Friday, August 30, 2019

The Thing Music and Art Festival Recap

The Thing music and arts festival had its inaugural event over this past weekend, August 24th and 25th right here in my neck of the woods at Fort Worden, a former early 1900s military base in Port Townsend, Washington. Sadly, due to family emergency I was only free to cover Sunday at THING, but I managed to pack a lot into my abbreviated visit.

Fort Worden played host to the two day THING that entertained us with nonstop music, art, food, comedy and more. Some of the acclaimed performers included The Violent Femmes. hip hop icons De La Soul, Calexico & Iron and Wine, Jeff Tweedy, comedian Todd Barry, and actors John C. Reilly, Natasha Lyonne, Stephen Tobolosky, Kurt Vile, the Napoleon Dynamite cast and so many more...Over 50 performers!

Some of my own highlights included seeing and chatting with one of my personal favorite stand up comedians, the aforementioned Todd Barry. Todd is a NYC based comic known for his dry humor and soft spoken demeanor that always delivers non stop laughter with his edgy and observant joke telling. If you're not familiar with his stuff, I recommend checking out his recent Netflix special.
As a huge stand up comedy fan, Todd Barry performing here in Port Townsend was huge. It was definitely nice to chat with him again.

Another thing that was extra cool for me was a performance by Giants In The Trees featuring Krist Novaselic, a founding member of rock and roll hall of famers, Nirvana. Giants In The Trees brought a really rocking blend of Americana with just a touch of a punky vibe that really worked.  They're definitely an act I'm going to try and see again!

There was so much to see and do. I wish I had more time to take in more of the festival! Check out a few pictures, including a couple more shots from Giants in the Trees' set:

The Night Market was full of booths from vendors, artists, activists and crafting demos. 
This van in the Night Market was pretty slick. I believe it was promoting a regional brewery.

Jones Soda was one of the THING sponsors, and on hand giving out samples of their stuff, so I really wanted to share this bottle they made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, one of the most important moments in our history. Sorry, I had to show you guys this. 

Earlier in the day, when I arrived, the Night Market crowd was sparse, but filled up as time went on.
Thought it was pretty cool having a Sub Pop records booth in the Night Market
More shots from Giants in the Trees

Black Belt Eagle Scout were another pretty good band to check out. They had a very moody indie rock sound, with some scorching guitar solos! I dug them.  Extra points for the cool band name! Check em out HERE 

The organizers of THING really really utilized the space at historic Fort Worden really well, laying out the stages and venues as to not feel over crowded as some festivals could, which was quite appealing and pleasant having been to countless events. Overall, I'd say THING was pretty successful. A great family friendly weekend with great food, great music, and great times for all.

I have to add that although there was a bit of worry by the local residents about the impact on the region, THING Festival has come and gone, with minimal negative impact on this small community. Hopefully that leaves the door open for a return next year, along with other similar events in the area. I'm inspired to plan my own next big event...I believe this is the next big THING (pun very much intended)

We're glad we got to check out THING! Thanks to STG ( for the opportunity to cover the event.
Steve Strout is the media mastermind (haha) behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return soon!). Follow him on Instagram at, and  He can be reached for comments at on twitter at @thestevestrout