On January 25th and 26th, warm the cold cockles of your Seattle hearts by attending a winter-themed music festival in Leavenworth. Snow-capped mountains, German-themed everything, Northwest musicians and hot toddies are just the tip of the iceberg at the Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival. Kevin Sur, co-creator of Timbrrr!, lets us know what to expect when making the snow-bound trek to this winter wonderland.
Hi Kevin, welcome to the Lonely Arts Club! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What is your connection to Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival?
I am the founder of Artist Home. Artist Home is a company created by former touring artists for touring artists. With everything we do, from festivals to our blog, we do so thinking how is it we can help move musical artists forward and put them in the best place to succeed. This motivation has created a loyal core following of music lovers who support our events that aim to be about music discovery and making a difference.
Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival is one of Artist Homes’ major events that is the winter counterpart to our summer’s Timber! Outdoor Music Festival.
How was Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival first imagined? What kind of atmosphere are you creating when curating a festival like this?
As we know, the Northwest has a reputation for being gloomy in the winter months. We think otherwise and created a festival that celebrates the winter season and what makes it good. Timbrrr! has an ambiance that is cozy, wintery and joyous. The bulk of the music happens indoors in a large 1,400 capacity Festhalle that we decorate like a winter wonderland. The outdoor venues all have heaters and fire pits. With the variety of music, access to slopes, ski hills and a hot toddy garden all these things make for the most amazing time.
There’s something incredible about being up in the snow with your friends in the winter.
Did you build a community around this festival slowly – or was it spontaneously successful?
We built a community as Artist Home slowly over the years by supporting artists (free consultations, promoting relatively unknown artists and helping them grow) and by producing events that were different and just felt right. Over time there was a foundation of a community who connected with what we did and really was the base of the audience who helped make Timbrrr! a success.
Are all of the music acts from the PNW? How do you discover new music?
Most of the acts are from the NW but some like Jenn Champion and Shannon & the Clams are based in California. We’ve hosted artists from all over in the past. In terms of discovering new music, I’m always searching by scouting shows, obsessing over the music I’ve never heard before online and going through about 1,000 submissions from artists who would like to perform every year.
Your festival is in the middle of winter. What have been some creative ways to get people to come out of their caves and party with you? What sets your festival apart from others?
What sets this festival apart is simply the fact that we challenge people to get out of their caves and come celebrate for a weekend. Also, the community that attends really creates the most incredible and inclusive vibe.
I mean where else can you attend a music festival in the snow and drink hot toddies?
In the west, Seattleites mainly know Leavenworth as a German winter wonderland during Christmas. Are there any hidden gems we should know about this town besides your awesome festival?
Aside from all there is to do walking around town (shopping, eating, drinking at Icicle Brewing) there’s also an awesome free sledding experience guests can enjoy at the Leavenworth Golf Course, discounted tickets to Stevens Pass which you can use on the Thursday prior to Timbrrr or the Sunday afterward. I’d also recommend checking out LOGE Camps for a really unique and cool lodging experience, as well as an early morning show on Saturday morning with Young Chaylee. There are so many options!
Anything else we should know?
This year we have a lot more daytime programming supporting Leavenworth businesses. So on Saturday guests can see music at Icicle Brewing, Munchen Haus, Rhein Haus, Icicle Village at LOGE.
Known as organizers of Doe Bay Festival, Timber! Outdoor Music Festival, King County’s CHOMP, and more, Artist Home been heralded as “innovators in art” by CityArts magazine. Artist Home has always worked to integrate unique musical experiences and natural settings, in both senses showcasing the best of the northwest.
(All images of Timbrrr! provided by Kevin Sur)