Thousands attend opening night of Festival at Sandpoint

The shores of Lake Pend Oreille are echoing with music as thousands of people attended the opening night of the Festival at Sandpoint.

When the clock struck 6 p.m. Thursday, people grabbed lawn chairs and coolers, racing to find a good stead to watch Thursday’s opener, Big Head Todd and the Monsters.

“We’re right here on Lake Pend Oreille and it’s breezy,” said Dyno Wahl, executive director of the festival. “It’s just a lovely place to listen to music.”

“There’s not a lot of stress,” said festival attendee Kevin Schindler. “You’re sitting out here in the sun enjoying the time, it doesn’t get any better than this.”

For the last 36 years, the Festival at Sandpoint has offered an intimate, laid-back concert venue at Sandpoint’s Memorial Field.

The festival crowd can feel more like a big family, with each year acting as a reunion.

This year’s headliners include ZZ Top, Sublime with Rome, Gavin DeGraw, and Phillip Phillips.

Wahl says the festival is already planning for 2019.

“We sell out 700 season passes because they know it’s going to be good,” he said.