Summertime in Portland means a number of things to me: berry season, non-stop sun, and festivals galore.
The largest blues festival west of the Mississippi takes over the waterfront next week, bringing with it some of the biggest names in the business. The four-day event features the likes of Etta James, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and numerous other performers from around the country and from Portland’s own backyard.
The Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival is a jaw-droppingly large fundraiser for the Oregon Food Bank, which is in special need of donations this year. Admission to the event is a suggested $10 donation and two cans of non-perishable food. Hardcore fans bring their blankets and low-slung chairs and stake out valuable real estate on the grass. Boaters can listen in close on the Willamette River, creating a mini-armada of blues lovers.
For attendees who want a bigger blues fix, the Delta Music Experience Blues Cruises take the tunes to the, er, river, with up-close-and-personal concerts as you travel. As for after parties, the Wildhorse Super Jams are the place to be, taking over the Marriott hotel on July 3 and 4.