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Sasquatch, better known as Bigfoot, is claimed by some to be a large, bipedal hairy humanoid creature living in remote wilderness areas such as forests in the Pacific Northwest. Coincidentally, his features are similar to that of Jared Herdlevar, a junior currently enrolled in Everett High School. Jared, a music connoisseur, has been traveling to the Gorge in Eastern Washington to attend Sasquatch Fest for two years, making each year of school slightly more bearable. He believes that this year will be the best, and not without reason; bands such as, the Flaming Lips, Iron and Wine, Beck, Death Cab for Cutie, The Shins, and the orthodox Jewish reggae artist, Matisyahu will be jamming day and night at the Gorge Amphitheatre.
Festivals aren’t all about the music but quirky quarrels that inevitably happen at a high tempo concert. Usually one would be afraid for their health watching nearby human bodies fly off the stage into the crowd like a rag doll. Something floating through the atmosphere alters this feeling of self defense and welcomes the concert chaos. Upon asking about Jared’s most exhilarating moment he revealed this anecdote. “At a Modest Mouse concert I was at, a roadie stage dove accidentally kicking a girl in the face, she bled profusely…” This situation was not just an adrenaline rush. In a twisted way, Jared benefited from the girls pain. While the roadie mumbled an apology still lying on a sea of hands, He stole his large Indian style Crocodile dress shoe. “It sits on my windowsill to this day; it’s a great conversation starter.”
Interesting conversations are readily available at a music festival. Concerts are drenched in culture. In school students pass the same familiar people in halls murmuring jokes, in return receiving dry chuckles day after day. In depth conversations come as a rarity in a school full of students just wishing to return home. At a concert, if you’re not too timid you can meet full-fledged Rastafarians, philosophers, and even acid tripping hippies.
It seems that all these people migrate to the gorge like geese, but who can blame them? Nothing beats the scenic backdrop of the limitless sandstone rising ruggedly over the Colombia River. The combination of solitude and happy people make the Gorge amphitheatre shine like a gem. Jared mentions that the lack of parental supervision is also a defining character of the Gorge. This, and the extreme day time heat also tends to make women wear very minimal clothing.
Don’t forget to pack extra underwear. Since the festival spans three days people camp out in the parking lot for a fee of $40 per vehicle, per day. When the music is over, usually around midnight, the fans come back to their car for the second half of the festival. The after math of the concert defines the word bacchanalian. It is not something to be missed, sober or not. After a pixies concert, Alex Mckee, also a concert enthusiast proclaimed, “I was walking around after a concert checking out all the mini-parties, and at one point, I joined a huge drumming circle. There were probably twenty people making incredible beats on congas and bongos with dancers in the middle. It was insane.” Staying up late can provide as much of an experience as the concert itself. Retiring early, although good for energy restoration, will probably bid you a few drunken visitors accidentally mistaking your tent for theirs. This can be burdensome.
As night turns to day, sounds of guitars and the golden light filter into the tents, waking up the majority of the fans, beside the individuals who over indulged. Tunes play and skillets sizzle with bacon and eggs for breakfast before the cycle is repeated with new musicians. Finally after the three days are done, every one bids the ones met the night before a good bye. Traditionally, Jared and his friends make a stop at Dick’s restaurant recapping on the best band and the wildest experience. Upon asking Jared his thoughts on Sasquatche’s vitality he replied, “Every time you go to the gorge, Sasquatch lives.”