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Your guide to Washington music festivals this summer

Whether it’s song, dance, comedy, or camping, you’ll have no trouble finding something to your taste in this season’s festivals

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With summer only two short weeks away, now is a better time than ever to plan out which summer music festivals to attend. Luckily, there are a number of these events hosted in Seattle and the nearby area, each of varying lengths and with an endless number of eye-catching headliners. With these festivals to look forward to, you hopefully won’t be missing Sasquatch! too badly this summer.


Paradiso, June 14 to June 15

Situated in the middle of central Washington in the city of George, Paradiso is a rave festival consisting of theme park rides, shows, and multiple performances at the Gorge Amphitheatre, located just off the Columbia River. Paradiso’s lineup is packed with big names in the EDM and DJing scene, including Markus Schulz, Kaskade, and Zeds Dead.

While tickets are officially sold out at this time, you can find two-day passes for resale around $400 and single-day passes for $250-$300. If you’re only interested in camping, which offers a limited view of the Gorge from behind the larger audience, tickets will go for around $120 at the time of publication.

Capitol Hill Block Party, July 19 to July 21

A favorite of Seattleites, Capitol Hill Block Party is a music festival hosted in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. This year’s lineup consists of many big headliners, including Lizzo, Mitski, Aminé, Denzel Curry, JPEGMAFIA, Medasin and Saba to name a few.

If, like many college students, your pockets are looking empty this summer, Capitol Hill Block Party is one of the more economical options on this list that still offers viewership of big headliners, with single-day passes going for $70 and three-day passes reaching $160. A VIP pass, intended only for those over 21, gives you a dedicated check-in line, access to VIP bars and lounges, and two drink vouchers per day on all three days for $300.

Taking place right in the heart of Capitol Hill, this festival is sure to make its mark on the streets of Seattle.

Watershed, Aug. 2 to Aug. 4

If you’re a fan of country music, look no further than Watershed. Located in George, Washington at the Gorge (same as Paradiso), Watershed is another three-day event filled with huge headliners in the country scene, including Miranda Lambert, the Zac Brown Band, Chris Young, Jason Aldean, and a host more, with a total of 17 performers on the main stage.

Tickets may make a significant dent in your wallet, however, with general admission tickets starting at $215 and VIP packages going for $575. Camping passes are sold out on their website but can be purchased from resale for around $240 for general and family passes, with terrace ‘glamping’ passes going for upward of $940.

Bumbershoot, Aug. 30 to Sept. 1

Located in the heart of Seattle in Seattle Center, Bumbershoot is one of the longest-running art festivals hosted in Washington, showcasing multiple disciplines, including visual arts, dance, film, music, and many more. In addition, Bumbershoot is definitively the biggest festival in Washington in terms of recognizable headliners, with massive names in the music scene such as Tyler, the Creator, SOB X RBE, Louis The Child, H.E.R., and more. The UW’s own i///u will also be playing. Bumbershoot boasts an impressive lineup of non-musical shows too, including Dulcé Sloan, Zack Fox, Drag Queens of Seattle, and Quinta Brunson to name a few.

Due to its heavyweight list of performers, Bumbershoot comes with a steep price tag, with three-day tickets going for $220, $475, and $795 for general admission, VIP, and Emerald, respectively. Purchasing VIP tickets will give access to VIP areas and lounges, and Emerald tickets are catered toward festival-goers 21 and up to access even more exclusive lounges, festival entrances, and complimentary beverages and snacks.

Whether it’s the crooning country sounds of Watershed or the electronic dance of Paradiso, the Seattle area is sure to have a show fitting of anyone’s individual tastes. And with the inclusion of theme park rides and visual and performing arts in a number of these events, you’re sure to find enjoyment in a variety of mediums this festival season. Despite the loss of Sasquatch!, this summer is packed with events for music festival enthusiasts, ensuring that you can see huge artists without even leaving the state.

Reach contributing writer Arbaz Khan at Twitter: @arbazinator

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