Doe Bay Fest offers a chance for visitors to escape the city and listen to quality music all with picturesque views nearby. Locals get a chance to mingle with crowds not typical for most island venues and an opportunity to hear musicians that may not otherwise venture to the isle.
For me, Doe Bay Fest offers us – that sometimes mysterious yet at the same time logical – common love for the language of song. From hip-hop to indie rock to Americana to electro-soul, the crowd swayed together with that almost inexplicable union a great tune can inspire in even the most diverse masses.
At the fest, toddlers with padded ear protection, 20-somethings in plaid and middle-aged music lovers in comfy chairs joined together and everyone seemed to be smiling.
This year marked the sixth annual Doe Bay Festival presented by Doe Bay Resort and Artist Home. This weekend festival, running August 8 to 11, featured an extensive line-up of musicians, local cuisine, camping and activities. Musicians included Built to Spill, Shabazz Palaces, Ken Stringfellow with the Maldives, Radiation City, Fly Moon Royalty, Cumulus, La Luz, Star Anna, the Torn ACLs, Animal Eyes, Lonesome Shack, Bobby Bare Jr.'s Criminals Starvation League, Quinn DeVeaux and the Blue Beat Revue, You Me and Apollo, Naomi Wachira, Courtney Marie Andrews, Tomten, Smokey Brights, the Grizzled Mighty, Passenger String Quartet and Mikey and Matty.
Every year there are secret acoustical shows at midnight. This year’s Friday night secret show was with Doug Martsch, lead singer from Built To Spill, performing with the Passenger String quartet under the apple tree in one of the resort’s fields
Joe Brotherton, the owner of Doe Bay Resort, said the numbers of attendees were similar to previous years.
“With over 150 musicians as compared to about 1,000 guests, we continue to have the highest performer to guest ratio of any fest,” he said.
Tickets for the concert typically sell out fast. In 2011 tickets sold out in May in just three minutes before a line up had even been announced. Although Doe Bay Fest officially sold out this year, the resort offered 20 extra tickets for Orcas Islanders for $90 who didn’t buy tickets in time. The 40-plus locals I saw at the fest were clearly enjoying themselves.
“We are getting experienced at this and try very hard to minimize impacts on our fellow islanders,” said Brotherton in a press release.
After the finale on Saturday evening it was announced that there will be a seventh Doe Bay Fest.
The festival may create longer lines at the ferry terminal, but I think for the few days that it exists, I urge islanders to check it out and not only hear the rhythm of the music, but see the power of song binding us all together.
Visit DoeBayFest.com for more information.