Dream Festival

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

Last week, Reader Publisher Ben Olson and Editor-in-Chief Zach Hagadone shared their “dream” Festival at Sandpoint lineup in lieu of a real 2020 schedule, since the event has been canceled for the year.

This week, it’s my turn.

The Festival at Sandpoint in 2019. Photo by Racheal Baker.

Week 1


My dream Festival opens with a double-whammy of timeless indie rock sound. Dawes kicks off the night with easygoing guitar riffs and crystal clear lyrics, thanks to frontman Taylor Goldsmith and his smooth-as-butter voice. Up-and-coming five-piece Mt. Joy draws from folk and jazz for a unique sound sure to appeal to Festival-goers of all ages and tastes, and is sure to bring the energy necessary to ring in Festival season.


You would find me sleeping in my car outside the Memorial Field gates three days in advance if The Killers were ever slated to grace The Festival stage. In reality, this won’t happen until it’s my children asking, “Mom, who the heck are The Killers?” In this scenario, it’s happening while the band is still creating rock music that feels like an invention each time an album drops. Hearing “When You Were Young” live on the lake would be a religious experience.


It’s country night, and more importantly, it’s ladies’ night. Mark my words — Tenille Townes will be a mainstay of country radio in coming years. Her debut album The Lemonade Stand is gaining steam thanks to her classic country voice and gift for storytelling. Headlining this dream country night is incredible songwriter, vocalist and funny woman Kacey Musgraves. She’s trailer trash in her soul, but rhinestone-studded country royalty on the surface.


Pedro the Lion is back from the dead and performing my dream Festival. The first part of that sentence is true — David Bazan has the band back together after more than a decade of solo recording. Pedro the Lion’s 2019 studio album Phoenix is a well-rounded compilation of stories from Bazan’s early life, and tracks like “Yellow Bike” and “Model Homes” would fit perfectly beneath The Festival tent.

Week 2


There is no world in which rising pop star Halsey would play Sandpoint on a Thursday night, but this is my dream Festival, so she is. Coming off of her third studio album, the sassy, sad and strikingly honest artist is hitting her stride. I envision a live performance full of jubilant dance jams and angry sing-alongs — a detox for the soul, if you will. War Memorial Field wouldn’t know what hit it.


This has to be my favorite night of Lyndsie’s Dream Festival: female indie rocker night. Australian singer-songwriter Angie McMahon would open with her deep vocals and catalog of songs full of angst and light. boygenius would headline — the ever-so-magical combination of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus. Why choose just one incredible woman of rock when you could have all three? Bonus: They could also cover each other’s solo tracks. I’m on the verge of tears imagining it.


Rockabilly artist Chris Stapleton would bring down The Festival tent with his infectious energy and powerful vocals. As a veteran behind-the-scenes Nashville songwriter, Stapleton penned tunes for George Strait, Luke Bryan and Adele, among many others. I have a hard time believing he couldn’t have given each of those songs a life all their own. It seems everything he touches turns to guitar-shredding, chorus-shouting gold.


In closing, I choose an artist who was meant for the idyllic scene of The Festival at Sandpoint: Florence + the Machine. I actually saw Florence Welch and her band in a fancy concert hall in Phoenix in 2012, and I can confirm — that woman is a force. She belongs under the North Idaho stars, unencumbered by walls, and her listeners deserve plenty of space to dance and sway and feel all that her eclectic, soaring music has to offer.

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.