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Spokane and the Pacific Northwest offer a wide range of festivals and venues that are sure to make your jaw drop. From the beginning of time, music and art have been used to bring people together.
The mix of many vibrant festivals in the Pacific Northwest made it hard to decide which festivals to spotlight, but here’s a list of our top five favorite festivals coming this festival season to Spokane and the surrounding area.
Festivals Around the Pacific Northwest
Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge Amphitheatre
Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge Amphitheatre is a music festival that completely immerses your senses in colors, curious costumed characters, fantastical animals, and incredibly sublime built-structures for attendees to climb around, run wild, play and dance the night away. It’s truly “beyond” your wildest dreams and imaginations. This festival allows attendees to follow “Alice in Wonderland” through her colorful and extravagant journey to other-worldly realms, Beyond Wonderland.
This festival will take you through a whole new world of EDM: including house, drum and bass, techno, trance, dance-punk, and hip hop. Jump around together while creating incredible experiences that you’ll never forget. This festival allows you to take a trip far beyond musical elements, into multidimensional environments, interactive technologies, and marvelous worlds full of color, light, pyrotechnics, and literal sonic explosions.
Through the looking glass, you’ll come to life surrounded by themed characters including Alice, the Queen, the court, Mad Hatters, white rabbits, Cheshire cat, and many other eccentric characters.
Circumnavigating the Gorge Amphitheater, you’ll find three stages—Fractal Valley, Cheshire Woods and Caterpillar’s Garden. At each, you can wander and wonder at swirling sound waves, repeating dance patterns, surreal circuses, contrasting light and shadows, delightful curiosities, and artists from all spectrums and music genres.
Watershed Festival at the Gorge
Country Music is a staple to the music scene, especially in Washington and the Pacific Northwest. It’s no wonder that one of the world’s greatest country-music festivals lies right in our neck of the woods, near Spokane Washington. Watershed Music Festival is produced by Live Nation and is held annually at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington.
Just as life seems simple in country songs, life at Watershed Music Festival is simple, yet exhilarating—you’ve got your friends, good food, great music, camping, plenty of PBR and nothin’ beats a view like the good ole’ Columbia River Gorge. Talk about a boot-stompin,’ toe-tappin,’ beer-drinkin,’ hat-tippin,’ rolling-good-time.
The main attraction of this festival are multiple stages featuring live music from some of the world’s top country superstars, local performers and up-and-coming country bands and singers alike.
Spokane and the Pacific Northwest are some of the most special places in the USA, and Watershed is one of the most unique and niche festivals our country has to offer. Producers get back to basic simplicities as they’re not trying to be anything besides a country-music festival.
The festival has its unique signature details—country hits, beautiful camping pivots, and the vast Columbia River Gorge. Really, Watershed as a festival, is impossible to duplicate.
Looking for a place to stay around The Gorge? Take a look at the options below!
THING Music & Arts in Port Townsend
THING is a multi-day festival that features music, arts and “other things” at the notable historic location of Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA. Fairly new to the festival scene, the event successfully features a highly curated lineup full of diverse performers.
THING places an emphasis on their audience being able to make fresh discoveries of new and upcoming musicians. Creating an environment where all people are welcomed, represented and lifted is part of THING festival’s core driving values and mission.
The weekend always includes a completely individual mix of musicians, comedians, visual artists, talks, and expositions on STG Presents’ educational and community-development programs. With four stages, including two outdoor stages, the McCurdy Pavilion which was a former balloon-hangar that’s been cleverly converted to house a theatre, and an intimate art venue, the Wheeler Theatre, you’re sure to find your vibe at this festival. 2019 was their inaugural year, and they completely SOLD OUT.
Fort Worden, a former military base, is the festival grounds for THING. Encompassing 434 acres of land, 12 miles of hiking trails through the forest, 2 miles of walkable shoreline and beaches, and gorgeous views into the surrounding Puget Sound, this place makes for the perfect outdoorsy festival linked to nature. The historic property is constantly evolving to be a “lifelong learning center,” and THING invites you to join in their discovery through music, art, culture and many other things.
Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, WA
Bumbershoot is an amazing music and arts festival that happens every year in downtown Seattle, Washington with the famous Space Needle as the backdrop. It’s become one of North America’s largest festivals, taking place at the 74-acre Seattle Center every Labor Day weekend. Built for the 1962 World Fair, the Seattle Center is an incredible festival grounds providing both indoor venues and outdoor theaters.
Currently, production teams are reimagining Bumbershoot—Seattle’s most famous Music & Arts Festival. They’ve decided to partner with a coalition of Seattle-based arts and cultural leaders to build and enhance the sustainability of the festival’s structure. Their aim is to drive the festival forward in new and beneficial ways while still maintaining the original spirit, boldness and thrilling appeal the festival has had for many years.
Working to transform their festival into a year-round brand, Bumbershoot hopes to focus on educating the youth, creating opportunities for artists, elevating marginalized voices, and reimaging how festivals can serve the people.
Realigning Bumbershoot festival will help it flow with the growth, identity, direction and uniqueness of the Seattle area and demographic. Their mission seeks community partnerships, featuring the region’s favorite food, film, art, performances, comedy, and music all throughout the year.
Attending a Bumbershoot festival, you’ll fill your spirit with discovery, witness spectacular visual arts, make art alongside professionals, hear from underserved communities, and see a revitalized culture of creatives. Bumbershoot supports, celebrates, and amplifies the diversity within the Seattle arts scene.
And One More Festival in Idaho!
Treefort Music Festival in Boise, ID
Treefort Music Fest is truly a tickle-of-joy for the Treasure Valley’s universe. A surge of locals and visitors take over Boise (the City of Trees) every March for this 5-day festival. Here, you see the community coming together to feature incredible indie music, and various spotlights showing what Boise, Idaho, has to offer.
The buzz of live music and energy literally pulsed through the city during the festival. Treefort is truly a one-of-a-kind experience that transforms the whole of Boise into a music, art and culture lovers’ haven. Look around and you’ll find “Tattoo Fort,” “Copy Fort,” and “Hair Fort,” painted on tattoo parlors, print centers and salons.
Every year, Treefort manages to create a totally unique event that attendees obsess over. Treefort is much more than a weekend, it’s five days packed full of live music, and so much more. Treefort hosts an eclectic lineup of bands. On occasion, romping around Treefort, you’ll stumble upon a show and without a doubt, they’ll become one of your new favorite bands.
Treefort is awesome because after the shows, the bands become the fans of the other bands and you can meet many band-members sticking around through the weekend, appreciating other musicians’ art and making connections.
Foodfort and Alefort go out of their way to provide local cuisine and mixologists that serve a limited hand-crafted menu. At Treefort, there’s “something fun for everyone,” and it keeps expanding to include new ideas and offerings from the community. There are many interesting modifications of “Fort” including: Dragfort, Filmfort, Storyfort, Yogafort, Artfort, Kidfort, Hackfort and more.
Treefort is for experiencing music, bettering yourself through classes, and communal-learning through talks and presentations.
Enjoy a Local Festival This Year
Music, culture and art are all ways to uplift ourselves and our communities. Dancing together to a common beat, sharing smiles and laughter, witnessing incredibly rare musical moments, and participating in art projects are all things that bring us together.
The natural beauty of Spokane and nearby locations offer a wide range of venues for many festivals across the Pacific Northwest.
Which festivals are you the most excited for this summer? New to the area? We hope to see you at one of these fabulous festivals near Spokane!