‘Sasquatch!’ festival draws myriad of interesting, drunk attendees

By Wilson Criscione, News Writer

The sunset radiated over the Gorge Amphitheatre for the third and final night as thousands of music fans from across the continent drunkenly refused to let the 12th annual “Sasquatch!” Music Festival end without one more party.

May 25 was the last day of the three-day “Sasquatch!” festival. It brought over 100 artists on five different stages to the middle of Washington, where 27,500 fans, according to Live Nation, representing every state in America and every province in Canada, welcomed them with a level of enthusiasm that sometimes can overwhelm even the performers.

This year, whether displaying remarkable bravery or inspired by any number of drugs floating around the festival, a fully-nude man climbed the smaller Narwhal Stage and had to be escorted off by security.

While the festival certainly will offer a good time for attendees who have the energy to keep up, artists sometimes have a harder time performing to the crowd.

Meric Long, lead singer and guitarist of The Dodos, a San Francisco duo who performed at the 2014 festival after previously performing in “Sasquatch!” five years earlier, said playing for festival crowds is a different experience.

“You have to bring the party vibe,” Long said. “I want to play a good show and have people enjoy it, but there’s definitely certain bands that are geared for it.”

In addition to the frequently-dazed crowds, the short amount of time in between sets on the same stage can lead to technical difficulties.

“I think this festival is cursed for us, because last time we had total technical problems, and this time we had technical problems,” Long said. “It ended up being okay, and [this set] was definitely better than last time, but it was like we just sort of had to give in to the technical forces at work.”

Scott McCormick, a junior at EWU who attended the festival, said some bands are more suited to play at festivals than others.

“The type of music people want, particularly at ‘Sasquatch!’, is higher-energy music,” McCormick said. “Some bands would do better in a more intimate setting, and ‘Sasquatch!’ doesn’t fully provide that type of setting.”

But even though artists may prefer a more personal atmosphere at times, attendees love the escape provided by the festival.

“The best part is getting out of Spokane for a few days and getting to experience great music at a beautiful venue,” said Amber Fisher, a Washington State University student studying at the Riverpoint campus.

Outkast, The National and Queens of the Stone Age headlined the 2014 lineup. Outkast capitalized on the upbeat nature of the first day, hitting the audience with all of their classics from the 2000s. The National performed on the second night and gently eased the audience into the night after M.I.A, who had performed just before, relentlessly infused the festival with life. Queens of the Stone Age gave their fans a powerful show, although they finished their show 20 minutes short of their designated time.

But “Sasquatch!” is so much more than just the headlining artists, there is room for every attendee to get lost in the eclectic atmosphere during any of the hundred acts. Even after the shows end, people blast music in the campground all night long.

Like Long said, “Festivals are weird, man.”