One of the Pacific Northwest's biggest music festivals is no more.
The Sasquatch Music Festival has officially folded, founder Adam Zacks announced in an email today.
"Today we take a bow and bid fond farewell to Sasquatch!," Zacks wrote. "I will no longer be producing the Festival, nor will it take place in 2019."
Zacks, a concert promoter who previously booked shows at Portland's Roseland Theater, started the festival in 2002 after moving to Seattle. Held at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Wash., the first edition of the festival featured a jam-heavy lineup including Dave Matthews Band, Ben Harper and the String Cheese Incident, and went on to host the likes of Modest Mouse, Nine Inch Nails, the Flaming Lips and thousands of other acts in a variety of genres.
But Sasquatch had struggled in recent years.
In 2014, an attempt to run two editions of the festival in a single season, one on Memorial Day and another on the Fourth of July, failed, with the second weekend getting canceled. In 2016, The Oregonian reported that the festival's attendance numbers dropped by over half. The next year, the organizers responded with a more youth-oriented lineup that was roundly panned online—to make matters worse, Frank Ocean canceled his headlining appearance just weeks before the festival. This year's edition had a much older slant, with headliners including indie rock stalwarts the National and Modest Mouse.
"17 years is a long time to do anything. The Beatles lasted a mere 8 years, a fact so astonishing it is difficult to believe," Zacks wrote. "While we didn't accomplish anything as indelible as "Hey Jude", the Festival left a lasting mark and proudly represented an independent spirit."
Here is Zacks' full statement:
28 June 2018 “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Theodor Geisel Today we take a bow and bid a fond farewell to Sasquatch! I will no longer be producing the Festival, nor will it take place in 2019. The Festival began 17 years ago on a hunch, greenlit on nothing more than a name and instinct there was space for something with a uniquely Northwest flavor, on Memorial Day weekend, at one of the most beautiful locations on Earth – The Gorge. 17 years is a long time to do anything. The Beatles lasted a mere 8 years, a fact so astonishing it is difficult to believe. While we didn’t accomplish anything as indelible as “Hey Jude”, the Festival left a lasting mark and proudly represented an independent spirit. Sasquatch! will forever remain a tapestry of the people who worked with us, the artists who inspired us, and the
varied experiences of the fans who attended it … of friendships made, engagements, hilltop weddings, permanent tattoos, once in a lifetime collaborations, weather events both treacherous and magnificent, at least one very public conception, and, of course, hundreds of awe inspiring performances. My humblest gratitude to all of you. May the spirit that made Sasquatch! so special live on. Onward to the next adventure, Adam Zacks
See Related: MusicfestNW Will Not Happen in 2018.