Special to SMI from founder and former contributor, Greg Roth and Director of the forthcoming documentary, “#WeRideWhy.”
Timber! is the only festival that matters you say!!?? That is a bold statement sir! In a word, and at this stage of my life’s journey… Yes, Timber! is the only festival that matters… to me.
I have been to and covered many as a music hack, ahem, journalist (small “j”)…Bumbershoot, Sasquatch, Capitol Hill Block Party, Fisherman’s Village, Upstream Music Fest, Chinook Fest and more. Sasquatch is gone, Upstream is on “hiatus,” most likely never to return and Bumbershoot seems to be just a shadow of what it once was. If you like urban festivals, Capitol Hill Block Party is pretty cool, but when I think of a festival, I think of trees, nature, wide open fields, hills, mountains, grass… you get the picture.
I loved my experiences at all of these festivals. It is now more important than ever for artists to have as many avenues to showcase their craft as possible. The community that I am connected to and love is a bi-product of my experiences art those events and the people that I met and became friends with. Those experiences shall be cherished for all time in my heart but for the most part, I am done with the festival scene and generally done covering music – as I am now pursuing other passions like cycling, fitness, writing, visual storytelling and filmmaking.
Why does it matter? Because to me, Timber! represents everything a festival should be – a space for pure art, community, exploration, fun and authentic self expression. I attended the first 2 years of Timber in 2013 and 2014 – both experiences, profoundly special and memorable.
You won’t see a bunch of guys or gals in yellow “Security” windbreakers, telling you what you can and can’t do. The organizers, are not measuring how many bands they can squeeze on to the bill and squeeze as many people into various venues, assembly line style. To me, that is what the corporate festival has become. Fisherman’s Village and Chinook Fest (Much Love!) do not fit into that category. Timber definitely does not either. The people who attend Timber take care of their own and leave Tolt Macdonald Campground more impeccable than when they arrived. People bring their own containers to drink out of, instead of those bloody red (my favorite color by the way) plastic cups, that are way over used, and end up in a landfill (Not Cool). Timber! is an experience that is all inclusive in a family and environmentally friendly space, #Freedom.
Timber! also matters to me because it was incredibly important to my friend Ashley Berg, who lost her battle to cancer on Monday, May 14, the day after Mother’s Day last year. I know for a fact that her Timber experiences were some of the best days of the last years of her life.
#Timberfest you make me so happy every year. I love you.– Ashley Berg
Some of you may be aware that Jason Tang and I are working on a documentary film called #WeRideWhy to be completed in 2020. Ashley is the heart of the story.
When Ashley was battling cancer, one of the biggest highlights of the year was the Timber Outdoor Music Festival. She shared it with her daughter Piper every year since the summer of 2013. The last couple of years, her family joined her and Piper at Timber. As you will see in the video below, the festival’s founder, organizer, and artist Kevin Sur paid a moving tribute to Ashley and her family from the stage. Ashley’s family will be there again this year to honor her and celebrate her life. They and thousands come to bask in the majesty of music, art, activities, community, and God’s glory, underneath a beautiful sky in a lovely little place called Carnation, Washington (Man, I love to ride around there)!
Timber Outdoor Music Festival... is not just a music event, it is a life event. It is a celebration of community, music, art, love, and life itself. It is something you share with your family. It is an experience that stays in your heart for the rest of your life . . . like Ashley.
Regrettably, I will not be able to attend Timber! this year, since I am riding Seattle to Portland in 1 Day again and will be thinking of Ashley and her family the whole way down. I am making a promise to be there next year. I will take comfort in knowing that Ashley’s daughter Piper, Ashley’s mom, sisters, brother, nieces and best friend, will be there celebrating life and their “The Sunshine Girl” in a little slice of heaven called Carnation Washington… at the only festival that matters.
Below is a bonus content piece from our forthcoming film we produced to share the story of Ashley’s love for music and her relationship with Timber! The piece includes shots from Jason Tang and Seattle Music Insider editor, Abby Williamson. Once again, the theme music for the film was produced and performed by our music supervisor and Grammy contributing composer, Andrew Joslyn, who will also be performing at Timber! who along with the Passenger String Quartet will be performing with headliner, Mark Lanegan (Kevin Sur and Andrew collaborated on a project and performed at the Fremont Abbey in November of 2018). The narration of the video is provided by the voice of #WeRideWhy, Grammy Award winner, Michael “Wanz” Wansley (Macklemore).
Timber! takes place this weekend, July 11-13. Tickets are available at: https://summer.timbermusicfest.com/tickets/
If you want to know more about our forthcoming film, #WeRideWhy, you can view the official trailer here: http://weridewhy.com