Foo Fighters, Modest Mouse and others route through Missoula

The secondary stage at the 2010 Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington’s Gorge Amphitheater (Photo by Christopher Nelson).
The secondary stage at the 2010 Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington’s Gorge Amphitheater (Photo by Christopher Nelson).

The nation’s live music industry remains an unpredictable environment, with fears lingering of last summer’s unusually challenging concert season where artists cancelled tours and struggled to fill seats. Yet 2011 summer music festivals are experiencing record sell-outs.

Tickets to Bonnaroo, Tennessee’s annual music fest in June, are nearly sold out. It was less than a week before tickets for Cochella—Indio, California’s annual music festival taking place next weekend—sold out.

And the northwest’s ever-growing music fest at Washington’s Gorge during memorial Day Weekend, Sasquatch sold all its 100,000 tickets (25,000 per day across four days) just a week after the lineup was announced.

Headliners for this 10th anniversary of Sasquatch include Foo Fighters, Modest Mouse, Wilco, Death Cab For Cutie, and the festival will host a reunion of Death From Above 1979 (not to mention Flaming Lips will be playing the entire Soft Bulletin album and Wolf Parade makes a much-anticipated break from hiatus).

Enticing musical lineups have always propelled Sasquatch’s ticket sales. As well the increasing popularity of Sasquatch is no doubt fueled by the amphitheatre in which its held, an internationally acclaimed concert venue carved in the basalt cliffs, high above the Columbia River Gorge and offering spectacular, sweeping views of the river and canyon.

Those not attending this year’s festivals or just not into three and four day music benders are fortunate this year. Missoula is capitalizing on its excellent routing location for bands attending the 2011 Sasquatch Music Festival. Foo Fighters, Modest Mouse, Iron and Wine, and Ratatat have all announced performances in Missoula in the last week of May and first part of June.

Ratatat is slated to perform Missoula on Friday, June 3.

Foo Fighters will appear with Motorhead on Thursday, May 26 at the Adams Center at the University of Montana. Foo Fighters then head to Sasquatch to open the festival. This year, in celebration of its 10th year, show promoters extended the festival to four days, with the Foo as their first eve headlining act.

Festival creator Adam Zacks founded Sasquatch nearly 10 years ago with the aim of building an event that catered to the a wide variety of music enthusiasts’ tastes.

“We are excited to grow the festival to four days and thrilled that Foo Fighters, a great American rock band with roots in the Pacific Northwest, will be headlining the Friday show,” Zacks said in a press release.

Missoula will share in some of that Foo love, and will as well catch Modest Mouse on Friday, May 27 as part of the Knitting Factory’s 2011 Summer concert series taking place at Big Sky Brewery. The group has a few days to spend in frontman Isaac Brock’s old stomping grounds (Brock resided in Montana until age 11) before heading to Sasquatch for a headlining slot on Sunday, May 29.

Knitting Factory has also announced Ray LaMontagne and Brandi Carlile as acts at the same concert series, performing the brewery on June 20.

Following a Sasquatch performance, southern singer/songwriter Sam Beam’s group Iron and Wine has a sold-out performance Sun, May 29, at Missoula’s Wilma Theatre.

As well New York electric duo Ratatat performs Sasquatch on Sunday, May 29, heads to Canada and routes back through Missoula to perform Friday, June 3 at the Wilma—one of only six dates in the states outside of major festivals.

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