The Cascade Equinox festival welcomed thousands of music lovers to the Deschutes County Fairgrounds over the weekend.
Cascade Equinox marked the second multi-day music festival in two months for the fairgrounds. The inaugural FairWell Festival brought tens of thousands of music lovers in July. It’s left festivalgoers wondering if this type of event is becoming more the norm in Central Oregon.
The festival went, for the most part, with rave reviews. By early afternoon on Monday, many campsites still needed to be packed away.
“Lots of positive vibes. Just great, great folks and great music and dancing,” Kris Wilhelm said.
He traveled from Bellingham, Washington, for the festival and spent much of Monday cleaning up his group’s site.
It’s the type of positive experience that fairgrounds director Geoff Hinds hopes becomes the norm.
“We know that just the sheer growth of music in Central Oregon continues,” he said about bringing in more similar music events. “The success of Fairwell Festival and what we anticipate from the organizers of this is the success that certainly prepares the way.”
Hinds says it’s too far out to determine if any similar events will be in the lineup for the fairgrounds next year.
Reviews from inside the grounds were overwhelmingly positive. Reviews from neighbors online were a different story, many claiming that bass could be heard across Redmond.
“This event had some additional volume challenges that we worked through with the promoter,” Hinds said. “We continually made adjustments throughout the weekend and tried to make sure that the impact was the least possible.”
Hinds added that the weather and type of music likely carried the sound farther from the grounds.
Wilhelm, unsurprisingly, had no qualms in the volume department.
“Absolutely stellar experience, super, super well done. I’m ready for next year already,” he said.
Hinds says the fairgrounds’ changes surrounding entering and exiting helped avoid congestion at different pinch points. Back in July, getting in and out of the Fairwell Festival at the fairgrounds proved more complex, with many forced to wait in the parking lot for several hours.