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The focus at What The Festival isn’t so much on spirituality as it is the concept that constant human metamorphosis and the acceptance of others’ differences is necessary.
Even more beloved than the glowing dance fortresses, neon disco clam palaces, and fire-breathing dragons, What The Festival’s crown jewel is it’s splash pool, a permanent fixture on a vista atop the gorgeous grounds, where everyone from Jai Wolf to Le Youth performed to a crowd that was equal parts sexy and surrealist.
For the first time since I’ve begun covering shows, I am truly stumped on how to encapsulate what unfolded this past weekend. Simply put, What The Festival was majestic.
The boutique event, about an hour and a half east of Portland, has truly turned fantasy into a reality and created the closest thing to a perfect festival that we have ever experienced.
In my three years attending, What the Festival had its first sellout crowd and produced the best version of its “adult summer camp meets laid back rave” atmosphere yet….I’m sure there are bigger pool parties in more conventional settings, but I don’t think there’s a more free spirited and inclusive parties anywhere else in the world.
What The Festival isn’t trying to imitate other events, instead it creates an experience that’s unique in its own right.
What The Festival is more than just a run of the mill music festival…..[The organizers] have created an environment that is nothing short of incredible. This past weekend, we were lucky enough to be able to attend this once in a lifetime experience.
EDM SAUCE – What The Festival voted as the #5 Best Music Festival in the US for 2014
LIVABILITY – Top 12 Summer Music Festivals in Smaller Cities 2014
COMPOSE YOURSELF MAGAZINE – Top 20 US Festivals That You Should Go To
“WTF is the kind of event that has sprung from the need for an easier-to-experience, more intimate festival. This event has jumped up to Lightning in a Bottle’s level of production almost overnight. It’s clear that the founders are really serious about creating a legacy event that will be here for years to come.”
“…A blend of a boutique Burning Man and Sasquatch Music Festival, this experience-based environment is designed to engage and inspire attendees…”
“For one it will be held in the Oregon forest, in a field surrounded by woods. To make it even cooler WTF has a pool set up in the festival. Yeah, you heard that right…”
“…The forests of Oregon are a great place to try out a bunch of weird things, like the world’s largest temporary wading pool. You know, so you can listen to DJs all day while hanging out with a few thousand girls in bikinis, even if you’re hundreds of miles away from the nearest ocean…”
“If you get a chance, go to What The Festival – it just might change your life.”
“WTF’s undefinable nature allows attendees to approach it from multiple angles and enjoy it for different reasons—as opposed to the relatively structured (and corporate) feel of competing festivals. It holds a charmingly malleable feel that turns guests into active participants as opposed to passive spectators. Fittingly, it’s been dubbed a “summer camp for adults.”
“Hosting both the largest disco ball on the United States’ West Coast and the biggest temporary splash pool in the world, there is WHAT THE FESTIVAL leading the Pacific Northwests’ list of events for travelers to attend this year…”
“With multiple stages, areas, and tents, this event goes beyond the ordinary. Classes, film screenings, culture, healing, even a tea service, What The truly lives up to its name…”
“Atop the lineup sits The Glitch Mob who are absolutely slaying the festival circuit this summer in support of their new album. Their new visual show is supposed to be a spectacle in itself. Accompanying The Glitch Mob to Oregon will be R.L. Grime, Cashmere Cat, Washed Out, Claude Vonstroke and so many more. This does not look like a festival that you should miss…”
“What do you get when you grab a bunch of EDM, throw in some hard bass, and sprinkle a dash of Portlandia somewhere in Oregon? Pretty much a few thousand wild souls in a dark forest with barely any lights to guide their dancing pilgrimage except for the biggest disco ball in the Northwest United States… aka “What The Festival” in Dufur, Oregon.”
“What The Festival was filled with music, memories, art and community. It was truly a transformational experience, one that should be enjoyed by every one. It’s a spectacle and the opportunity to be part of that spectacle is second to none. If you had the chance to attend this year, you know. If not, you will have to see for yourself next year.”
“… what was so striking about What The Festival was that it seemed to go off without a hitch, remarkable for a festival in its first edition. The sound quality was impeccable, there were little to no signs of any incidents, and for the most part everything ran smoothly and on time. It was a promising start for what looks to be a potential new addition to the yearly West Coast festival lineup, one that combines outdoorsy flair with more than the usual amenities, a camping festival with emphasis on comfort, ease and organization.”
“In fact, the first WTF?! was so smoothly run and seamlessly organized that the entire experience oddly resembled a spa vacation”
INTO THE AM
“Conceived by two Burning Man aficionados and executed by a team of dedicated staff and passionate volunteers, What The Festival toed the line between luxurious music festival and intimate spiritual gathering. Its venue, a privately owned expanse of grassy foothills flanked by towering cliffs and surrounding a lazily flowing river, was an adult’s version of Disneyland and walking through its lit up grounds at night was an enchanting experience.”
“Surrounded by cabanas, sand and great sound the pool stage delivered like nothing else. During the day, it became the epicentre of the festival.”
WEST COAST LEAK
“To be honest, this weekend has left me speechless. What The Festival blew my expectations of what the ideal festival could be. The atmosphere, geographical landscape, and musical curation were all top notch. Forget the cluster-fuck and in-your-face commercialism of Sasquatch and Coachella, What The Festival just took the festival game to a whole new level.”
Destination Burning Man put together an excellent 2 part mixtape celebrating the bass music of WTF!