Not That WTF . . . A Preview of Oregon’s What The Festival?!
- By Josh McHale
- Published on July 19, 2012
|Photo Courtesy of What The Festival?! Facebook|
It's summer in Oregon once again – the time of year when inhabitants of the unforgiving Northwest finally get to soak up the coveted sun in an otherwise overcast and soggy part of the world.
Not much compares to those few fabulous months. It’s a time when one can drive up to a mountain lake for the weekend and bask in the majesty of the mighty Cascade Range, spend some time on the sparsely populated Oregon coast or attend one of the amazing music festivals that Oregon has to offer.
After all, we're well into July and there's only two months left before we pull that rain jacket back out of the closet and prepare ourselves for another long, wet, winter.
[FIND the complete lineup, ticketing information and more details on the festival's official website.]
So what better way to spend it than at the inaugural What The Festival?!, taking place from July 27 to 29 in White River Canyon. Some of the best names in electronic music, including Beats Antique, Ghostland Observatory, Big Gigantic, MiM0SA, Bonobo, Emancipator and more, will travel to the top left and one of the most breathtaking desert valleys in the state.
The ambitious festival boasts an expansive lineup that’s solid from top to bottom. Headstash Magazine caught up with Matt Dressman, the marketing director for the event, and talked with him about the inception for the event, the unique venue and the overall experience they hope to create.
Headstash Magazine: What The Festival?! is brand new, but looks like it may be one of Oregon's biggest festivals of the year. Can you tell me how this got started?
Matt Dressman: It started with a vision from our producers for a unique, sophisticated spin on the traditional festival experience. We found our home in Oregon's White River Canyon rather synchronistically and everything fell into place after that.
HM: Describe to us what White River Canyon is like – it’s a brand-new venue right?
MD: White River Canyon is gorgeous! Situated in a beautiful desert valley adjacent to Mount Hood and surrounded by rocky canyon bluffs. People should expect amazing views and lots of sun.
|Photo Courtesy of What The Festival?! Facebook|
HM: Aside from securing an amazing lineup of musicians, what other types of activities is WTF focusing on?
MD: We've been extremely focused on the overall attendee experience and on providing an engaging, relaxing, well-rounded weekend.
On top of the stacked lineup of mind-blowing music on high-end sound systems, there will be an array of engaging chill zones, large interactive art installations, unusual performances and an expansive marketplace with fantastic crafts and food.
[FOLLOW What The Festival?! on Facebook.]
People will be able to kick back in an open-air hookah lounge, enjoy a shower and sauna at the Oasis, get in some morning yoga, lounge at the sandy beach splash pool and lots more.
HM: I know you guys are putting an emphasis on the visual art as well. What are some of the installations your most excited to see at the event?
MD: Lots of exciting, interactive art will be showcased. The "Candelaphytes" are amazing large, steel dancing trees from another planet. I'm particularly psyched about the interactive "Lily Flowers" installation – climbable mega-flora!
The "Dreamseed Temple" is an extremely intricate tetrahedral structure made entirely of wood. There will be many more interactive, experimental exhibits spread out all over the festival, including a larger-than-life comic book, a gypsy wagon, a sound cave and more. Not to mention all the live painting and performance art. It will be a feast for your eyeballs.
HM: In your opinion, what are some of the must-see musical performances of the weekend?
MD: Wow, where to begin? The entire lineup was carefully curated spanning a wide variety of styles from all over the world.
|White River Canyon, OR - Photo Courtesy of What The Festival?! Facebook|
HM: What's been the biggest challenge in organizing this entirely new festival?
MD: Hmm. It's been a really great experience building the brand from the ground up. We've been evolving very organically and refining the vision with each passing week.
[FIND complete lineups, ticketing information and analysis of all your favorite festivals via our 2012 Festival Guide.]
I wouldn't say it's been a challenge, but as is the case with all new brands, we've been working very hard to raise awareness of the festival and everything that is going into it.
HM: What are you most excited to experience at WTF?!
MD: I am so excited to see the realization of this vision and the countless hours of work from so many people over so many months come to fruition. I can't wait to be surrounded by a community of thousands of people enjoying themselves and being immersed in the first of many incredible What The Festivals?! experiences.
What The Festival takes place July 27 to 29 in White River Canyon, Oregon and features Beats Antique, Ghostland Observatory, Big Gigantic, MiM0SA, Claude VonStroke, Bonobo and many more. For the complete lineup and more details, check out the festival’s official website.