Like salmon returning to their birthplace to spawn, music fans are recalled every summer to the massive regional music festivals that populate the Northwest like so many noisy, sweaty magnets. Whether ye be devotees of rock, jazz, hip-hop or if you’re just looking for an excuse to party in the woods, there’s sure to be a festival that fulfills your personal musical fantasies with its plethora of party-inducing artists. Here’s a rundown of some of your best bets for rock-and-roll hedonism this summer in the lovely Northwest.
Like salmon returning to their birthplace to spawn, music fans are recalled every summer to the massive regional music festivals that populate the Northwest like so many noisy, sweaty magnets. Whether ye be devotees of rock, jazz, hip-hop or if you’re just looking for an excuse to party in the woods, there’s sure to be a festival that fulfills your personal musical fantasies with its plethora of party-inducing artists. Here’s a rundown of some of your best bets for rock-and-roll hedonism this summer in the lovely Northwest. -Shane Danaher
The END’s Summer Camp 2Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Pkwy. NE, Redmond, WATickets: $33.50June 14A daylong festival that includes Nada Surf, Flogging Molly, Pennywise and MGMT. Could be a fun day at Marymoor Park in Washington.
Chamber Music Northwest, Summer Music FestivalKaul Auditorium, Reed College, 3203 S.E. Woodstock Blvd.Tickets: $10-$43June 23-July 27This five-week long festival includes something for every fan of instrumental music. Popular contemporary artists will perform a variety of music ranging from classical to bluegrass; from old American favorites to pieces composed by living artists. Featured events include a children’s concert, the world premier of a new sonnet from Roberto Sierra, and performances by the Orion String Quartet and the Miami String Quartet. A complete list of events and featured artists is available at www.cmnw.org.
3900′ FestivalHorning’s Hideout, 21277 N.W. Brunswick Canyon Rd., North Plains, OR Tickets: $53 (includes camping and parking)June 27 and 28A two-day camping festival reminiscent of the ’60s … well maybe just the camping part. The 3900′ Festival is a celebration of Portland indie bands and includes The Skinnyz, No Go Know, Echo Helstrom, Little Beirut and many more. The ticket price covers camping, parking and all the shows. This is an all-ages event, so everyone can have a great time supporting local bands.
Waterfront Blues FestivalWaterfront Park, Portland, ORTickets: $10 and two cans of foodJuly 3-6This will be the 21st annual Blues Festival in Portland and it doesn’t look like it will disappoint. More than 100 artists are scheduled to perform during the four-day fest, including Isaac Hayes, Phoebe Snow and Charlie Musselwhite. It promises to be a good time, and admission is cheap-as always. More information is available at www.waterfrontbluesfest.com.
Sub Pop FestivalMarymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Pkwy NE, Redmond, WATickets: $60 for two days, $30 for one dayJuly 12 and 13Sub Pop Records is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an “utterly overwrought” festival at Marymoor Park in King County, Wash. You may be wondering, “Why would I want to go to Washington?” Well here are a few freakin’ awesome reasons: Flight of the Conchords, Iron & Wine, Wolf Parade, No Age, The Vaselines, Patton Oswalt and David Cross. Basically, you’re going to pee yourself dancing or laughing. One way or the other (or maybe both) it’s going to happen. Check online at www.subpop.com for ticket and schedule information.
PDX Pop Now!Rotture, 315 S.E. Third Ave., Portland ORTickets: FREEJuly 25-27Try searching “Portland”, “all ages”, “free” or “damn good music” in Google and keep in mind that if it weren’t for PDX Pop Now! that search wouldn’t give you much. Thankfully, we do have this wonderful festival. This year’s line-up includes Starfucker, The Builders & The Butchers, The Blow, Braille, The Shaky Hands, Blue Skies for Black Hearts, Laura Gibson and Swim Swam Swum. The festival will take place both indoors and outdoors. Volunteering is an option for those who would like to get involved behind the scenes. More information and a schedule of performances is available online at www.pdxpopnow.com.
BumbershootSeattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA Tickets: $80 for a three-day pass, $35 dailyAug. 30-Sept. 1Why brave the commute to Seattle in the sweltering last stand of the sunny season? Bumbershoot. The music and arts festival features some pretty kick-ass artists including Beck, Band of Horses, Paramore, Saul Williams, Dan Deacon, Del tha Funky Homosapien, Neko Case, Blitzen Trapper, Keyshia Cole, T.I., The All-American Rejects and Estelle. Those are just a few of the musicians scheduled but it’s clear there will be something for every listener. Writer Fransisca Lia Block and comic book artist/writer Dan Clowes will also be there, as well as other performing artists. A wide variety of tickets are available which let you customize your experience without spending more than you want to. Information is available at www.bumbershoot.org.
Capitol Hill Block PartyCapitol Hill, Ninth Ave. and Pike St., Seattle WATickets: $34 for two days, $18 for oneJuly 25 and 26The Capitol Hill Block Party is probably going to be one of the best music festivals this summer and it’s looking to be well worth the added miles. We’re talking Vampire Weekend, Menomena, The Hold Steady, Girl Talk, The Builders & The Butchers, and Kimya Dawson. On top of that, tickets are inexpensive for a festival and you can buy according to what you want to see.
Wine, Cheese and All That JazzRockaway Beach, ORTickets: $15June 14 Rose Festival-sanctioned, the Wine, Cheese and All That Jazz festival will be held at Rockaway Beach and includes food, wine tasting and of course music. Information is available at www.rockawaybeach.net/allthatjazz.com.