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THING music festival announces its return, 2022 lineup

A big stage with two banners on either side that read 'THING' vertically is central to the frame with crowds of people standing around it.
Christine Mitchell
THING returns to Port Townsend for its second year. COVID-19 forced the festival to cancel the prior two years.

Another major music festival announced its return today. THING will take place Aug. 26-28 at Fort Worden Historical State Park in Port Townsend. The festival launched in 2019 but was canceled the last two years due to COVID-19.

Adam Zacks is the programmer behind THING and also the chief programming officer for Seattle Theatre Group. After producing the popular three-day festival Sasquatch! for 17 years at the Gorge, Zacks wanted to create something different. He sought to create a lineup that strayed from the mainstream names you might expect to see at major music festivals. Instead, he wanted to curate a lineup that encouraged music discovery.

In its first year, headliners included Jeff Tweedy, Violent Femmes and Kurt Vile. Other acts included Japanese Breakfast and Orville Peck, who have only blown up since their sets at the festival. The fact that this festival was curated by a local with ties to STG was evident with sets by Seattle-based The Black Tones and writer Lindy West.

This year's lineup is no different, with big names like Father John Misty and Modest Mouse set to appear along with local acts like Enumclaw and Shaina Shepherd. There will also be performances by participants from More Music @ the Moore, STG's youth program.

"We're really keen on on that music discovery piece. That's what informs the programming, and we're also keyed in on creating an environment that's truly welcoming to everyone and where there's really amplified representation," Zacks said.

This year, about 50 percent of the lineup identifies as non-white. And to address accessibility, they’re offering single-day passes for the first time as well as free admission for kids under the age of 12.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 25. There's more information available on THING's website.

Grace Madigan is KNKX's former Arts & Culture reporter. Her stories focused on how people express themselves and connect to their communities through art, music, media, food, and sport.