Looking for the best music festivals in Washington…? Well, look no further, because I’ve got them all covered for 2020!
Washington, one of the United States most important musical destinations, definitely doesn’t disappoint when it comes to putting on a show-stopping music festival schedule. There are some truly epic music festivals in Washington, and it helps that many of these are at the incredible Gorge(ous) Amphitheater!
Year-round, you can indulge in events statewide that are geared at all musical genres, from indie to hip hop, electronic to hard rock. Vibe to great tunes in ultra-hip Seattle, or discover lesser-known musical hubs like George, Tacoma, and Spokane.
So, why not take a road trip to the state that produced the likes of Kurt, Eddie and Jimi (just to name a few), and explore the scene for yourself?
Take a read through what I think are the Top 15 Washington music festivals in 2020, watch a few of the after-movies, and start planning your yearly summer festival schedule!
1) Beyond Wonderland
When: June 18-19, 2021
Where: The Gorge Amphitheatre
One of California’s most popular electronic music festivals is heading up to the PNW for the first time in 2021 (after the inaugural event in 2020 was forced to be cancelled), and I have no doubt it’s going to be an event that thousands will treasure for the rest of their lives. The Gorge is one of the most amazing festival venues in the world, and with Insomniac bringing their world-class festival production, it’s definitely going to be an incredible weekend filled with camping, dancing, and meeting fellow EDM addicts from around the world.
When: Mid-March 2020
Where: Tacoma Dome
“USC Events’ annual spring festival. A giant St Patrick’s Day celebration, this one-day green dance party features sets by the top EDM DJs, producers and artists in the country. Past performers include Zeds Dead, Steve Angello and Ape Drums.
Nature resurrects its poignant beauty, shaking from the cold of winter and with it brings a promise of more prosperous days. The warm embrace of Spring beckons and just around the corner, and off in the distance we can see the green, glistening isle of emerald. With this visage we feel with all of our being the abundance of luck that awaits.
Spring brings with it an enchanting world full of magical creatures, immersive sights and the comforting blanket of sound that only exists clad in a golden hue. At the end of our rainbow, the fortuitous experience is there, waiting to welcome us. Count the stars and embark into the world of: Lucky.”
3) Summer Meltdown Festival
When: August 6-9, 2020
Where: Darrington, WA
Where the Music Meets the Mountain!!!
Summer Meltdown is a music, camping, and adventure festival in Darrington, WA – an hour and a half into the Cascade mountains from Seattle and Bellingham. Summer Meltdown is known for its vibrant community that is open to all ages – from the kids zone, to the late night tent, to lounging in the beer garden – this festival offers fantastic experiences for everyone!
“We’re talking about 19 years of adventure and great music….
4) Bumbershoot Festival
When: September 4-6, 2020 (Labor Day Weekend)
Where: Seattle, Washington
Seattle’s Celebration of Music, Arts, & Creativity!
“Now approaching half a century, Bumbershoot is one of Seattle’s largest cultural touchstones. Each year, thousands of people from across the country flock to Seattle Center to attend this acclaimed festival, which has become one of the biggest and most-loved contemporary festivals in North America, while having maintained its Northwest spirit and innovative roots.”
If you’re flying into the city for the festival, be sure to stay at one of these amazing Airbnbs in Seattle!
5) Watershed Music Festival
When: July 31 – August 2, 2020
Where: The Gorge Ampitheater
‘Shedders unite at The Gorge for the biggest 3-day country and music festival in the Northwest!
While I wouldn’t typically attend a country music festival myself…I would never say no to the chance to spend a weekend in the gorge camping, drinking, and listening to live music with my friends! This is easily one of the best country festivals in the U.S.A, located in arguably the best venue in the entire continent!
With the 2019 headliners being Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band, and Jason Aldean – it’s safe to say it’s a must-attend for country music fans in the Pacific Northwest.
6) Seattle Hempfest Protestival
When: August 14-16, 2020
Where: Seattle, Washington
“Boasting the title of the world’s largest event advocating for the decriminalization of marijuana, Seattle HEMPFEST peacefully takes a stance on this controversial argument. Since its inception in 1991, the festival has grown to draw a crowd of more than 450,000 devoted attendees. Held as a three-day event, guests can join in a political rally, attend the arts and crafts fair and enjoy a heady lineup of live musical entertainment.”
7) Capitol Hill Block Party
When: July 2020 (Dates TBA)
Where: Capitol Hill, Seattle, Washington
“Capitol Hill Block Party is an annual, three-day music festival and block party held each July in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. With a six-stage setup of both indoor and outdoor venues, multiple beer gardens, and VIP lounges, CHBP provides a communal, accessible experience, continuously evolving since it was founded in 1997. Featuring national, big-name artists, promising local talent, and lesser-known performers across a variety of genres, CHBP exposes its 20,000+ attendees to a diverse balance of acts that appeals to all ages and music tastes.
Never failing to bring Seattle and neighboring cities together, CHBP has created a well-known name for itself alongside many national festivals.”
Check out this awesome review, “Review: Lizzo shines at highly anticipated 2019 Capitol Hill Block Party performance” for more information!
