“What the…?!” is an exclamation commonly heard when meandering around the grounds that host What The Festival each summer in White River Canyon, Oregon. And, that’s exactly the point.
What The Festival prides itself on being incredibly eclectic with never-ending amazement. Everything at this festival is either moving, flamboyant, or vibrantly colored – or most often, all three. Each step brings another curious sight to feast one’s eyes on, from the circus characters roaming about in ridiculous outfits of color, to the exhibitions of regional artist’s works, and not to mention all of the beautiful festival goers themselves. Set in the high forest next to the White River and just a short distance from Mt. Hood as the crow flies, What The Festival showcases the extreme beauty of Oregon’s landscapes, while providing a unique hideaway for three days of partying and arts.
After waking up in a tent, whether “glamping” or roughing it, festival attendees are able to roam around the area checking out extraordinary works of art and architecture from artists all over the west coast. Take a workshop in topics ranging from yoga to double-dutch, to lectures on consciousness or sustainability. Cool off at the spring-fed pool, kick back on an array of pillows, and puff on shisha tobacco at the outdoor hookah bar. The grounds also have a collection of delicious food vendors, an oasis of spa and sauna, and a multitude of different stages – each of which are specially engineered to provide the purest sound for music connoisseurs.
For the last two years, a particular stage was incorporated to the festival because of its outstanding reputation at Burning Man festival in Nevada – the Opulent Temple. This egg-shaped, enclosed stage has a unique pyrotechnic feature that will probably burn one’s eyebrows off if standing too close. The inside of the stage is probably only about seven feet in diameter, but the sound it produces is near-perfect. The LOL stage is nestled in the woods, perfect for laying down on a blanket and snuggling up with a crush under the trees and stars. The OMG Lounge is a suave and sexy place for grooving to the music or hanging out at the bar. A goal of the What The Festival team is to never let a dull moment into the three-day event, and in years past, they have done an excellent job filling this initiative.
What The Festival has been called the Woodstock of the millennial’s generation by many, and has also received props from NBC News, The Untz, The Festival Guy, and more. Having hosted acts such as Gramatik, Flosstradamus, Kill Paris, RJD2, PANyRAiD and more, What The Festival has given a fresh feel to summer festivals by harnessing all branches of EDM.
Written By: Jaelyn Kohl