In “Field of Dreams,” a baseball player in a cornfield asks, “is this heaven?” Standing in front of a crowd of enthusiastic fans at Pendarvis Farm, musicians might ask the same thing. But it’s not heaven, it’s Pickathon (Aug. 3-5). For the past 13 years, this annual gathering of artists and audiences has celebrated the summer with music and revelry.
The three-day festival on 80 acres just outside Portland attracts a range of roots and indie artists as well as the bluegrass troupes that gave the event its name. This year’s headliners, Neko Case, Dr. Dog and Blitzen Trapper, range from indie pop to nostalgic folk rock, and resonate with raw power and grit that fit perfectly alongside Pendarvis’ barns and pastures. More than four dozen other acts round out the lineup, a harvest of songs and memories that could be Pickathon’s best crop yet.
In addition to an earful of tunes, the acclaimed festival is also sustainable summer fun. Camping options abound, and eco-friendly transport makes getting to the show both convenient and good for the environment. Last year, the event became the first large outdoor music festival in the U.S. to eliminate single-use plates, cups and utensils, and this year promises to be greener than ever.