The latest tips to help you savor the season’s sweet sounds.
It’s no secret that Seattle’s expanding population has also increased sold-out shows throughout this music-loving town. Especially in summertime, tickets sell like hotcakes to cool venues featuring even cooler performers—from talents on the cusp to already-established legends. We’ve gathered a few helpful hints for scheduling a season full of delicious tunes.
Over the years, word has gotten out about a magical little festival set in the Oregon woods (yes, Pickathon, we’re looking at you). This year, organizers note that the limited number of tickets available for the August 4-7 event have sold faster than ever before in the event’s 18-year history. We recommend buying yours now to ensure you don’t miss out on this joyful, family-friendly gathering hosted in Happy Valley, Oregon, on a tranquil farm property just outside Portland.
On intimate wooded stages and inside charming barn settings, be wowed by the likes of Jeff Tweedy, Wolf Parade, Beach House, Fruit Bats, Yo La Tengo, Mac DeMarco, Thee Oh Sees and so many more. Chances are, you’ll walk away with a few new faves, too. (Note that kids under 12 enter for free when attending with the family!) Trust us, this event will forever change your concept of festival-going experiences—in a most awesome way.
Next week, as part of the NW String Summit kickoff party, Bellingham-based folk rock group Rabbit Wilde returns to Nectar (Tuesday, July 12); they’ve sold out there in the past, so get your tickets ahead of time!
Free(!) downtown music amps up at this time of year, too; take advantage of complimentary extravaganzas like the daytime Out to Lunch Concert Series, Thursday evening performances at the Olympic Sculpture Park, Friday night gatherings featuring Belltown Beats and, on Fridays in August, KEXP & Seattle Center’s beloved Concerts at the Mural programming.
One of Seattle’s rites of summer, Capitol Block Party, will soon be upon us, too (July 22-24), and all summer long, ZooTunes fills an urban swath of green with happy picnickers and the sounds of acts like: Pink Martini featuring China Forbes and Storm Large (August 3 and 4), Jeff Beck (August 21) and Brandi Carlile (August 23 and 24).
Although many shows have already sold out for the popular series at Chateau Ste. Michelle, look into options like John Fogerty: Rollin’ On The River (July 29), Culture Club (August 11), Gipspy Kings (August 25), An Evening with Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (September 2) and Tears for Fears (September 18). These alfresco evenings take over the site of Washington State’s oldest winery, making an evening there especially decadent. Marymoor Park has an awesome lineup this summer as well.
CHINOOK & TIMBER! FESTS
If you need last-minute plans for this weekend, consider heading out to a valley near Naches, Washington, where the second annual Chinook Fest Summit spotlights “camping, local artisans, activities, food, Northwest beer, wine and cider, but most importantly … line-ups of quality, Roots Rock, Funk, Folk and Americana music.” Compass Outdoor Adventures will provide bike rentals and a free shuttle to Lake Keechelus for standup paddleboarding, as well as additional on-site games. (If you can’t make this one, plan now for Chinook Fest Central, happening September 9-11.)
The Timber! Outdoor Music Festival (July 14 through 16) enlivens Tolt-MacDonald Park in Carnation, only 30 miles east of Seattle. Here, relish a chill vibe and the sounds of Langhorne Slim and the Law (our personal favorite), Telekinesis, Deep Sea Diver, Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, The Maldives and Lemolo.
For a real change of scene, try your luck with a nearby casino staycation, coordinated to overlap with on-site music happenings. Explore the Snoqualmie Casino Concert Series, or rock out to shows at the Tulalip Amphitheatre (afterwards, indulging in an overnight stay in a recently-refreshed room at this beautifully designed resort).
SOUNDS OF SEPTEMBER
And then, we can think of no better way to culminate a summer of music than with the Seattle tradition of attending Bumbershoot during Labor Day Weekend. The year’s lineup looks especially epic, with some hometown heroes taking the stage like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis plus Deathcab for Cutie, Father John Misty, Billy Idol, KYGO, Margo Price, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Third Eye Blind and Andrew Bird. The list goes on…and we can’t wait.