Cover photo by Kenneth Kearny and used with permission of Summer Meltdown
One of my favorite festivals, Summer Meltdown, is back with an absolutely incredible lineup. Although smaller in size, the intimate festival brings in some fantastic acts. Located a short distance from Seattle in Snohomish, Washington, Meltdown offers a relaxed, family-friendly vibe, lush forests to camp in, and a river to relax in during the day. Headlining this year’s Summer Meltdown is Griz, STS9, Greensky Bluegrass, Lettuce, Cory Wong, Jade Cicada and Opiuo. Behold the full lineup below and more information here.
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. Jamtronica legends Sound Tribe Sector Nine, or STS9, are the perfect union of jam band meets psychedelic rock meets electronica. In addition to their 20+ year catalogue of music, their lights and laser show are second to none in the industry.
Griz has been hustling the last few years and consistently creating new music. Ranging from funky fresh to dubstep and everything in between, he always puts on an epic show. He is returning to Meltdown after performing there last in 2016. Opiuo has really honed in on his trademark electro-funk sound, creating lots of new music since I’ve seen him last in 2015. His live sets are nothing short of epic fun. Funk masters Lettuce also have a 20+ year catalogue of music to choose from and are not to be missed!
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.
New Venue, Who Dis?
After a three-year hiatus, Summer Meltdown returns July 28-31st this year and will have a new home. The new venue is located in Snohomish, WA at Sky Meadows Park which is about an hour outside of Seattle. The owners created a video explaining how the new venue has all of the same perks, featuring a river (an important feature of Meltdown). As a family-run venture, I believe them when they say this venue is a worthy option. Check out this video for more info.
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 July. 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!