The Summer Meltdown festival takes place in Darrington Washington. Darrington is small town tucked in the northwestern part of the state. Darrington is in a carved out section of two adjoining national forests, Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie, and Okanogan – Wenatchee. The festival takes place within the borders of the Darrington Blue Grass Music Park.
Washington is a bastion for music. People may not think of the Pacific Northwest as a popular music destination, but this entire state is constantly graced with musical tours, festivals, and shows from the most popular acts in the world. Artists love coming to our state for its beautiful amphitheaters like The Gorge, cozy concert houses like The Knitting Factory and Showbox Market. Washington crowds are no slouch either, filled with rambunxious hard working Pacific Northwesterners who love to let loose and party with their favorite bands. Some believe the music festival bubble is beginning to pop and recede with the death Gorge staple, Sasquatch Festival. While it’s sad to see Sasquatch go, nothing ever stays the same, and change brings about new adventures. The Summer Meltdown festival is one of Washington’s rising festivals and it’s poised to make a strong run in the coming years.
The Darrington Blue Grass Music Park is a secret of Washington. While it’s been hosting the Darrington Blue Grass Festival for the last thirteen years, it’s widely unknown to most festival goers, I just heard about it last year and I’ve been attending music festivals for 13 years, but the secret is up now. This music park is surrounded by mountains and forests and is close enough to the North Fork Stillaguamish River for campers to swim in. It’s been the home of Summer Meltdown since 2006.
Summer Meltdown’s lineup has steadily grown in notoriety. In the last few years, it draws acts such as Keys & Krates, Sol, Griz, Gramatik, Blue Scholars, and Sir Mix-A-Lot, but this year they’ve attracted one of their most stacked rosters to date that features the likes of Bassnectar, Big Gigantic, Beats Antique and Dave B.
Bassnectar is a revered artist in the electronic music scene, loved by casual and hardcore fans alike, you’d have a hard time finding someone to say something bad about Lorin Ashton A.K.A Bassnectar. His music ranges from heavy electronic bass that makes you want to bang your head and smash the ground like a gorilla, but he also has tracks that make you feel like you’re floating through space and sound on an electric cloud. Bassnectar will bring the melt for this year’s Summer Meltdown.
Staying with their roots, Summer Meltdown wouldn’t be complete without some bluegrass music. Greensky Bluegrass is bringing the country/rock twang. They’ve been defining their own sound within the bluegrass genre for the last 15 years and have made several appearances at Summer Meltdown. Their latest album, ‘Shouted, Written Down & Quoted’ is their sixth project. Greensky tours nationally, hitting 175 venues per year and sells out places like the Ryman Theater and Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Dave B is one of Seattle’s best and brightest. He’s Seattle City Arts Magazine Artist Of The Year, toured with Macklemore and was featured on Mack’s latest album ‘Gemini,’ Dave B is steadily making moves. It’s hard to decide if his singing or rapping is better, good thing he graces most of his tracks with both. He has a smooth hybrid sound reminds me of gospel, R&B, with a lyrical precision that I’ve come to love from Seattle MC’s. He’s a uniquely talented artist that Seattle is lucky to have. This is one set you don’t want to miss.
Five Alarm Funk is an all instrumental jam band hailing from Canada. This ska, rock, funk mix will have your feet moving. I don’t have much else to say other than these guys have a catchy nostalgic sound that old music heads are sure to love.
Big Gigantic is one of the most fun live performances you can see. This live-electronic duo is made up of a saxophonist and producer who are seen as pioneers of the genre. Dominic Lalli and drummer, Jeremy Salken have a goal to unite the world through electronic music and community. It’s a bold goal, but if you’ve ever been to one of their shows, the energy created within the crowd is a tiny slice of a peaceful utopia, filled with funky sounds and shaking asses.
Festival Workshops & Art Installations
Summer Meltdown is feeding your mind as well as your spirit. The weekend is filled with yoga, rhythm, and hooping workshops and art installations. There are schedules for the workshops below in the info section. Each art installation features a different artists work, some are creating it live throughout the festival. Some of these are interactive and many are there just to behold. There is truly too much to in Darrington over this four-day festival experience, good luck trying to get everything in.
Summer Meltdown Festival Info
Gate Hours: Thursday: 2pm-10pm | Friday: 10am-10pm | Saturday: 10am-10pm | Sunday: 10am-8pm
Pass Prices: 4 Day: $290 | Friday – Sunday: $250 | Saturday, Sunday: $210 | Sunday Only: $110
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Adults 21 and over can purchase up to one ounce of usable cannabis flower, 16 ounces of cannabis-infused edibles in solid form, 72 ounces of cannabis drinkables, and 7 grams of cannabis concentrates.
If you’re a registered medical cannabis patient, the limits are:
Three ounces of usable cannabis flower, forty-eight ounces of cannabis-infused edibles in solid form, two hundred sixteen ounces of cannabis drinkables, and twenty-one grams of cannabis concentrates, per the Washington State Department of Health.