Breaking down the 2017 Sasquatch lineup

January 24, 2017

There have been mixed reviews for the 2017 Sasquatch! Music Festival lineup since it was released Monday morning at midnight. Twenty One Pilots fans have been losing their collective minds, souls and bodies to the news that the duo will be headlining one of the three evenings on Memorial Day weekend, while Frank Ocean fans are breathing a sigh of relief that the first-announced, then-withdrawn, headliner is still on the official bill.

The ultimate Sasquatch! Playlist

Let's break down how the 2017 lineup looks, piece-by-piece:

Who isn't coming?
Perhaps the first thing we noticed was who isn't on the lineup. We had Steven do a prediction post that, well, it wasn't even close, but I don't think it was completely his fault, specifically in the cases of LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire, who are both touring this summer and are both free Memorial Day weekend.

Other artists on the snub list that happen to be busy that weekend include Bon Iver, Solange (who had a HUGE 2016), Mumford & Sons, the XX, Weezer, The 1975, Cage the Elephant and a few others. Sasquatch ended up splitting the spoils with Boston Calling this year.

Every Sasquatch lineup since 2002

The Headliners
A headlining trio of Twenty One Pilots, Frank Ocean and Chance the Rapper may spawn a different vibe or crowd than 2016’s rock-heavy The Cure, Disclosure, Florence and the Machines and Alabama Shakes.

This years’ top-billed names took a turn away from legacy acts like OutKast, Sleater Kinney and Robert Plant like we have seen in the last few years and trended toward a more “currently trending” crop of artists that you might find in your “Viral” playlist on Spotify.

That isn’t a bad thing, though. While the acts we have grown accustomed to seeing on the main-stage at The Gorge take a back seat, lower down the poster (The Shins, The Head and the Heart, Phantogram), the new approach to the lineup will draw a definitively more diverse (and possibly younger) crowd into the Sasquatch festival fold.

People who love Twenty One Pilots SO much

The Side Stages
As I said, there are plenty of acts to soak in under the sun at both the Yeti and Bigfoot stages in 2017 beyond the acts you have already come to know like The Shins, The Head and the Heart, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and Phantogram (who are all likely to play the main stage, just earlier in the day).

Car Seat Headrest had a huge 2016 and has a busy Memorial Day weekend, bouncing between both Boston Calling and Sasquatch! before heading to Bonnaroo the following weekend. Electronic music from Bob Moses, Rüfüs du Sol and Bellingham’s Mannatee Commune are all worth taking the time to see if you make the trip over.

Other bands I recommend:  Porter Ray (hip-hop), American Football (math rock, post rock), Jagwar Ma (psychedelic dance) and The Hotelier (Emo, Indie Rock)

Overall, the lineup may indeed give the festival a different vibe than years past, but that's OK. A new generation of people are coming into their festival-going years (which can last forever, as we all know), and their taste in music is going to inherently change who ends up on that lineup. Sure, a couple legacy acts might hold a lot of the traditionalists over, but you have to try something new occasionally to see how it goes. 

I personally am looking forward to a weekend of New Music Discovery and finally seeing Chance the Rapper who might as well be the king of festivals this summer.

Tweet your reactions to The End
Tell Branden he's wrong