PREVIEW: Summer Meltdown Festival 2016
Words By Coleman Schwartz
Photos By Jason Charme Photography
Summer is finally in full swing here in the Pacific Northwest, and as August arrives, anticipation is building in Washington for the annual Summer Meltdown Festival. Started by local jamband Flowmotion as a backyard party back in 2000, this event has expanded into the state’s premier boutique music festival. The event takes place at the incomparable Whitehorse Mountain Amphitheater, located in Darrington, WA. The venue takes its name from its jaw-dropping view of snow-capped Whitehorse Mountain, one of the jewels of the North Cascade.
2016’s lineup has taken a pronounced step in the electronic direction, particularly with respect to the headliners, while retaining a diverse swatch of artists from other genres to offer something for all types of music lovers. Thursday sees Vermont jamband Twiddle opening the mainstage, with Beats Antique bringing their unique blend of electronic and world music to headline the evening. Friday night will feature the indie-folk of the Shook Twins, the Budos Band’s instrumental afro-soul music, and a headlining performance from downtempo producer, Gramatik.
Friday’s late-night artists are Sunsquabi and Michael Menert and the Pretty Fantastics. Saturday’s mainstage shows will include a contagiously joyful set from California rockers ALO, leading up to a highly anticipated set of future-funk/electronica tunes from Michigan’s GRiZ. Saturday’s late-night sets will be performed by Manic Focus and Exmag. While you’d generally expect Sunday at most festivals to be a relaxed night, Meltdown has elected for their patrons to rage extremely hard on the final evening with a performance from Georgia’s STS9, who reprise their epic headlining slot from last year.
From top to bottom, the lineup is packed with varied offerings to attract a diverse crowd of music fans. The music combines with a serene setting in a forest of Douglas Fir to provide you with ample reasons to consider stopping by Summer Meltdown Festival this coming weekend. Tier 3 Weekend passes are still onsale, and they are $215 with camping included.