The Festival at Sandpoint celebrates its 32nd annual summer concert series, August 7-17, showcasing eight nights of eclectic music under the stars, on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, in Sandpoint, Idaho. The season line-up serves up a stellar line-up of cutting edge artists and classic favorites with headliners The Head and the Heart, Huey Lewis & the News, Nickel Creek, Trombone Shorty, Galactic, Ray LaMontagne, and Montgomery Gentry as well as rising stars and local favorites including Mikey & Mattty, Head for the Hills, Pear, The Belle Brigade, Wade Bowen, Chris Webster & Nina Gerber and the Miah Kohal Band.
Thursday, August 7th
The Head and the Heart
with Mikey & Matty
Thursday, August 7, Opening Night stars indie folk-rock sensation THE HEAD AND THE HEART. It wasn’t that long ago that members of Seattle’s hottest new band were busking on street corners, strumming their acoustic guitars, stomping their feet and singing in harmony as they attempted to attract the attention of passersby after meeting and forming their group through a series of open mic nights at Seattle's Conor Byrne pub in Old Ballard. Then, something unexpected happened: Their debut, self-titled album, recorded on the local Sub Pop label, with hits like “Lost in my Mind,” “Rivers and Roads,” “Down in the Valley,” and “Coeur d’Alene,” began to reach audiences all over the United States and the rest of the world. Their follow up release, Let’s Be Still has continued to earn them devoted fans who love to see them perform live. Fellow Seattlites Mikey & Matty, who are touring with the band this summer, will open the show. All tickets are $39.95. Brew Tasting tickets are available for $10 -- which includes a commemorative pilsner glass and premium microbrew tastes. Brew Tasting starts when gates open at 6:00 PM. Concert starts at 7:30 PM.
Friday, August 8th
Huey Lewis & the News
with Miah Kohal Band
On Friday, August 8, The Festival welcomes one of America’s great rock & roll bands, HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS. As they enter their 35th year together, their contagious brand of music has outlasted countless trends and is as fresh today as ever. Formed from two rival Bay Area bands in 1979, they continue to thrill audiences worldwide, selling over 20 million albums in the process. These Grammy Award winners have written and performed such classic Top Ten Hits as “Heart of Rock & Roll,” “Stuck With You,” “I Want a New Drug,” “Hip To Be Square,” and “If This Is It.” The 1985 hit film Back to the Future featured the Academy Award Nominated worldwide smash hit “The Power of Love.” As great a recording career as the band has had, there is something extra special about a Huey Lewis & the News live show with frontman Huey Lewis’ unmistakable voice lending itself not just to their hits, but also to bluesy tunes and a cappella renditions of early rock ‘n roll classics like “It’s Alright.” With a love of music that comes through in everything they do, be it their albums, their live performances or the way they interact with their fans, they are truly a band with “Heart and Soul.” Sandpoint’s own Miah Kohal Band will open the evening. All tickets are $59.95. Doors open at 6:00 PM, concert starts at 7:30 PM.
Super Saturday, August 9th
with Head for the Hills
On Saturday August 9, the reunited Grammy Award winning roots-music trio NICKEL CREEK returns to Sandpoint to headline a Super Saturday show with special guests Head for the Hills and Pear. Starting in the 1990s NICKEL CREEK led the way in the fresh sound of progressive bluegrass music, blending varied influences into their own brand of “genre soup” where you can’t see exactly what’s in it, but you know you love it! The astoundingly talented trio includes mandolin player Chris Thile, guitarist Sean Watkins and violinist Sara Watkins. Championed by bluegrass superstar Alison Krauss and Sugar Hill Records, the band quickly caught fire with three popular and critically acclaimed releases. Formed in 1989, but dormant since 2007, the group agreed to commemorate their 25 year milestone with at least a few concerts and festivals, and The Festival at Sandpoint is lucky to be one of them! As soon as they reunited, the creative synergy of these practically life-long friends returned with a vengeance leading them to record a new album, A Dotted Line, in less than two weeks. While they still excel at detailed arrangements and leave room for their trademark improvisation, each member says they have grown as musicians in their time apart. “The band is going to be stronger and more exciting,” says Watkins. We don’t know if that’s even possible, but we do know it will be another sold-out show that Festival fans will talk about for years to come.
Sunday, August 10th
Sunday, August 10 is musical fun for the young and young at heart, as the Festival presents its FAMILY CONCERT, “Musical Magic” featuring the Spokane Youth Orchestra and Sandpoint’s Studio One Dancers. Favorite pre-concert activities include the Instrument Petting Zoo (where kids can try out various instruments with guidance from high school musical mentors), an animal petting zoo, pony rides, clowns, face painting, games galore and the popular Parents’ Corner where moms and dads can take a break from the chaos for a complimentary mini-massage. All tickets are only $6.00. Activities begin when the gates open at 4:30 PM and the performance starts at 6:30PM.
