Cover photo by Kenneth Kearny and used with permission of Summer Meltdown
One of my favorite festivals, Summer Meltdown, has just dropped an absolutely incredible lineup. Although smaller in size, the intimate festival brings in some fantastic acts. Tucked away in the mountains of Washington, Meltdown offers a relaxed, family-friendly vibe, lush forests to camp in, snow-capped mountain views and a river to relax in during the day. Headlining this year’s Summer Meltdown is Griz, Greensky Bluegrass, Big Wild, Jai Wolf, The Disco Biscuits, Galactic and Opiuo. Behold full lineup below:
A Closer Look
“Funk” seems to be the overarching theme this year! I can’t wait to boogie to Griz’s saxophone and get my bluegrass fix with Greensky Bluegrass, who absolutely killed it closing the festival in 2018. Griz has been touring his new album Ride Waves across the world and always puts on an epic show. He is returning to Meltdown after performing there last in 2016. Playing this year is also Big Wild, who has certainly made a name for himself with his distinct melodic / indie sound. Jai Wolf’s atmospheric and dreamy tones bring me to tears, especially every time I see him he play “Indian Summer.” Along with these, I am ridiculously overdue to see the immensely talented Disco Biscuits and thrilled that they’re playing this year. Funkmasters Galactic have just released their first studio album in three years called Already Ready Already. The group is known for seamlessly blending funk, rock n’ roll, and a dash of pop into a sound all their own. Opiuo has really honed in on his trademark electro-funk sound, creating lots of new music since I’ve seen him last in 2015. All in all, this will be a weekend of unforgettable sets!
Funky Days and Dubby Nights
While we are all capable of raging at noon, we don’t have to at Meltdown…. Music tends to be more of the laid-back, jam-band types of music during the day, unleashing the wubs and dubs at night for the most part. They ease us into the dubstep and bass music, which you’ll appreciate on day FOUR of the festival. Meltdown is a marathon, not a sprint! Music tends to start a little later in the afternoon, usually around 3:00-4:00pm, which gives you plenty of time to explore some of the interesting workshops or relax in the river. If you choose to bring the family, there are tons of activities for the little ones including The Kids Zone.
Summer Meltdown is happening August 6-9th this year and is located in Darrington, Washington (about 2 hours outside of Seattle). The four-day festival feels easy breezy with a smaller sized venue /amphitheater and quick access to campsites on all sides. Running back to camp for a snack or quick outfit change (if you’re me) has never been easier!
Fewer Stages Means More Music
Booking household name artists in past years like Big Gigantic, STS9, Tipper, Clozee, Gramatik, Umphree’s McGee, Beats Antique and even Bassnectar (yes, you read that right–I was there!), Meltdown always brings first-rate talent with a great mix of local artists. With only two main stages who alternate turns playing and a late-night tent that only starts after the main stages close, it’s easy to catch nearly all of the artists on the lineup. That’s a rare occurrence, with so many festivals boasting 4-6 stages. Like anyone, my heart breaks a little when a festival books two artists I love at the same time, making me choose. You won’t have that problem at Meltdown. I’ve discovered lots of new and smaller artists at Meltdown, including High Step Society, MarchFourth and Five Alarm Funk, who are all PNW locals. They’re all worth checking out!
I cannot wait to be back for my 3rd Meltdown this August. If you still need convincing, take a look at the After Video from last year below. Tickets can be found here so what are you waiting for? I’ll see you there!
Get your tickets here!