Festival at Sandpoint

The 36th season of music under the stars in Sandpoint, Idaho, kicks off Aug. 2

New & Notable

The Festival at Sandpoint is bringing Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Amos Lee, ZZ Top, Greensky Bluegrass, Sublime with Rome, Phillip Phillips and Gavin DeGraw, and the Spokane Symphony to Memorial Field Aug. 2-12 for its 36th season.

“We hope festival fans are as pleased as we are at the phenomenal artists coming to Sandpoint this summer,” says festival director Dyno Wahl.

Big Head Todd and the Monsters kick off the festival Aug. 2. The beloved rock band first formed as high school friends in Columbine, Colo., and continued through their college years and beyond as they toured extensively throughout the Mountain States and West Coast. Their popularity exploded with the release of their 1993 album Sister Sweetly as “Bittersweet,” “Broken Hearted Savior,” and “Circle,” topped the rock charts. Their next album, Beautiful World, featured hits “Boom Boom” and “Resignation Superman.” John Craigie opens. Tickets are $44.95. (All concert tickets are plus sales tax and city parks fee.)

Amos Lee takes the stage Aug. 3. The former schoolteacher-turned-musician “has that folksy, bluesy vibe, with a bit of country twang” and a voice that is “ever soulful.” Hit songs including “Arms of a Woman,” “Sweet Pea,” “Windows are Rolled Down,” “Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight,” and, most recently, “Vaporize.” His music has appeared on the soundtracks of numerous TV shows and movies and he has performed on several late night TV shows. The quartet Bailen opens; tickets are $59.95.

Festival at Sandpoint: ZZ Top
Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top performs Aug. 4 at the Festival at Sandpoint.

ZZ Top, the iconic blues-inspired rock band from Houston, rocks Memorial Field Aug. 4. Known for humorous lyrics laced with double entendre and innuendo – and those beards! – the band still consists of of bassist and lead vocalist Dusty Hillguitarist and lead vocalist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard. Greatest hits include: “La Grange,” “Give Me All Your Lovin’,” “She’s Got Legs,” “Cheap Sunglasses,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Tush.” The trio has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Tim Montana and the Shrednecks open the show; tickets are $79.95.

The annual Family Concert, 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, features the Festival Community Orchestra and Studio One Dancers. Favorite pre-concert activities begin at 2:30 p.m. and include the Instrument Petting Zoo where kids can try out various instruments with guidance from musical mentors, an animal petting zoo, pony rides, clowns, face painting and games galore. The popular Parents’ Corner offers moms and dads a break from the chaos for a complimentary mini-massage. All tickets $6.

Festival at Sandpoint: Week Two

Festival at Sandpoint: Greensky Bluegrass
Greensky Bluegrass opens week two of the Festival at Sandpoint.Photo © Dylan Langille

Week two at the Festival kicks off on Thursday, Aug. 9 with the “not-quite-bluegrass” sensation Greensky Bluegrass. The five-piece band founded in Kalamazoo describes their sound as “our own version of bluegrass music, mixing the acoustic stomp of a string band with the rule-breaking spirit of rock ’n roll.” Since its inception in 2001, the band has evolved, adding electric effects and touring with a full light show. Parsonfield opens. Tickets are $39.95, and $10 more for the BrewFest, with tastings at 6 p.m. and music at 7 p.m.

Get ready to dance Friday, Aug. 10, to reggae-infused rock by Sublime with Rome. Southern California band Sublime combines punk rock with hip hop, heavy metal, dancehallreggaeskafunk, and surf music; in tandem with renowned guitarist and vocalist Rome Ramirez, they deliver hits that made them one of the most successful ska-punk acts of all time including “What I Got,” “Santeria,” and “Wrong Way.” Admission is $64.95 and the festival venue will be configured differently for this dance concert to allow for an increased dancing/standing area in front of the stage.

Get ready for a powerhouse pop double-header Saturday, Aug. 11, featuring Phillip Phillips and Gavin Degraw. Phillips won the 11th season of American Idol, with a blend of jazz, rock and alternative; songs including “Home,” “Gone, Gone, Gone,” and “Raging Fire” have since been heard on the radio, in movies and on television. Grammy-nominated soul artist DeGraw rose to fame with the single “I Don’t Want to Be” from his debut album Chariot; his second, self-titled album included the Top 20 single “In Love with a Girl,” and his latest album Something Worth Saving features the recent hit “She Sets the City on Fire.” His duet with Colbie Caillat, “We Both Know,” from the film “Safe Haven” received a Grammy Nomination. Tickets are $74.95.

The Festival season culminates on Sunday, Aug. 12, with the Grand Finale, featuring the Spokane Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Gary Sheldon, who will select some of his favorite pieces from his 20 years as the festival’s principal conductor. Preceding the concert is the annual “Taste of the Stars” Wine Tasting, now the largest wine event of its kind in the state of Idaho, complimentary for all concert goers over the age of 21 years. The traditional fireworks finale closes the 36th season in celebratory fashion. Gates open early at 4:30 p.m. and music starts at 7:30; tickets are $39.95 for adults, $10.95 for youth through 18 years.

Individual tickets to all shows are on sale now at www.festivalatsandpoint.com or by phone at 208-265-4554. New this year: for extra $25 patrons may enter the venue through the new lakeside Early Entry gate, 10 minutes before the general admission.