Of course, it is not nowhere, it is in a real place and is served by public infrastructure. And a certain part of that infrastructure gets a lot of strain during big multi-day music festivals full of drunk, high concertgoers in the summer heat, according to this great KUOW story by Jessica Robinson.
Who deals with that added burden of tens of thousands of concertgoers? For starters, the nearby emergency room at a tiny rural hospital:
Quincy is about 17 miles from the Gorge, past vineyards and alfalfa fields. Its small hospital sits down the street from a plant that turns potatoes into french fries. On a typical day, maybe 10 people will come through the doors.
But during the three-day Sasquatch festival? It's more like 60 or 70 per day.
“Every room will be full," Dietsch says. "What you're seeing here is absolutely nothing compared to Sasquatch. It's surreal.”
And Sasquatch is just the beginning. Dietsch has a printout of all the Gorge summer concerts. With each new event, he’ll go online and listen to the music so he can predict what kind of crowd will be there and what kind of drugs will they use. Coming up in late June is Paradiso, a two-day electronic music festival. Then there's Watershed in August — three days of country music.
For Paradiso, Dietsch says he's expecting a lot of synthetic narcotics. For Watershed, he says, "Mostly alcohol. Alcohol and fights.”
Dietsch admits that he is forced to stereotype "more than a little bit."
"We have to have a good understanding of what these concerts draw," he says. "And what staff we have to have here.”
How much does it end up costing the little hospital in Quincy? And what's the state planning to do about it? Go read or listen to the whole thing.
P.S. The best quote in the story comes from Seattle musician Nick Emacio: “You’ll see people having beers and everybody’s having a good time in their little groups and parties and things like that... But if you go up to the $20-a-day parking, it’s like ‘Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.’ Something’s on fire. Everybody’s running around, there’s somebody on a motorcycle or something. It’s insane.”