Turn the volume up and rock out at Spokane’s annual music festival

By Kelsey Magnuson , Contributor

With 80 local and touring bands participating in The Inlander’s growing Volume Music Festival, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this weekend in Spokane.

Volume began in 2010 as a one-night event at the Knitting Factory featuring The Inlander’s favorite local bands. Since then it’s grown into a two-night festival that takes place at venues all over downtown Spokane.

The Inlander makes it easy for everyone to enjoy the Pacific Northwest’s music scene by selling weekend passes for just $25 in advance and providing a free party bus to shuttle attendees to the nine participating venues.

“Volume is a labor of love, an enterprise that isn’t designed to make a ton of money but something we think is incredibly valuable to the community—to musicians, artists, creative types and those who want to see downtown Spokane as a vibrant, welcoming, creative cultural destination,” Inlander editor Jacob Fries said in an interview with The Easterner. “It was a gap we saw at The Inlander and thought we had to be the ones to fill in, to help a variety of business, music talent buyers and venues collaborate in a once-a-year festival in the heart of the city.”

Local band Donna Donna dropped their first album this year and will be participating in the festival.

“I think that Volume helps the local music scene by giving new local bands an opportunity to feel what a festival is all about, and also giving them that resume piece, so that they might be able to apply for other festivals around town and beyond,” Cherri Woith, drummer of the duo that makes up the rock band, said.

Donna Donna will play at the Red Room Lounge at 9:15 p.m. Friday night.

“It’s my favorite live music room in Spokane and I get to share the stage with some of my favorite local bands,” said Woith. “It’s just gonna be a big party! I’m so excited and honored to be part of that lineup.”

Karli Ingersoll, owner of the all-ages venue The Bartlett and a local musician and print design artist, has been involved with Volume since its early beginnings.

“It’s been one of those events since it started that has increased excitement for local bands,” Ingersoll said. “I’ve been able to be involved every year and it’s really about community. It’s really fun downtown. It has great energy.”

Ingersoll saw the need to incorporate visual art into this year’s festival, and took action, asking local artists to design band posters for Volume.

“It was a thing I had an idea for and asked if we could implement it. There’s about 43 designers and 45 poster designs.”

The art show will be up for the month of June at The Bartlett, and proceeds from sales of the posters will benefit the Songs for Kids Foundation which brings live music into Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital.

Ingersoll offered some advice for attendees.

“Check out the schedule and see what kind of music you’re drawn to and at least check out a couple venues,” said Ingersoll. “Be open to seeing something new and different. It’s not really an age-specific thing. There’s really something for everyone.”

Local musician Garrett Zanol of two-piece fuzz rock band Indian Goat said, “it’s rad to see Spokane getting together for music. I’m looking forward to the vast array of music all in two days.”

Indian Goat will play at the Red Room Lounge Friday at 11 p.m.

The festival begins Friday at 5 p.m. at the Washington Cracker building and goes through Saturday night. Day passes are $20 at the festival, while weekend passes are $25 in advance and $35 at the festival. Many of the venues are all ages, and sets will last 30-45 minutes.

“If you haven’t experienced Volume, you don’t know how cool Spokane can be,” said Fries. “Don’t worry if you’re a more casual music fan. Volume is for you, too. The principle of discovery, of exploring new music, new genres, new corners of downtown is at the heart of the festival.”