Watershed Music Festival Returns to Washington's Scenic Gorge

Article Contributed by THE GREENROOM | Published on Tuesday, August 8, 2023

11th-annual Watershed Music and Camping Festival hosted the three-day event with fans returning to The Gorge in George, Washington, to see a star-studded lineup including headliners Cody Johnson, Keith Urban and Lainey Wilson.

With the sun shining across the picturesque venue, the three-day festival kicked off on Friday with sets from Carly Pearce, Niko Moon, Wade Bowen, and more. The evening commenced with a stellar performance by Cody Johnson swooning the lively crowd under the starry night sky.

The summer fun continued on Saturday, with fans enjoying memorable sets across both stages and singing along to the likes of Aaron Raitiere, Warren Zeiders, Tenille Townes, Kameron Marlowe, and Parker McCollum. Recent Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee Keith Urban closed out the night, delivering an energetic performance of songs spanning his lengthy discography.

Photo Credit: Fernando Ramirez Zuñiga

Both Friday and Saturday nights ended with dance parties under the night sky at “Late Night with DJ Rod Youree” as fans enjoyed the festivities taking place at the Next From Nashville Stage presented by Wrangler.

Sunday saw electric performances by Conner Smith, Travis Denning, Avery Anna, and Ernest. Wrapping the festival’s 11th year on one of the most scenic stages in America, Lainey Wilson stepped into the headlining slot for Luke Bryan, due to illness. She closed the show with a homage to Bryan, singing fan favorites “Drink a Beer,” “Drunk on You,” “Huntin', Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day,” and “Country Girl.”

Above: Lainey Wilson; Bottom Left: DJ Rod Youree; Bottom Right: Travis Denning - Photo Credit: Fernando Ramirez Zuñiga

Self-proclaimed “Shedders” and equally-excited artists gather to enjoy the festival's “tough to beat” (Rolling Stone) scenery that is both “a sonic and visual treat” (Billboard), alongside an eclectic lineup that includes the genre’s biggest stars and hottest emerging acts. Over the weekend, crowds gathered at the Next From Nashville Stage—the stage that has become a tastemaker for artists in country music—to catch special performances from the most buzzed-about newcomers, including Ben Burgess, Ella Langley, Peytan Porter, Ben Chapman, Chayce Beckham, and Lauren Watkins, amongst others.