After the success of Timber! Outdoor Music Festival last year, organizer Kevin Sur felt one emotion: a deep, abiding gratitude to everyone who had helped bring it off without a hitch.
It was a feeling that stuck with him as he chose soul revivalist Charles Bradley to top a 2014 lineup that includes J. Mascis, Damien Jurado and the Seattle Rock Orchestra. The festival runs July 24-26 and kicks off Thursday afternoon with a performance by the Shumba Marimba Ensemble.
“We felt like we had an overwhelming amount of support from the music community in making our first year a success, and that got me thinking about Charles Bradley,” Sur said.
“I have never experienced a more gracious performer on stage. Booking him and making it a goal to have him for Timber was just us trying to reciprocate that feeling of gratitude to the audience.”
Last year, more than 2,000 people poured into Tolt-MacDonald Park in Carnation for three days of sun, camping and music from a wide range of artists such as Helio Sequence, Quasi and Hobosexual. Sur said organizers expect that number to balloon to around 3,000 this year on the heels of Timberrr!, the winter music festival held in Leavenworth in January.
If you plan on camping out, buy your space now. The popular yurts have sold out and space is limited, though camping is not a requirement and is sold separately from three-day passes and individual day tickets.
Sur said he hopes to continue the festival mission of introducing attendees to music they might not otherwise encounter. Looking for a new favorite band? Check out the raw blues power of Lonesome Shack or The Shivas’ garage-pop bliss for starters.
Hip-hop fans will want to catch Tacoma native Rockwell Powers, who spits the kind of thoughtful raps that make songs about where you got your clothes seem silly. Powers and the cheerfully frenetic Postmadonna headline the July 24 after party at Peter’s Club Grill in Carnation, the only time the festivities leave the park grounds.
“He’s sort of the young hip-hop Springsteen in terms of how much energy he lets out,” Sur said. “He doesn’t leave anything on the stage. He puts everything into it.”
Sur knows not everyone will be there to party and said organizers have arranged plenty of things to keep people occupied throughout the day. There will be family activities like concerts for kids, hikes hosted by naturalists aimed at children, a root beer garden and an astronomy class at night, reinforcing the notion that Timber! is about more than just music.
“It’s really about creating as many options for folks as possible so people with different interests can all choose their own way,” Sur said. “We want to get young people out to discover music and invest in the future of our music community.”
Thursday-Saturday, July 24-26, Tolt-MacDonald Park, 31020 N.E. 40th St., Carnation; $65 for three-day passes, $20-$35 for single-day passes (timbermusicfest.com).
Owen R. Smith, on Twitter @inanedetails