Watershed Music Festival at The Gorge WA
One of the most celebrated country music festivals west of the Rocky Mountains, the Watershed Music Festival at The Gorge in George, Washington has grown considerably since its start in 2012. With Live Nation producing the festival, this live music event focuses on country music, both established stars and new acts, for audiences that love this genre of music.
The festival itself is a three-day event held during the first weekend of August every year and offers several stages for live performances. Unlike SXSW or Treefort Music Festival, the focus of the Watershed Music Festival is on the music itself, although it is supported by vendors and businesses around the city.
The first Watershed Music Festival was the brainchild of Brian O’Connell, the president of the country division of Live Nation. O’Connell has won numerous awards during his tenure, including Promoter of the Year six times with the Country Music Association (CMA). O’Connell relates that Watershed was an idea that he had been mulling about for several years, especially because the Pacific Northwest is an area teeming with country music fans, but relatively few live music events that celebrate the genre.
After a series of successful country music shows in Washington, particularly at The Gorge, it was decided to press forward and create the first Watershed Music Festival in 2012. The site was selected for its incredible scenic beauty in Washington, featuring the gorge itself and the nearby Columbia River that makes it a sight perfect for country music.
The first three-day event, held from August 3rd to the 5th in 2012 featured many recognized artists, including Dwight Yoakam, Miranda Lambert, Aces Up, Blake Shelton, and more. Up to 35 bands and performers took the stages at The Gorge and the event itself was considered a qualified success. This lead to the second festival in 2013 which featured Toby Keith, Kip Moore, Luke Bryan, and Blackberry Smoke along with many local and regional artists.
The event expanded over the years to draw in artists such as Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, Lee Brice, Darius Rucker, and many more. From 2014 to 2017, the rise in profile for the live music festival turned it into an international experience as many from around the world attend this remarkable event.
Watershed Music Festival Today
The most recent Watershed event was held from August 3rd to the 5th in 2018 and featured arguably the most famous line-up of country music artists from front to back. Headlined by Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, and Jillian Jacqueline, the festival itself was a big hit that brought in many thousands of fans who camped near the gorge and spent many hours listening to the live music.
The event itself has expanded considerably over the years, adding new side events unique to the Washington area, such as yoga classes, foam parties, scavenger hunts, and many activities to keep everyone busy when not attending the concerts themselves. The Watershed Music Festival will only gain in popularity as it continues to bring in the best in country music to this beautiful Washington location.
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