Oregon, and the rest of this corner of the country, has really been coming up the past few years with regard to music festivals. There’s Sasquatch, in central Washington, bringing in an impressive lineup of bands in May. The Treefort music festival in Boise in March that brought in a whole slew of great artists like Dan Deacon, Youth Lagoon, Earth and Quasi. Of course, as one of my recent posts pointed out, there is also the annual roots/folk festival just outside of Portland called Pickathon.
But, in my opinion, the most exciting of all of these is the SxSW style MusicFest NorthWest that happens all over the city of Portland for nearly an entire week at the beginning of September. The beginning of September, for those of you that aren’t fortunate enough to live in the Pacific Northwest, is when our weather tends to be absolutely perfect. Little to no rain, warm, sunny, everything you don’t think of when you think of the weather in the Pacific Northwest.
The artists that are brought to this area for each of these festivals keep getting better with each passing year. Last year Lightning Bolt, Deerhoof and Fucked Up playing MFNW were the bands that originally brought the festival to my attention and now that the full lineup has been released I would seriously urge people to sell a kidney if they had to in order to get there.
The full lineup and schedule have been officially released, which includes Neko Case, Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Titus Andronicus, Dan Deacon, Superchunk, The Thermals, The Dodos, Surfer Blood and a whole bunch more that I would give anything to see. It’s the largest music festival in the Northwest and the 3rd largest indoor music festival in the country, no small feat.
Wristbands range in price from $90 to $200, each guaranteeing free entry to any show, though the cheaper ones are “space permitting” while VIP is “immediate entry.” You can also buy individual tickets for each show, for those of you that don’t want to spend a week running across Portland (though if you were going to run around a city, Portland would be a good one to do it in. The light rail is pretty fantastic there.) And being that it is very similar in style to SxSW there is, of course, TechFestNW that overlaps with the last two days of the music festival.
If you’re in the area, or even if you are within a few days drive I would say go for it. Catch all the shows you can, and if you can’t get in to all of the shows that you wanted to, hey, you’re still in Portland. Have a beer.