Sasquatch! 2012 will have a stage for Northwest hip-hop

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Seattle Sound magazine cover Sept. 2006

It’s three days before the annual Sasquatch! Launch Party and unlike years past very little is known about the the details of the lineup for 2012’s Sasqsuatch! Music Festival prior to the party. The few details that have been confirmed are only what’s available to see publicly on the Sasquatch! website and those details are pretty standard stuff such as the dates of the festival, and, well that’s pretty much it for anyone looking to get info on what will be happening at the Gorge on Memorial Day weekend.

However, one small detail slipped out upon the initial retooling of the Sasquatch! website and that detail is the curious inclusion of an additional stage. The stage, which is in addition to the dance/comedy tent, brings the festival’s offerings to four stages and the dance/comedy tent.

So what will be happening on this additional stage? Multiple sources in the local hip-hop community have confirmed that the stage will be feature a Northwest hip-hop showcase. The stage is cleverly called the “Maine” stage, in reference to this bit of hip-hop slang adopted from Scarface.

Sasquatch! showcasing local hip-hop this year shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to local music or to the festival’s history. Festival founder Adam Zacks has always paid attention to the Northwest music scene and has booked several Seattle hip-hop acts throughout the festival’s 10-year history. Shabazz Palaces, Common Market, Blue Scholars, Dyme Def, The Saturday Knights and Cancer Rising are a few of the local hip-hop names who have performed at Sasquatch! in the past.

Another thing that may have factored into the decision to add the Maine stage is the  response to last year’s set by Macklemore. His set more or less showed there is a bigger demand for local hip-hop at Sasquatch! than what has previously been offered. You could almost go so far to call the inclusion of the Maine stage the “Macklemore effect.” Meaning that Mack’s performance was the tipping point that opened up the opportunity for there to be a showcase of Northwest hip-hop at the festival.

So the question isn’t why is there stage dedicated to local hip-hop music, the question is why did it take so long for there to be a stage showcasing the region’s hip-hop talent (Exhibit A: Seattle Sound magazine cover from 2006 shown above)?

As for which acts will be performing on the Maine stage, that is still a mystery but it won’t be one for much longer since the Sasquatch! Launch Party will be happening Thursday at the Neptune Theatre.

Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 14 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, and others and was the founder and editor of defunct music site Ear Candy.