Sasquatch Festival: So Long and Fare Thee Well … Thanks for the Memories.
Everybody has most likely heard the news that the Sasquatch! Music Festival is no more. Yes, after 17 years of The Gorge Amphitheatre rocking Memorial Day weekend -- to which eight of those I spent covering the festival -- producer Adam Zacks has stepped down, and the festival will not be taking place next year.
But for me, it's a different story. I wasn't lucky enough to make it to Sasquatch when it first started. I had lived in North Carolina from 2002-05, and didn't know about the festival until 2006. But it wouldn't be until 2010 that I actually covered it as a music journalist. I thought that one year would be enough for me. Sadly I was mistaken. Sasquatch became my Woodstock for the next eight years. As a matter of fact, my wife Janice's birthday happens to be on the same weekend. So we always either celebrated it before Sasquatch or after. In later years I used Sasquatch as a training weekend to psych myself for the upcoming summer concert season.
But if not for the estimated 10,000 photos I shot there, I have many favorite memories of Sasquatch. For example, in 2010 my buddy Tim and I were hanging out in the media room (which happened to be empty for some reason) and out of the blue, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes strolled in like it was no big deal. Needless to say, both Tim and I ended up doing an impromptu photo shoot with Alex. Or the time I interviewed Grouplove and they invited me back to their camp to hang out and indulge in cannabis. I unfortunately declined, but ended up doing a photo shoot with the band that is still one of my favorite shoots to this day. Then there was last year when I twisted my ankle and was forced to cut my coverage short. But that doesn't compare to my good friend Suzi, who had to have her appendix removed during the festival, but came back the next day to finish the job. Then this year I was humbled to find out two of my photos from this year's fest made Rolling Stone.
I met many of my best friends and personal heroes who have helped shaped who I am -- not only as a photojournalist and writer, but also as a person. Sasquatch was like a big family reunion as it was the same group of people who all worked within the PNW, but also some of the cool cats who worked in other markets such as Los Angeles and Chicago.
As they say, "all good things must come to an end." But Sasquatch will live on in the hearts and memories of those who had the opportunity to experience it. A big shout-out to Adam Zacks for making Sasquatch one of the best things to happen in Central Washington. At least now I can finally spend time with Janice on her birthday.
Here's a gallery of some of my favorite shots from the past eight years. I still have stuff on my servers that I haven't edited. Maybe one of these days I will sift through those images.