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Mossback’s Northwest

The Music Festival That Came Before Woodstock

August 31, 2018

Hippies, mud dancing, big name rock and roll bands — you’ve heard about Woodstock, but what about the music festival that came before? Knute Berger takes a trip down memory lane to the mother of all music festivals in the Pacific Northwest. Over Labor Day weekend of 1968, the sleepy logging town of Sultan, Washington played host to the Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair. Tens of thousands of hippies showed up.    



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Eric Keto

From the Oregon Coast to the North Slope of Alaska, Eric enjoys telling stories from the western edge of the country. His nonfiction video work has been featured on The Atlantic, PBS NewsHour and Alaska Public Media.

More stories by Eric Keto

Knute Berger

Knute Berger is Crosscut’s Mossback. Born and raised in Seattle, he writes with his own Pacific Northwest perspective. He also writes the monthly “Gray Matters” column for Seattle magazine where he is editor-at-large, and is an occasional commentator on KUOW-FM’s “Week in Review.” He is the author of two books: Pugetopolis: A Mossback Takes On Growth Addicts, Weather Wimps, and the Myth of Seattle Nice and Space Needle, The Spirit of Seattle (2012), the official 50th anniversary history of the tower. He was writer-in-residence at the Space Needle and has had a cocktail named after him at Ivar’s. You can email him at knute.berger@crosscut.com or follow him on twitter @KnuteBerger.

More stories by Knute Berger