If Summer Meltdown isn’t on your festival list, it should be. This under-the-radar festival is going on 16 years, and keeps getting better with each one. While its lineup masterfully blends folk, jam, and electronic music, it’s not just the music that has us traveling up to Washington this August. Read along for everything you need to know about what’s about to be one of your new favorite festivals.

The Location

Summer Meltdown is located at Darrington Music Park in Darrington, Washington. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s fine because I hadn’t either until I looked into the festival. It’s an incredibly beautiful venue that spans 40 acres of woods, mountains, and rivers in Northern Washington. It’s less than two hours from Seattle and only 4-5 hours from my home in Portland, making it both remote and accessible at the same time.

If you’ve never been to a festival that includes a body of water, you’re missing out on an often overlooked but vital aspect to the festival experience. As someone who’s cooled off in Lake San Antonio during Lightning in a Bottle, I can tell you that jumping in some water during the day adds hours to your life expectancy later that night.

Summer Meltdown’s location near Whitehorse Mountain means not only great views, but also ample adventure opportunities, if you aren’t too hungover from the night before (I will be). You can hike around the mountain, go mountain biking, or even rock climbing. If you wake up feeling like death and just want some hair of the dog and relaxation, bring (or rent) a tube and float down the river with some tequila. You’ll find me there.

Art Installations and Workshops

If you’re not floating down the river during the day, there are workshops galore for you at Summer Meltdown. From yoga to meditation, there’s plenty of opportunities to center yourself before another night of raging. Check out the full workshop schedule here.

There are also a plethora of art installations at Summer Meltdown, from the forest to the main stages. The art installations are beautifully unique, with everything from interactive light exhibits to live painting. There’s nothing better than taking a break from the music to wander aimlessly and take everything in. Check out all the art installations that await you right here.

The Music

Yes, Summer Meltdown is a can’t-miss festival because of its beautiful location and unique art, but at the end of the day, you still want some phenomenal music to get down with. Luckily Summer Meltdown has plenty of that as well.

The Funk Hunters

Closing down the Late Night Tent on Friday night, you better stay awake for one of the most inescapably fun sets you’ll see all weekend. A little bit of bass, a little bit of hip-hop, and a LOT of funk, this set will keep you dancing until the wee hours of the morning.


If you’re still functional after Bassnectar’s face melting set on Saturday night, drag your body to the Late Night Tent for some more weird bass music courtesy of Psymbionic.


We know you’ll be exhausted by the time Sunday comes around, and Papadosio’s Main Stage set is the perfect way to relax while still embracing the music. It’s fun enough to dance to if you still have the energy, but low key enough to sit on a blanket with a beer and unwind before the journey home.


Between the music, the installations, and the incredible outdoor location, Summer Meltdown is going to be a can’t-miss experience, and hopefully I’ll see you all there.

Summer Meltdown takes place August 2-5 in Darrington, Washington. Passes are still available for all 4 days, or 3-2-1 day passes are also available if you can’t make the whole thing.