Perhaps it was Time For a Change: Previewing Sasquatch 2017

Sasquatch 2016 was a dream for us indie music lovers. There were plenty of artists on the lineup just for us—Mac Demarco, Kurt Vile, and, of course, indie sweetheart Sufjan Stevens. So it wasn’t a surprise when the 2017 lineup announcement created quite a stir. Twenty One Pilots and Chance the Rapper really are reaching quite a different crowd than 2016 headliners The Cure and Disclosure. I mean, festivals are having a hard time lately (see Fyre Festival and the recently-bankrupt Pemberton Festival), and with the advent of the more art-centered festivals (see Eaux Claires and the Seattle-based Upstream) trying to reach indie crowds and the partygoer crowds in one go, some parties are taking a hit.

Last year alone, Sasquatch reportedly saw a 50% reduction in ticket sales over the year before. Festivals just can’t compete with as diverse and expensive of lineups anymore, and by the looks of it, that’s not what festival-goers even want, anyways. One can hardly blame Sasquatch, then, for going in a different direction. And sure, Twenty One Pilots was quite a shock, but if we can push onward, there are in fact quite a few gems. LCD Soundsystem seems like a very reasonable compromise for a Frank Ocean replacement. Besides that, we have a few smaller picks blatantly marketed to the indie crowd, including the teenage angst-riddled American Football, production extraordinaire Foxygen, Seattle darlings Car Seat Headrest (KILLER WHALES), and the Seattle artist brimming with power, DoNormaal.

(You can find our full lineup announcement & reaction piece here.)

While scanning a Sasquatch sub-Reddit looking for information regarding parking (driving separately from a friend, is there a place I can leave my car overnight and not buy a separate campsite?), I came across quite a few emotional posts, with speculation spreading that this year might be the festival’s last. I have to say user HWHAProb (American flag emoji) said it best:

“I’ve decided to refuse to let the politics of it all ruin my final day at this wonderful home of ours. Instead, I will spend it dancing my mind away to Big Freedia. I will spend it rocking out to Thee Oh Sees. I will spend it hugging my friends as we dance to ‘All My Friends’ in the pit. And I will spend it listening to the crowd harmonize and scream the long note on ‘Dance Yrself Clean.’”

Sasquatch has meant so much for our community of artists and friends, and as sad as we all are to see the numbers fall so low, why not come out and celebrate what we’ve created? Whether this will mark the last year of our legendary festival, or maybe just the beginning of a new direction in headliners and booking, those disposable camera pictures you have of your friends at Sasquatch from last year, and the year before, and the year before that, will stay on your bedroom wall to remind you of the good time we’ve all had.


JULIA OLSON | Nostalgic as heck | KXSU Head Reporter

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