“With the last bass line dropped, the final White Claw hard seltzer crushed, the 23rd Capitol Hill Block Party Starring (OMG!) Queen Lizzo is in the books. Yes, there’s no doubt that this will go down as the year Lizzo ruled Block Party, delivering on what was easily the most anticipated set during the three-day bash on the Hill.
But with more than 120 acts spread across seven-plus stages, there were many award-worthy performances throughout the annual summer fete that drew roughly 29,000 fans to East Pike Street. To acknowledge these outstanding achievements, we present our inaugural (sure, maybe) Capitol Hill Block Party Most Valuable Performer Awards — or the CHBP MVPAs, if you will.”
8) Volume Inlander Music Festival
When: May 2020 (Dates TBA)
Where: Spokane, Washington
“Join us for Volume Inlander Music Festival – a once-a-year music extravaganza that showcases bands from all over the Northwest. Volume offers 100 bands at venues all over Downtown Spokane. One wristband gets you into every show, and onto the Spokane Party Bus for a quick ride to your next music destination.”
9) Olympic Music Festival
When: July 11-12, 2020 | August 8 – September 6, 2020
Where: Port Townsend, Washington
Artistic Director Julio Elizalde announces the Olympic Music Festival’s (OMF) 2019 summer season featuring chamber music’s most sought-after artists for six weeks of captivating performances in Port Townsend, Washington. Performers include superstar violinists Sarah Chang and Ray Chen, the return of Musicians from GardenMusic led by Louisville Orchestra Music Director Teddy Abrams, and many other prominent musicians from around the globe. The 2019 season takes place over six weekends from July to early September with twelve individual performances. Concerts begin at 2:00PM.
2019 marks the fifth year of the Olympic Chamber Music Fellowship – the OMF’s internationally recognized educational program. Considered to be one of the most unique professional training programs in the country, the Fellowship serves as a critical link for young artists transitioning from student life to facing the challenges of becoming a professional musician. The four fellows, selected through a highly competitive audition process, will spend two weeks at the OMF collaborating with mentoring artists while learning about the intricacies of a building a career through group discussions on rarely covered subjects such as taxes, management, and contract negotiations. This year’s fellows include current students and graduates of major music schools such as the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and Yale School of Music at Yale University.”
10) HONK! FEST WEST
When: June 5-7, 2020
Where: Seattle, Washington
To celebrate music, community, activism, diversity, cultural expression, representation, and love in 3 different Seattle neighborhoods!!
“HONK! Fest West is a free, non-profit, community music festival driven by the energetic performance of street bands in public spaces. Completely volunteer-planned and organized, HONK! festivals are a part of a global renaissance of community street band culture. For three days in Seattle area parks and streets, 25+ bands deliver music and celebration that is accessible to all.
HONK! bands are typically acoustic and mobile, often politically aware and articulate, and always high spirited. There is a rich community ethic among HONK!ers, who use their music to erode the barriers between professional and novice, and between audience and performers. Although uniforms are sometimes used as a performance tool, individuality is key, and group members often hail from all range of classes, ethnicities, ages, and backgrounds. Perhaps most importantly, the HONK!ers’ ultimate goal is to have fun, to relish the art of making fun as a form of individual and collective transcendence, and to encourage others to see and do the same.”
11) Wintergrass Music Festival
When: February 20-23, 2020
Where: Hyatt Regency, Bellevue, Washington
“Acoustic Sound is committed to preserving and promoting traditional, acoustic, American music through presentation and education, with special attention given to the bluegrass music community.
12) Critical Northwest
When: July 2020 (Dates TBA)
Where: Granite Falls, WA
Lost Cities & Civilizations
Critical is an official Burning Man regional event, and a program of Ignition Northwest.
“For sixteen years Critical Northwest has been dedicated to championing the spirit and principles of Burning Man in the Pacific Northwest. Every July we gather together to embrace the spirit and vision of the playa as we build something new right here in the woods and mountains of home.This year our theme, Lost Cities and Civilizations, will explore mythology from around the world. From the depths of Atlantis to the meadows of Tir na nÓg, the sands of Zerzura to the frost of Valhalla, we’ll delve into the commonalities and differences in the stories shaped by human imagination for as long as we’ve had the language to share our dreams.”
While I’m fully aware that Burning Man is not a music festival, I think the community here is similar to what I look for when I go to music festivals, so I include regional burns on my festival roundups! If you’re thinking about going to this festival or Black Rock City, check out my articles Burning Man Accessories, Costumes, Clothing, and Outfit Essentials, as well as my post about the Best Burning Man Goggles & Glasses.
13) Upstream Music Festival
When: Possibly returning in June 2020…?
Where: Pioneer Square, Seattle
“Upstream Music Fest + Summit is a three-day music fest where attendees can discover acclaimed national artists performing alongside rising stars from the Northwest. Our open campus in the heart of Seattle’s historic arts and entertainment district allows for serendipitous moments for fans and musicians alike, and our variety of ticket options means you can curate your perfect weekend of music.”
In early 2019 though, they announced they’d be taking a break, and posted the following message on Facebook. It looks like such an incredible event though, so I’m hoping they make a return in 2020!!
