The 30th anniversary of the Stillaguamish Tribe’s annual Festival of the River and Pow Wow is this weekend, and organizers have a special gift for attendees.
Parking is free this year. Admission, as always, also is free.
“We’re trying to let people know we appreciate them coming for the last 30 years,” festival director Pat Stevenson said. “We wanted it to be as painless as possible so the community can enjoy themselves.”
The event is set for Aug. 10-11 at River Meadow County Park in Arlington, and this year’s lineup is as good as it’s ever been, Stevenson said.
Lee Brice, a chart-topping country singer-songwriter, and Boz Scaggs, a Grammy Award-winning blue-eyed soul singer-songwriter, are headlining the two-day festival.
Other main stage performers will include War (funk, soul, jazz-rock), Big Brother and the Holding Company (acid rock), Thompson Square (country) and Snohomish’s own Megs McLean (country-rock-grunge). In addition, more than a dozen other local and regional acts will perform on another nearby stage.
The event will also feature a pow wow with dancing and drumming, environmental exhibits, Native storytellers, a logging show, children’s activities and the Stilly 5K Fun Run through the park.
The Festival of the River began in 1989 as a way to spread the word about environmental stewardship and the Stillaguamish River watershed, and share Native American culture.
Festival attendance spiked in 2007, when about 12,000 people came to see well-known bands, including Jefferson Starship and The English Beat.
Big-name acts have been performing there ever since, which has helped cast a larger net for environmental outreach, Stevenson said.
Saturday’s headliner, Lee Brice, will perform at 8 p.m. The country musician’s biggest hits include “A Woman Like You,” “Hard to Love,” “I Drive Your Truck” and “I Don’t Dance,” which topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs between 2011 and 2014.
He’s also signed to Curb Records, which includes the likes of Tim McGraw, LeAnn Rimes and Hank Williams Jr.
Boz Scaggs will headline Sunday at 8 p.m. Scaggs won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1977 for “Lowdown,” while he’s also known for “Lido Shuffle,” his 1976 album, “Silk Degrees” and for writing ballads influenced by rock, blues and R&B.
McLean, 22, of Snohomish, will perform with her band at 4 p.m. Saturday on the main stage. The Glacier Peak High School graduate established her signature sound of country, rock and grunge — known as “crunge” — in 2016 with her debut single, “It’s My Truck.”
“Today, people are taking different approaches to country music,” she said. “This is my own approach to country music, since I grew up listening to Metallica, Pearl Jam and stuff like that.”
The song earned her recognition as one of the top 10 “Next Women of Country” on Spotify. She’s since opened for country stars such as Martina McBride, Clint Black and Sara Evans, including a performance at the Tulalip Amphitheatre during the 2018 Tulalip Summer Concert Series.
McLean described her most recent single, “Frisky,” as Southern pop-rock, with a strong groove, country guitar riffs and a keyboard solo.
“I’m super-proud of it because it took three years to write,” she said. “It’s got a really cool beat that is very easily danceable and makes you want to bop.”
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.
If you go
The Stillaguamish Tribe’s 30th annual Festival of the River is Aug. 10-11 at River Meadows County Park, 20416 Jordan Road, Arlington.
The festival features live music, pow wows, a fun run, storytelling tent and logging show. Here is the main stage performance schedule:
10:30 a.m. Peter Ali & Swil Kanim
12:30 p.m. Low Down Drifters
2 p.m. Lost at Last
4 p.m. Megs McLean
5:30 p.m. Thompson Square
8 p.m. Lee Brice
10:30 a.m. Peter Ali & Swil Kanim
12:30 p.m. Yellow Bird Dancers
2 p.m. Chris Eger
4 p.m. Big Brother and the Holding Company
5:30 p.m. War
8 p.m. Boz Scaggs