June 20, 2023

Steph Nitsch

United by Bike at the Northwest Tune-Up

The Northwest Tune-Up festival comes alive this summer, July 14–16, 2023, in Bellingham’s Waterfront District, bringing together passionate bikers, a high-energy music festival and an abundance of renowned craft beer from local PNW breweries to a world-class mountain bike destination for a second year in a row.

At the core of this festival lies a group of passionate community members dedicated to creating an event that celebrates their local mountain bike and outdoor communities. The Northwest Tune-Up festival is one of the PNW’s largest MTB focused festivals and incorporates activities that extend far beyond mountain biking, with the goal of fostering an accessible and inclusive outdoor experience for all, near and far. 

Improving on last year’s inaugural festival with help from the community. 

Last year, festival-goers saw a glimpse of Northwest Tune-Up’s vision; this year, attendees can expect an entirely updated festival experience, from layout to lineup. The team behind the scenes spent the past year collecting extensive feedback from vendors, passholders, and community members, then, dutifully worked to improve as many aspects of the festival as possible. 

Notable updates to the festival this year include a consolidated venue at the waterfront bike park and venue, music performers playing later into the night, on-site VanLife camping right on the festival grounds and flexible ticket options, including single-day, three-day and twilight passes.

Additionally, the Exhibitor Demo Village, Bellingham Makers Market, Portal Container Market, and Kulshan Trackside Brewery are open to the public and welcome non-passholders to participate in spectator-friendly activities. Passholders will have the exclusive opportunity to demo bikes, utilize free bike shuttles to Galbraith Mountain and Chuckanut trailheads, and finish each day with a full-scale music festival at the waterfront venue.

As a bike festival first and foremost, the Exhibitor Village is an exciting space that fosters personal relationships with bike brands traveling from all over North America and beyond. Bellingham is known as a Mecca of mountain bike culture and industry, with three bike manufacturers, 14 bike shops and dozens of bike-specific small businesses based in and around the city. The Northwest Tune-Up Exhibitor Village assembles many of the best bike businesses in one, unified space.

Organized by locals, supported by locals.

The Northwest Tune-Up was crafted from the vision of Eric Brown, known in the community for his work as Trail Director for the Whatcom Mountain Bike Collation (WMBC), and Brandon Watts, Founder and President of Freehub Magazine. Alongside them, a collection of 10 other local mountain bikers, outdoor enthusiasts and industry veterans work hard to create a festival experience unlike any other in mountain biking.

“The Northwest Tune-Up was created specifically to support the great outdoor organizations in Whatcom County that make it such an amazing place to live and recreate,” said Brown. “The WMBC has been building and maintaining trails for 37 years, and we’re super excited to have the non-profit back as our benefactor for both the Galbraith Mountain Enduro and the Tune-Up’s beer garden.”

“I personally love our local community and The Northwest Tune-Up seemed like the perfect mix of festivities to help celebrate what makes Bellingham so great,” added Watts. “The local response has been super positive and overwhelmingly supportive, to say the least, and the folks traveling from out of town are getting a glimpse to what makes this place so darn special.” 

In addition to the festival’s support for the cycling industry is the caliber of musicians that have signed on to perform in Bellingham at the 2023 event. "This year's Tune-Up line-up was supercharged by the outpouring of artist excitement coming out of last year's event. We continue to prioritize music discovery, local and regional favorites and headliners who bring energy and soulfulness to our unique festival grounds,” said the festival’s talent director, Hunter Motto.

STRFKR, Galactic featuring Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph, The Crystal Method and The Floozies will headline the festival with dynamic performances late into the night. Local, and Northwest-based bands like Moontricks, Hot Damn Scandal, Smooth Kiwi, Snotty Nose Rez Kids and Silk Jammies will kick off each evening, with a variety of international acts to keep festival-goers dancing well into the evening.

Northwest Tune-Up is part of Bellingham's signature event program in partnership with the City of Bellingham and Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, aimed to encourage commerce, maximize national and regional exposure, enhance the existing quality of life for all residents, all while helping to continue building a legacy of sustainable recreation in Whatcom County.

Tickets on sale now.

Three-day festival passes ($150, adult; $60, youth) and single-day tickets ($75, adult; $30, youth) are on sale now. Twilight tickets (entry at 7 p.m.) for music-only enthusiasts will be on sale starting June 26, 2023. Tickets are free for children 12 and under. All tickets, including a limited number of VIP tickets and on-site VanLife camping passes, can be purchased at

Respecting the land and people that came before us.

Northwest Tune-Up acknowledges that we are residing on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Lummi People, the original inhabitants of Washington's northernmost coast and Southern British Columbia. Since Time Immemorial they have celebrated life on their land, waterways and on the traditional, ancestral and unceded lands of their People to perpetuate their way of life. 

About Northwest Tune-Up.

Northwest Tune-Up is a community-forward bike, beer and music festival in Bellingham, Washington that is dedicated to improving cycling access, fostering recreational development and preserving Pacific Northwest heritage. Nestled in the northwest corner of the state, Bellingham has grown into a cycling mainstay of the West Coast. Well-known for its access to the Cascade Mountains and San Juan Islands, the region has flourished with year-round trail and recreational opportunities and is surrounded by an active cycling community on the forefront of craft brewing, music and art. The 2023 Northwest Tune-Up will return for its second year July 14–16, 2023. For more festival information, visit

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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