14) Above & Beyond Group Therapy Weekender
When: July 2021
Where: The Gorge Amphitheater, Washington
“Our first-ever Group Therapy Weekender was an incredible, life-affirming experience. A truly special weekend, together on one of the world’s best dancefloors. See you in 2021.” – Above & Beyond
So I was in attendance for this magical two-day #ANJUNAFAM party, and I was completely blown away by the experience! Not only was it my first time visiting the wondrous Gorge Amphitheater, which certainly is a top contender for the best music festival venue in the world, but it was also my first Anjuna event! While I don’t typically listen to too much trance music anymore, I had the time of my life dancing it up and being surrounded by one of the most loving and accepting communities in the electronic dance music industry.
While the first day was dedicated to the more EDM side of Anjunabeats, the performances by Jason Ross, Audien, Andrew Bayer, and Above & Beyond (perfomring for ABGT 250) were all fantastic. But my favorite day for music was the latter, which showcased the Anjunadeep sounds, for a purely melodic and euphoric experience! I had somehow never heard of either Luttrell or Yotto, but they were simply perfect!
While the Gorge Amphitheater is notoriously expensive (talking $12 a beer or so), I loved the camping experience, and met a ton of great friends! Keep an eye out for this festival’s return in 2021, as I promise you that you’ll have an epic experience!
15) Imagine Music & Arts Festival
When: September 2020 (Dates TBA)
Where: Doe Bay Resort, Orcas Island, Washington
“Thank you for joining us. Imagine Music & Arts Festival would like to present the latest rendition of our artistic endeavor. We will showcase cutting edge music along with visual and performance art in an amazing world-class setting. It is an honor for us to return once again to the beautiful Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island. Located on a remote point of one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Imagine is a place of a different time and a different pace. A place where magic happens and dreams can become reality. Please join us once again for Imagine…
At the Imagine Music & Arts Festival music is an art form. We’ve brought musicians from around the world and created a showcase throughout the weekend that will weave a beautiful emotional journey through your experience at Imagine. Featuring a collection of electronic dance music producers, live bands, acoustic live acts and ambient downtempo artists, you will leave inspired by the caliber of music you will encounter here.”
Bonus Festival – Sasquatch !?????
Where: The Gorge Amphitheater
Do you think Sasquatch will ever return…? It was seriously my biggest bucket list music festival in Washington, and I was absolutely horrified to hear that it wouldn’t be coming back for 2019, and most likely the future….
Read this article on how Sasquatch not Returning in 2019 for a bit more info, but it doesn’t seem too likely! It’s such a shame, because it was definitely one of the best festivals in America! They always delivered a top-notch line-up, amazing camping in an unbelievably beautiful destination, and an overall incredibly fun weekend. I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about Sasquatch, and that’s why I can’t leave it off this list!!
“Anchored on indie and alt rock, Sasquatch! also delves into hip hop, funk, electronic musics and more, choosing acts for their artistic creativity over commercial appeal. This approach combined with being set at the utterly beautiful Gorge Amphitheater makes this one of the best music festivals in the world.”
Check out this fun review: SASQUATCH IS THE FESTIVAL FOR MUSIC AFICIONADOS
I’m living in Washington now, so fingers crossed there’s somehow a massive revival and the festival returns in 2020!!
Am I Missing Any Epic Music Festivals in Washington…?
While I’m currently editing this post from Spain, I’ve been living in Washington for over 5 months now, and can’t wait to check out as many of these festivals as possible in the coming years! It’s not the most popular state in the U.S.A for music festivals, but there really are some solid options to choose from. If you think I’m missing any important ones that I need to add to my list, please do comment below or email me and let me know! Thanks!!
Looking for more music festivals…?
I’ve spent countless hours compiling the best music festivals, parties, concerts, and events all over the world! Check out a few of my favorite packing lists and festival round-up articles below, and feel free to reach out to me with any questions festival-related!! I’m always planning my next event!!
- 44 Festival Accessories, Gear, and Must-Haves | Festival Packing List
- The Ultimate Music Festival Camping Packing List
- Top 20 Music Festivals in Canada to Experience Before You Die
- 37 California Music Festivals That’ll Keep You Dancing All Year Long
- Top 20 San Diego Music Festivals | The Ultimate SD Festival Bucket List
- The Best 25 Music Festivals in Texas To Experience Before You Die
- The Top 25 Music Festivals in ARIZONA To Experience Before You Die
- The Best 25 Music Festivals in FLORIDA To Experience Before You Die
- 37 California Music Festivals That’ll Keep You Dancing All Year Long
- The 13 Best Music Festivals in New York to Experience Before You Die
- The Top 10 Music Festivals in Colorado To Experience Before You Die
- Top 21 Music Festivals in LAS VEGAS To Experience Before You Die
- 15 Epic Music Festivals in MICHIGAN To Experience Before You Die
- 20 Vancouver Music Festivals To Add To Your BUcket List
- Top 14 Music Festivals in OREGON to Experience Before You Die
Thanks for reading about these music festivals in Washington!!
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