What the Heck? Fest is my favorite festival in the Northwest. Magma Fest comes in at second place (sorry) in comparison. It's just like a summer family reunion where everyone is family and if you don't know anyone you'll quickly be adopted.
The festival has been taking place in Anacortes, WA for what will be 10 years this July 15th - 17th. If you've never been to Heck Fest, you need to know a few things:
It happens during an amazing rummage sale called Shipwreck Day where all of Anacortes comes out to sell stuff on Commercial Ave. Sometimes you can find old recording gear, state spoons, hats, etc. Last year I found a pair of oversized sunglasses (which disappeared in my last house two months later). You need to wake up early for this.
Saturday night there is usually a dance party at a bar (that'll probably be named when the schedule comes out). Last year songs were spun by Nick Krgovich, Gus Franklin, Steve Schroeder, and some other cool cats. 80s jams all around.
You can swim in a lake called Cranberry Lake. In fact, as a favor, please swim for me because I have the propensity to drown. If we're both at the lake at the same time, I'll watch you swim.
If you're planning to go, take Friday off because getting up to Anacortes early on Friday affords you the opportunity to explore the town. It's a beautiful place. This also keeps you from missing the Friendship Trail, which is kind of like an adventure train of people, led by Karl Blau, that makes frequent stops so that everyone can listen to a performer.
It's a good idea to get a full pass ASAP since they tend to sell out. The full pass gets you in on the dinner show but the shows at Causland Park are free and the louder bands play in a port warehouse (which you have to pay to enter).
Karl Blau will put a spell on you. He is a wizard, so watch out.
Most importantly: Everyone's super nice and mellow for the most part (the organizers and volunteers are understandably stressed, if even) so don't feel hesitant to high-five and make new friends!
If you can't make it at all that weekend but still have the internet, Hollow Earth Radio will be recording and broadcasting each performance that weekend (like we've been doing for a while).
When I emailed and asked if this was the complete lineup, I was told "The lineup on the bands page is 95% complete." Who is the other 5%?!? See a list of the bands / performers that I cut from the bands page after the jump.
"BB" Aaron Peck Angelo Spencer & Les Haut Sommets Arrington de Dionyso's Malaikat dan Singa Bitpart Boating With Clyde Brave Irene Broken Water Bryan, Frank, and Bob D+ Earth For The Birds Found Sound Collage Hungry Cloud Darkening Karl Blau LAKE Laura Leif Liturgy Lois Mecca Normal Mount Eerie Nicholas Krgovich Ô Paon Purple & Green Sam Lohmann Sleepy Lagoon Stephen Steinbrink (AKA French Quarter) Takhoma The Drink Up Honey the Hive Dwellers The Violins the Zaps Thrones To Bad Catholics Vanessa Renwick Wyrd Visions
If you're interested in viewing photos from past festivals, you can find the group flickr pool here. FUN GAME: Try to find the photo where I'm playing a gong and dressed as a cowboy!