Mountainscapes at Meltdown
  • Brooklyn Benjestorf
  • Mountainscapes from the Main Stage

The Summer Meltdown Festival, set in scenic Darrington, Washington, is underrated. A fraction of the size of Sasquatch, the lineup alone is reason enough to get out into the wilderness for a weekend of blistering heat, majestic mountain views, and dance parties that stretch till dawn. The hippie vibes are strong at Meltdown, and while there will never be a shortage of "bros" at any festival (who come just to get blitzed on molly and party till they puke) the crowds are noticeably more respectful—with stray garbage nearly nonexistent and only one sighting of White-Guy-In-Headdress all weekend long.

The winding drive into the festival grounds is not only beautiful, but in the wake of the Oso landslide, it was profoundly impactful to literally drive straight through the leveled valley of destroyed homes. There were abundant opportunities to donate to Oso at Meltdown, really driving home the importance of festivals like these to the economies of the small towns that host them. The area is simply stunning, and with a river running parallel to the festival grounds, you end up getting a lot of bang out of your buck. Each morning before the major music acts hit the stage for the day, the shore of the river is flooded with overheated festival goers looking to cool off and chill out in the refreshing glacial waters. The bands blew the lid off the backwoods, with each day boasting a back-to-back schedule of acts with notoriety reaching far beyond the Northwest.

Photos after the jump...

Black Joe Lewis
  • Brooklyn Benjestorf
  • Black Joe Lewis

Starfckr
  • Brooklyn Benjestorf
  • STRFKR

Grizzled Mightys new drummer, Lupe Flores, wailing on the skins
  • Brooklyn Benjestorf
  • Grizzled Mighty's new drummer, Lupe Flores, wailing on the skins

Down by the river was the place to be to beat the heat.
  • Brooklyn Benjestorf
  • Down by the river was the place to be to beat the heat.

Just taking a float in between sets, NBD.
  • Brooklyn Benjestorf
  • Just taking a float in between sets, NBD.

The only non-service animal allowed at Meltdown. Introducing Worthy the tortoise. She will outlive us all.
  • Brooklyn Benjestorf
  • The only non-service animal allowed at Meltdown. Introducing Worthy the tortoise.

Whats a festival without a little face paint?
  • Brooklyn Benjestorf
  • What's a festival without a little face paint?

Killing time with a little acrobatic yoga.
  • Brooklyn Benjestorf
  • Killing time with a little acrobatic yoga.

the Flavr Blue
  • Brooklyn Benjestorf
  • the Flavr Blue

Sir Mix-A-Lot
  • Brooklyn Benjestorf
  • Sir Mix-A-Lot

Supermoon over Meltdown
  • Brooklyn Benjestorf
  • Supermoon over Meltdown