Jeff Tweedy performs at THING festival, 2019

Jeff Tweedy performs at THING festival, 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic

A new and unique music festival made its debut in the Northwest last weekend. The new event was presented by Seattle Theatre Group and Adam Zacks, who founded the Sasquatch! Music Festival in 2002. Zacks’ new endeavor, THING, is a two-day multidisciplinary event featuring music, comedy, film, dance, podcasts, and visual arts, held in Port Townsend, Washington.

The site for THING, Fort Worden State Park, included a scenic view of the Olympic and Cascade mountains, and over a hundred historic buildings, with venues like McCurdy Pavilion (a decommissioned zeppelin hangar), Wheeler Theatre (an art deco theatre original to the site), and the fort’s Parade Grounds.

Tank and the Bangas at THING 2019

Tank and the Bangas at THING 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic

The diverse musical lineup included Northwest acts INGS and Black Belt Eagle Scout, national draws like Kurt Vile and the Violators, Parquet Courts, Calexico and Iron & Wine and Jeff Tweedy, and up-and-comers Japanese Breakfast, Orville Peck, Khruangbin, Sudan Archives, and Tank and the Bangas, plus international artists Junius Meyvant (Iceland) and Café Tacvba (Mexico). Headlining the festival were De La Soul and Violent Femmes.

Khruangbin at THING 2019

Khruangbin at THING 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic

Capacity for the inaugural year of THING was at 5,000 ticketholders per day, which sold out in the week leading up to August 24. The festival could’ve easily hosted twice that number of concertgoers, but the relatively smaller festival size made the occasion feel that much more special. Perhaps next year the festival will grow in attendance, but that would be a whole ‘nother, awesome THING.

Japanese Breakfast at THING 2019

Japanese Breakfast at THING 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic

Japanese Breakfast’s swaying pop infused with shimmery guitar riffs closed out the afternoon at the Littlefield Green Stage on Saturday.

Caspar Babypants at THING, 2019

Caspar Babypants at THING, 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic

THING aimed to be a family-friendly affair, by scheduling acts like Caspar Babypants (Chris Ballew, former lead singer of The Presidents of the United States of America) to cater to a younger audience.

Junius Meyvant at THING, 2019

Junius Meyvant at THING, 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic

Icelandic singer Junius Meyvant brought a soulful set to the Parade Ground stage on day one of THING.

Makaya McCraven

Makaya McCraven

Mike Baden/opbmusic

Chicago-based, Jazz percussionist, Makaya McCraven warmed up the Littlefield Green Stage with his inventive brand of cool on Saturday afternoon.

Orville Peck at THING 2019

Orville Peck at THING 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic

The McCurdy Pavilion was at capacity during Orville Peck’s set Saturday afternoon. The line to get in stretched down the field, and energy from the crowd who were lucky to be inside, felt like a revival.

Parquet Courts at THING 2019

Parquet Courts at THING 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic

Parquet Courts started off the evening music sets at the Littlefield Green Stage Saturday. Attendees were present for a loud and raucous good time. Midway through their set, guitarist Andrew Savage said, “This is better than what Woodstock 50 would’ve been. This is what they should’ve done.”

De La Soul at THING 2019

De La Soul at THING 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic

John Reilly and Friends at THING 2019

John Reilly and Friends at THING 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic

Bedouine performed a beautiful set of lullabies at the Littlefield Green Stage early Saturday afternoon at THING, 2019

Bedouine performed a beautiful set of lullabies at the Littlefield Green Stage early Saturday afternoon at THING, 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic

Jeff Tweedy at THING 2019

Jeff Tweedy at THING 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic

Violent Femmes at THING 2019

Violent Femmes at THING 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic

Black Belt Eagle Scout at THING 2019

Black Belt Eagle Scout at THING 2019

Mike Baden/opbmusic