (Aug. 8), Pain in the Grass (Aug. 23), Tim McGraw (Sept. 4), and more.

Where to eat: In case you missed one recent edition of Sunset magazine (of course you did), then you don’t know that the tiny cow town of Enumclaw has gotten a bit more sophisticated. What that means is that you can fill up on all sorts of fresh fruits, veggies, pickles, breads, and jam at Tracy’s Roadside Produce (23110 S.E. 436th St., Enumclaw). Or, if you’d rather go for something heartier, make a pit stop at The Pie Goddess (1100 Griffin Ave., Enumclaw), with more than 50 varieties of pie, including a savory shepherd’s pie.

What to bring: Little-known fact: White River Amphitheater is basically a holy pilgrimage site for allergens. Your histamines are going to go cuckoo-crazy if you pick an especially windy day to attend a concert here and have seasonal allergies, so make sure to bring your allergy medication and lots of those lotiony tissues.

What not to wear: While there is uncovered lawn seating, much of White River Amphitheatre’s seating is under cover, so really you can wear whatever you want and not worry about getting wet or cold.

How to get there: The White River Amphitheatre is about 45 minutes south of Seattle on I-5. Forget busing there from Seattle, though; it’d take you five hours. You’ll definitely need to find a car unless you love spending extended periods of time on public transportation.

Stevie’s recommended weed strain:

“I recommend Cinex by Avitas. A sativa-dominant hybrid that offers a clear-headed and uplifting attitude with a positive mindset.” 

Woodland Park Zoo

Seattle, Wash.

Yes, there are concerts at zoos up here in the Northwest. ZooTunes, a popular series hosted by Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, invites acts to play in the zoo’s North Meadow. No, unfortunately, the giraffes and penguins don’t get to join you on the lawn for the show.

What happens there: ZooTunes, featuring the B-52s (June 28), Indigo Girls (July 12), Mavis Staples and Patty Griffin (July 26), Emmylou Harris (July 29), Trampled by Turtles (Aug. 16), and more.

Where to eat: As close as you can get to the zoo without smelling the animals’ cages, The Phinney Market Pub & Eatery (5918 Phinney Ave. N.) manages to be low-key and neighborhoody, yet still kind of gourmet. Sandwiches run in the $15 range, and with spring here they’ve added a cold Vietnamese banh mi: that irresistible combination of tangy beef, pickled carrot, cucumber, and cilantro finished with a spicy sriracha aioli. Or you could go for a gut-buster like the $9 green chili-cheese fries.

What to bring: If you actually want to see the animals in addition to the concert, you’ll need to bring money to pay for a separate ticket, as they aren’t included in the ZooTunes ticket price.

What not to wear: Unless there is a torrential downpour, Woodland Park Zoo doesn’t allow umbrellas at its ZooTunes shows.

How to get there: The #5 bus line will take you right to the Zoo’s west entrance at 5500 Phinney Avenue.

Stevie’s recommended weed strain: “I recommend the Chocolope by Avitas. This full sativa provides a super-fun dreamy, cerebral effect.” E


Timber Outdoor Music Festival

Timber Outdoor Music Festival

Seattle Center

Seattle Center

Chateau Ste. Michelle

Chateau Ste. Michelle