Sasquatch Festival

The crowd jams along to Petit Bisuit, ignoring the fireworks behind them. 

As summer comes to an end it’s time to say goodbye to all our favorite summer music festivals, some for good. 

A huge part of Zags' summer has been the Gorge Ampitheater which has held a plethora of events, ranging in genre, length and audiences. But one constant throughout all has been the beautiful scenery the venue provides.

One festival, however, will not be returning next year.

In a June 27 email, Sasquatch! Music Festival founder, Adam Zacks wrote:

“Today we take a bow and bid fond farewell to Sasquatch! I will no longer be producing the Festival, nor will it take place in 2019.” 

Since the festival’s start in 2002, the all-genre event has sold over 1 million tickets, donated $723,436 to nonprofits and booked 1,313 bands. Reoccurring fan favorites such as Neko Case and Modest Mouse played in the last Sasquatch! lineup alongside Bon Iver, The National, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Tyler the Creator, David Byrne, Explosions in the Sky, Julien Baker and many more. 

The Memorial Day weekend festival has hit rough patches in the past. In 2016, 11,000 ticket holders showed up, making up half of the usual attendees. The festival lost millions in ticket fees, camping passes and concessions. In 2014 the festival attempted to add a second weekend over July 4 but low ticket sales led to those plans being canceled. Zacks did not specify the exact reason for the festival’s cancelation.

But fear not, festival lovers! The Gorge is host to more than just the one summer schindig. Paradiso, an electronic dance music festival, Bass Canyon, which features bass DJs, and Watershed Country Music Festival will all return in 2019. The Gorge also acts as a concert venue. Dave Matthews Band will play Sept. 2, Avett Brothers on Sept. 15 and Def Leppard & Journey will make an appearance on Sept. 28.

The Gorge is a perfect backdrop to every style of music, Zags will attest. 

Domonique Garley, a senior at Gonzaga, attended Watershed this year.

“[Watershed] was my first time ever being at the Gorge and the atmosphere was just amazing," Garley said. "So many people attended this festival, which really made the festival what it was. The venue was set up really well and I enjoyed the fact that anyone could stand near the stage.”

The outdoor amphitheater is located in the rural town of Gorge above the Columbia River in Washington, just 10 miles northeast of Quincy and a two-hour drive west from Spokane. It’s one of the most scenic concert locations in the world, offering spectacular river views, perfect sunsets, concert-friendly summer weather and lawn terrace seating. 

So be warned – even if Sasquatch! is canceled, Zags still have the chance to head out to the amphitheater for a multitude of diverse festivals. But if you have a chance to go, you may never want to leave. 

Grace Nakahara is an A&E editor. Follow her on Twitter: @A_E_is_News.

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