Slather on the sunscreen, slip on your sandals and paint Portland Blues! The 25th anniversary of the Oregon Food Bank’s Waterfront Blues Festival fills the July 4 week with three stages of musical entertainment that lasts through Sunday, July 8, at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Sponsored by Safeway and presented by First Tech Federal Credit Union, the festival is not only the biggest blues bash west of the Mississippi, it’s also Oregon Food Bank’s largest fundraiser, attracting more than 100,000 people from throughout the nation.
“This is a not-to-miss festival,” declared Peter Dammann, the festival’s long-time artistic director. “The lineup’s amazing. From Charlie Musselwhite to Steve Miller, from Elvin Bishop to Portland’s own Curtis Salgado, from Booker T. to Louisiana’s Galactic, from Bettye LaVette to Bobby Rush, from Toots and the Maytals to Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings … there’s something for everyone.”
What makes this festival so special? Picture yourself relaxing on the banks of the beautiful Willamette River, listening to the best blues in the world, viewing the glacial peaks of Mt. Hood to the east and the Portland skyline to the west, all the while smiling at the thought that you are helping Oregon Food Bank fight hunger.
This amazing festival is owned and produced by Oregon Food Bank, a nonprofit charitable organization, with the mission to eliminate hunger and its root causes … because no one should be hungry.
The festival features more than 150 stellar performances, four stages, zydeco, blues and swing dances, workshops and artist interviews, and Health Net Health Pavilion. You can sign up for free health screenings for blood pressure, visual sight, glaucoma, diabetes and hearing.
The Waterfront Blues Festival also offers eight Delta Music Experience Blues Cruises on the beautiful Willamette River and four After Hours All-Stars Concerts at the Marriott Hotel Ballroom. For details, visit waterfrontbluesfest.com.
Regular festival entry is a suggested donation of $10 (or more) plus two cans of food (or more) per person per day, making this festival one of the great entertainment bargains of the summer.