Shovels & Rope to headline outdoor festival in Carnation

Shovels & Rope performs at 8 p.m. July 14 at the Timber! Outdoor Music Festival in Carnation. Photo courtesy of NPR

Each year the Timber! Outdoor Music Festival at Tolt-MacDonald Park in Carnation is loaded with great music and fun activities for all ages. Yes, it is a family event.

This fifth year of the festival, curated by Artist Home Booking (which also does the Doe Bay Music Festival on Orcas Island), is continuing that tradition.

The festival, July 13-15, has an impressive lineup of local talent, as well as headliner Shovels &Rope — the nationally known folk duo Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, a married couple from South Carolina.

Local favorites include Sera Cahoone, Cataldo, Smokey Brights, The Hollers, Shelby Earl, Star Anna, The True Loves with Adra Boo, Maiah Manser, The Hollers, Down North, Jason McCue, Wild Powwers, Acid Tongue and the Sisters of Soul. Musical genres represented in the lineup include rock, blues, folk, soul, hip-hop and Americana.

A campfire sing-along to Violent Femmes songs will be lead by Troy Nelson, Michael Lee and Eric Wennberg.

Attending the festival with kids is easy. (But dogs are not allowed.) Children age 12 and younger get into Timber! for free. A Kids Stage features performances from the Simba Youth Marimba Ensemble on Friday morning and The Not-Its on Saturday morning.

The music starts at about 6 p.m. Thursday, about 2 p.m. Friday and at about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. Camping continues through Sunday.

If you find yourself wanting to take a break from the music to enjoy the outdoors, you will have plenty of options.

REI will be there with kayaks and stand-up paddleboards to use on the Tolt and Snoqualmie rivers, which flow through the park. Bring your hiking boots or your mountain bike for the trails on the hills above the Snoqualmie.

A game of adult flashlight tag is planned, nature painting and a plant identification walk are scheduled, and you can take part in a 5K run, yoga, swimming and even stargazing led by real astronomers.

An important thing to understand about the Timber! Outdoor Music Festival is that it really isn’t like other music festivals you may have been to.

The crowds aren’t so massive that using the restroom is unbearable. Sure, there are multiple stages like other festivals, but at Timber! only one stage is operating at a time. That way fans don’t have to pick and choose which bands to see or rush from here to there.

Come to Timber! for the music. But stay for the camping, outdoor activities, great food and drink from various vendors, and community.

Tickets can still be purchased at the gate.

Steven Graham is The Herald’s What Radio music blogger and 107.7 The End Locals Only radio host. He will be introducing bands at the festival.

Timber! Outdoor Music Festival

July 13-15, Tolt-MacDonald Park, 31020 NE 40th St., Carnation, located just off Highway 203, which you can pick up in Monroe to head south to Carnation. A weekend pass costs $85. Single day passes are $35. Camping and parking are additional fees.

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