A quick inquiry into the old Google Map reveals that the Gorge Amphitheater, home to this weekend's Sasquatch Music Festival, is approximately 258 miles from downtown Portland, a distance that the engineers at Google estimate to take four hours and twenty-four minutes to drive. Further calculations made by opbmusic engineers determine that the journey will take roughly five hours when accounting for various kinds of stops and around $40 in fuel for the one-way trip, assuming at least 25 mpg.
Of course, you probably want to actually see and hear bands as long as you're making the trip, a desire that will run you exactly $209.50 for all three days of action. Add to that $100 for the "Value Pass" camping deal (which does not grant you access to private campsites and restrooms with showers and flushing toilets as the $60-per-night "Premier Pass" does), and you're all but set for the long weekend...with the exception of eating and drinking. We're there for the music, right? So let's be conservative about our gastronomical intake and assume little more than a couple of cans of tuna fish, an apple, two granola bars, a couple of bottles of juice, a few PBRs (we're on the cheap here, brewheads), and a ridiculously price-gouged emergency bottle of water per day because you forgot to bring some with you. Grand total for food and drink: $40 hahaha (not bad, but this is only for those of us who are able to glean nutritional value from live music. The rest of you will have to add to the total accordingly based on your required luxuries).
So, we've cut back where we had to, made a few sacrifices but managed to get into all three days of music and the official opbmusic festival calculator tells us that we can expect to be about $430.00 out of pocket (by the way, if you're a high-roller and opting for the "Superticket" go ahead and adjust that amount by a PLUS $539.50. You get a few extras with this option, including the privilege of being in the vicinity of dudes like Bruce Willis, Ashton Kutcher, and (probably) McCain's daughter, who likes the indie rock or something). Hmm. That's a lot of....lots of things, including burritos, public radio contributions, and shows at places like Mississippi Studios, the Doug Fir, Someday Lounge, etc. You could even have nights in which you combined all of those things AND karaoke afterwards and there'd still be a lot of them.
You're right, I should mention the line-up. It's insane, more or less. Like Coachella insane, at the very least, but without the California. From promising up-and-comers like Yeasayer, Fleet Foxes, and Portland's own Shaky Hands, to long established acts like The Cure and R.E.M., to current royalty like Death Cab for Cutie, The National, and Modest Mouse, the bases are covered. Plus, with three stages (conveniently named, might I add, with a theme in mind: Sasquatch, Wookie, and Yeti), there's always bound to be someone you want to see playing (so long, Built to Spill, I'm going to catch Clay Aiken!). Still, all that dough begs the question once posed by the still alive, not too bad (as opposed to the late, great) Cake: how do you afford your rock & roll lifestyle? Perhaps an answer by way of a quick personal aside: Cake frontman John McCrea was promptly clocked in the head with a shoe not long after singing that line when I saw them at a festival once upon a time. The lesson? Never remind those that are going big that they're going big while they're trying to enjoy the thing they're going big on.
MP3: Yeasayer, from All Hour Cymbals- "2080"
MP3: Beirut, from Gulag Orkestar- "Postcards From Italy"
MP3: Dengue Fever, from Venus On Earth- "Sober Driver"
MP3: Fleet Foxes, from Fleet Foxes- "White Winter Hymnal"
Tomorrow: the official opbmusic festival calculator sums up the Memorial Weekend Festival in Bend.