You might think that creating another music festival to tempt Washingtonians this summer would be overkill.
After all, Capitol Hill Block Party is happening this weekend, and so are Jazz Port Townsend and an all-day smooth jazz festival at Chateau Ste. Michelle; country extravaganza Watershed is just around the corner; and Bumbershoot is set for the end of August.
However, the Timber! Outdoor Music Festival aims to do something a little different — namely get folks outside enjoying nature. The festival is a partnership between Artist Home Presents, which also presents the much smaller Doe Bay Festival, and King County Parks, which hopes to draw a big crowd for its inaugural run this Friday and Saturday at Tolt MacDonald Park in Carnation.
“Last winter King County Parks approached me about bringing music into their parks in the town of Carnation,” said festival organizer Kevin Sur, who started to put Timber! together just six months ago. “It’s just the perfect venue for what we do.”
While the Capitol Hill Block Party will feature heavyweights such as the Flaming Lips, Girl Talk and Dirty Projectors, don’t sleep on Timber’s lineup. There will be plenty of familiar names, such as Portland’s Helio Sequence, Quasi and Fruit Bats.
However, it’s the bands that aren’t as familiar that drive the festival’s philosophy.
“We tried to not just have the most popular names filling out our lineups,” Sur said. “We had over 400 bands submit to play Timber! and we listened to every single one. About half of our lineup we reserved for bands that are relatively unknown. It’s a big part of what we do and a big part of what we’re known for.”
Relative unknowns include protest singer Vikesh Kapoor, Pablo Trucker and Jenn Ghetto, who will be performing her haunting indie pop songs as “S.”
In between listening to music, Sur said he hopes attendees take advantage of the community atmosphere organizers hope to foster. Camping is a big part of Timber! and everything from $20 campsites for tents to $1,000 yurts that sleep up to a dozen are available.
The festival can accommodate up to 2,000 fans (Doe Bay caps out at 1,000). But, says Sur, consumer comfort is the priority.
“We’ve learned through our events that what people talk about most after aren’t things that happened on the stage but things that happened off the stage, those little quiet moments in between,” Sur said. “We’re trying to create a full immersion into nature and all these things that we ourselves love.”
Timber! Outdoor Music Festival: 4:15 p.m.-12:45 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-11:50 p.m. Saturday at Tolt MacDonald Park, 31020 N.E. 40th St., Carnation; $45 for two days.