The annual Sasquatch Music Festival kicks off Friday (May 23) at the Gorge Amphitheatre, and this year there’s a lot to get excited about.
With more than 100 performers spread across five stages in three days, there’s a little something for everyone.
The buzziest act this year can be found right at the top of the bill with recently re-formed Atlanta rap duo Outkast. Big Boi and Andre 3000 were two of the most ubiquitous figures in the music business following the release of their monster double record “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” in 2003. Three years later, it was all over.
Well, the hiatus has ended, and Outkast is back. When they take the stage Friday night, it will be for the fifth time since they officially re-formed.
The rest of that first day is stacked with eclectic groups and artists from a wide range of genres, but hip-hop is where it’s at. It starts with the first performance on the Bigfoot stage by local Seattle stalwarts the Physics, and the offering of rap acts throughout the day is as impressive, with Raz Simone, De La Soul and Chance the Rapper all slotted.
Saturday brings a slate of indie and rock acts, with the day’s headliners The National making their third appearance at the festival. And take note: Earlier in the day, Neko Case will extend her Sasquatch appearance record to eight festivals. Other shouldn’t-miss acts for Saturday include alt-rockers the Violent Femmes and Band of Skulls, rappers M.I.A. and Seattle’s own Sol, as well as Animal Collective founder Panda Bear and rock duo Hobosexual.
The final day of the festival might be its most diverse. Starting at the top, there’s gut-busting rock courtesy of Josh Homme’s band Queens of the Stone Age. From there you have cutting-edge rap from Kid Cudi, fresh indie-pop from Haim and Tuneyards, and some great legacy acts in the form of re-discovered ’60s folk-rock artist Rodriguez and Hsker D front man Bob Mould.
Earlier this year, Sasquatch tried to add a second festival over the Fourth of July weekend but abandoned the plan when fans didn’t respond. While the failed second weekend may have cast a bit of a shadow over this weekend’s festivities, the lineup of talent has the potential to make the festival one of the best yet.
And the weather looks to be cooperative, with highs in the 70s and no rain in the forecast.
The festival is officially sold out, although tickets were plentiful this week on the secondary market, with general admission three-day passes starting at about $250 and VIP box seats going for $375 and up.
If you’d rather not make the journey over the mountains and pay a hefty sum — but you’d love to see what’s going on— check out Corbin Reiff’s coverage of the festival at thenewstribune.com and theolympian.com throughout the weekend.