Now in its seventh year, the Sasquatch Music Festival has long since outgrown its humble beginnings as a laidback regional festival tailored to, in the words of founder Adam Zacks, the "eclectic tastes of music enthusiasts" in the Pacific Northwest. In recent years, Sasquatch has become, like its namesake, a lumbering beast of almost mythic proportions—the kind of festival where 2002 headliner String Cheese Incident would barely rate a 2 p.m. slot. While its lineup certainly remains eclectic, and the spectacular views along the Gorge Amphitheatre are still second to none, the formerly scrappy little indie/singer-songwriter with the feel of a backwoods camp-out is now a three-day, overstuffed event on par with Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, et al.
And for the first time, The A.V. Club is sending someone—me—to cover it. I'll be blogging every day of the festival all by my lonesome, cut adrift from friends and family in my first trip to George, Washington, and trying desperately to forge a connection with indifferent indie-rockers and comedians and making them uncomfortable with my growing neediness. Also, questions… I'll probably throw some questions in there. You can look for my daily reports as I upload them in the wee small hours of the morning from my nearby hotel room.
("But wait!" you may be saying. "The only way to truly experience Sasquatch is to camp among your fellow concertgoers, to share the highs and the hardships by roughing it with everyone else!" Yes, I can see where you're coming from, contrarian commenter I just made up, but there's one factor you're forgetting: I am a total wuss, and I don't like camping. Sue me.)
So be sure to check this space all weekend as I slowly go feral from lack of meaningful human contact, with daily reports on all the amazing bands you're not seeing because you're stuck in a cubicle instead of the most beautiful piece of unspoiled land left in the country. Some of the bands I'm intent on catching are: The Cure, R.E.M., The Flaming Lips (including the world premiere of their new movie, Christmas On Mars), Modest Mouse, The New Pornographers, The National, Fleet Foxes, Beirut, M.I.A., The Breeders, Okkervil River, Death Cab For Cutie, Stephen Malkmus, Cold War Kids, White Rabbits, Tegan And Sara, The Kooks, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Built To Spill, Flight Of The Conchords, Jamie Lidell, The Mars Volta, and Yeasayer—plus about two dozen others. Also, for the first time Sasquatch has a comedy tent, so I'm also planning to see the Eugene Mirman, Michael Ian Black, Upright Citizens Brigade, Brian Posehn, Jerry Minor, Marc Maron, and (out of sheer curiosity) Tim Meadows and Horatio Sanz. Hopefully I will also get the chance to run into Michael Showalter again and have another awkward conversation, face to face this time.
Anyone you can't believe I didn't mention? Anyone you're adamant that I check out? Anyone else out there going to this thing with some tips for a neophyte? And most importantly: Anyone know of a restaurant in between George and Moses Lake where a guy could get a bite to eat after midnight—or should I just plan on stocking up at Trader Joe's as soon as I leave the airport?