A few months ago I was in Florida with the fam (and we may or may not have been wearing matching DisneyWorld shirts that my mom made but that is BESIDE THE POINT, okay? Shut up.) and we were passing the time driving along by playing one of those conversation-question card games like “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” and “What would your ideal birthday party celebration look like?”.
I was answering the latter and found myself describing a birthday party with a ramshackle house on a Pacific beach, filled up with all my favorite friends from all around the world that I never get to see, and yes please some terrific bands and good food. Maybe a setting sun, maybe some ocean breezes and a campfire that left its scent in my hair all night. That would be a good birthday.
I should really do that someday, I thought, for a big milestone birthday. Some August in a few years when I turn a nice round number we’ll really throw down, I thought.
And then — I remembered this:
Then and there I decided that life is short, and The Doe Bay Fest is undoubtedly good. And there is nowhere I would rather be August 11-14 of this year. So I’ve recruited a dozen friends to help me celebrate and we’ll be there with bug spray on. Sexy!
From everything I’ve heard, the Doe Bay Fest (on Orcas Island in the San Juans, outside Seattle) is the most magical jewelbox of a music festival that you will ever experience. It is super-limited in size (the few hundred tickets will go on sale for $60 on May 1 at 10:00am, and will sell out that day) and located in one of the most gorgeous natural settings you’ll find. A heady spirit of musical joy and collaboration seems to permeate every aspect of the festival. In addition to a stellar official lineup, I am hoping for all of these things: late night campfires, slip and slides, open mic singalongs. This year there is a full moon for the fest weekend, and I can hold my breath for some midnight forest music under the brightly glowing, late summer orb.
The lineup? Well, paradoxically and logically, it isn’t actually announced until June 2. There is a level of trust woven into this festival, and that’s what I love. Trust the organizers that this will be worth it. Previous performers have included The Fruit Bats, David Bazan, The Head and The Heart, Hey Marseilles, Drew Grow & The Pastors’ Wives, Kelli Schaefer, Portland Cello Project, Ravenna Woods, and The Moondoogies. Plus a dozen bands I haven’t heard of but that represent a range of styles, a generous Pacific Northwest bent, and a common (beautiful) spirit.
The Doe Bay Resort? A small, collectively-owned resort that’s accessible only by ferry ride, with a collection of little cabins, yurts, and camping, an organic garden, a yoga studio, and a $2 beer garden. The chef is apparently world-class, serving up delicious organic food all weekend on the cheap. There is plentiful shade and sea and wildlife. The stars come out at night and I am going to lay on my back and watch them, with a big old birthday smile stretched on my face.
Come join us.