Thursday, August 14th
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
with Special Guest Galactic
Thursday, August 14 take a musical trip to New Orleans with jazz, funk sensation TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE. A featured performer on this year’s Grammy Awards show as well as a recent featured performer on countless late night television shows and the HBO series Tremé, Troy Andrews is a trombone and trumpet player who grew up in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans and was a bandleader playing in clubs and touring by the age of six, hence his stage name, “Trombone Shorty.” A prodigy from a musical family, Shorty attended the prestigious New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and, while still a teen, went on a world tour as a member of Lenny Kravitz’ acclaimed horn section. As of 2009, his current project is Orleans Avenue, a funk/pop/hip-hop mix including musicians Mike Ballard on bass, Dan Oestreicher on baritone sax, Tim McFatter on tenor sax, Pete Murano on guitar and Joey Peebles on drums. Come see what one of the hottest concert tickets of the year is all about.
Friday, August 15th
with The Belle Brigade
Friday, August 15 singer-songwriter RAY LAMONTAGNE offers a very special Festival performance highlighting his unique gift to connect with audiences through his stories of love and life. Many artists speak of their musical epiphanies, LaMontagne’s came as he worked in a shoe factory where he heard Stephen Stills’ “Tree Top Flyer” piped through the factory sound system and was inspired to follow his musical inclinations. He soon had a record deal with his debut album Trouble, and its title track, topping the charts and garnering critical acclaim. His voice, which has been compared to Tim Buckley, a young Van Morrison, Joe Cocker and even Ryan Adams, has continued to gain a following on his subsequent albums Till the Sun Turns Black, Gossip in the Grain, God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise and his most recent, Supernova. Hit songs like “You are the Best Thing,” “Let it Be Me,” and “Repo Man” have been featured in movies and television shows including House, Parenthood, One Tree Hill, I Love You, Man, and performances on Saturday Night Live. LaMontagne has selected The Belle Brigade to open for him on his summer tour. The vocal and instrumental duo, consisting of siblings Barbara Gruska and Ethan Gruska, come from a musical family. Their father, Jay Gruska, is a movie and television composer, and their grandfather is multiple-Oscar-winning composer John Williams. All tickets are $64.95. Doors open at 6:00PM, concert starts at 7:30PM.
Super Saturday, August 16th
with Wade Bowen
and Chris Webster & Nina Gerber
August 16th SUPER SATURDAY stars one of country music’s all time greatest duos MONTGOMERY GENTRY. When these two Kentucky boys, Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry, busted onto the national scene in 1999 with their defiant “Hillbilly Shoes,” country music fans took notice of the hard driving duo. They’ve scored fourteen Top 10 Singles with five hitting No.1: “Something to be Proud of,” “If You Ever Stop Solving Me,” “Lucky Man,” “Back When I knew It All” and “Roll with Me.” Known for its Southern rock influences, Montgomery Gentry has collaborated with Charlie Daniels, Toby Keith, Five for Fighting, and members of The Allman Brothers Band. The Grammy Nominated duo has garnered multiple Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Awards, induction into the Grand Ole Opry, critical acclaim and the admiration of millions of fans. In 2010 the hard-running honky tonkers were also recognized for their significant philanthropic work, receiving the Academy of Country Music’s Humanitarian Award. With their latest release, Rebels on the Run, the duo has secured their place in musical history with a unique blend of country, southern rock and Everly Brothers-like harmonies combined with relatable lyrics.
Sunday, August 17th
Grand Finale Concert
with the Spokane Symphony, Maestro Gary Sheldon
The Festival season culminates on Sunday, August 17 with the GRAND FINALE CONCERT: “SOLO SPOTLIGHT” featuring the SPOKANE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, conducted by MAESTRO GARY SHELDON, and an array of talented soloists. The first half of the program features Rossini’s Overture to The Thieving Magpie, Debussy’s Sacred and Profane Dances with soloist Earecka Moody (harp), and Sarasate’s Gypsy Airs with soloist, concertmaster Mateusz Wolski (violin). The second half of the program will feature three chorus songs from famous operas including, Verdi’s “Drinking Song” from La Traviata, Bizet’s “Toreador Song” from Carmen, and Lehar’s “Merry Widow Waltz” from The Merry Widow. The Festival Chorus will include local singers, featuring soloists Amy Craven and Jon Brownell, who will also conduct. The evening concludes with Resphigi’s The Pines of Rome, featuring the Ospreys of Memorial Field! Our traditional fireworks finale, made possible by Avista Utilities, will close The Festival at Sandpoint’s 32nd season in spectacular fashion. Gates open early at 4:30PM for the annual “Taste of the Stars” Wine Tasting, which is now the largest wine event of its kind in the state of Idaho. Wine tasting is complimentary for all concert goers over the age of 21 years. Concert starts at 7:30PM. Tickets are $39.95 for adults, $10.95 for youth 0 - 18 years.