Seattle's Music Festival Season Begins with These Three Events

Music festival season officially returns with this tuneful trifecta
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

This article appears in print in the May 2018 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Folklife (5/25–5/28)

Launched: 1972
Focus: folk, world music, DIY
Typical festival experience: Drum circles, impromptu mandolin jams, shrieking kids running through the International Fountain
Who goes: The Woodstock generation and their grandkids, aficionados of the hammered dulcimer, people who really don’t see why everyone thinks Portlandia is so funny 
Big names: Naomi Wachira, Kung Foo Grip, Whitney Monge, Tomo Nakayama, Clinton Fearon, Baby Gramps
Likely political ambassador: Kshama Sawant.
Times vary. Free (suggested daily donation $10/person). Seattle Center, nwfolklife.org

Sasquatch! (5/25–5/27)

Launched 2002
Focus: Alt-rock
Typical festival experience: Tent camping, extortionately priced bottled water, getting the side-eye from Ellensburgers on the drive home
Who goes: Upwardly mobile, midriff-baring millennials
Big name: David Byrne
Likely political ambassador: Bernie Sanders.
Times and prices vary. The Gorge Amphitheatre, George, 754 Silica Road NW; sasquatchfestival.com

Upstream (6/1–6/3)

Launched 2017
Focus: Local music, with a few big name headliners 
Typical festival experience: Taking light rail home afterward and running into someone you know 
Who goes: Aspiring local artists, bands and supporters of Seattle’s dynamic music scene
Big name: Valerie June
Likely political ambassador: Krist Novoselic. (His new band, Giants in the Trees, plays the fest, too.) 
Times and prices vary. Pioneer Square, Occidental Square, Occidental Avenue S and S Main Street, upstreammusicfest.com

Related Content

Broadway chestnuts Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis have made the rounds in Seattle, but fans can look forward to a fun crop of Broadway touring shows this fall

Your weekly guide to Seattle's hottest events.

Plus: a conversation with UW biology professor Jennifer Nemhauser on bridging botany and art