Sasquatch! Music Festival, one of the biggest and most established festivals in the Pacific Northwest, will not return in 2019. Founder and producer Adam Zacks wrote in a statement yesterday that he “will no longer be producing the festival, nor will it take place in 2019.” What will become of Sasquatch! after that remains unclear.
“Today we take a bow and bid a fond farewell to Sasquatch!” Zacks wrote. “The Festival began 17 years ago on a hunch, green-lit on nothing more than a name and instinct there was space for something with a uniquely Northwest flavor, on Memorial Day weekend, at one of the most beautiful locations on Earth—The Gorge. Seventeen years is a long time to do anything. The Beatles lasted a mere eight years, a fact so astonishing it is difficult to believe. While we didn’t accomplish anything as indelible as ‘Hey Jude,’ the Festival left a lasting mark and proudly represented an independent spirit.”
Started as a one-day event in 2012 at the Gorge Amphitheater in Gorge, Washington, by then-House of Blues promoter Zacks, Sasquatch! immediately became a force in the PNW. Kanye West, Coldplay, and Pixies all performed before it expanded to a three-day event in 2006. Sasquatch! even grew into a four-day festival between 2011 and 2013; Foo Fighters, OutKast, Wilco, Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, and just about every other Major Festival Headliner in the US rolled through in that period.
But things took a turn in 2014 when Sasquatch announced that it would expand to two weekends, running one lineup on Memorial Day weekend and another on Independence Day weekend. The latter was canceled after weak sales. In 2016, The Oregonian reported that the festival’s attendance had dropped significantly, and Frank Ocean made matters more difficult when he canceled his scheduled headline slot in 2017 at short notice. After seeking a younger crowd around Ocean’s performance, this year’s edition, held in late May, was headlined by Bon Iver, The National, and local heroes Modest Mouse.
“Sasquatch! will forever remain a tapestry of the people who worked with us,” the statement continued, “the artists who inspired us, and the varied experiences of the fans who attended it, of friendships made, engagements, hilltop weddings, permanent tattoos, once in a lifetime collaborations, weather events both treacherous and magnificent, at least one very public conception, and, of course, hundreds of awe inspiring performances. My humblest gratitude to all of you. May the spirit that made Sasquatch! so special live on. Onward to the next adventure.”
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