Portland Music Festivals

We’ve all heard of the big music festival names like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Coachella, but did you know that there are tons of incredible Oregon and Portland music events musical festivals? Some of the best music festivals in the entire country take place each year in different parts of the state. From stunning concerts in the hills to waterfront shows in the city of Portland, there are so many great music festivals in Oregon each year.

Whether you are attending Portland music events in the city or festivals at picturesque campgrounds, you can get your fill of arts, music, culture and food in Oregon. There are so many gems in the area, it can be hard to pick from all of the great festivals. Here are some of the most electrifying, popular music festivals that are going on in the Portland area.

Portland Music Festivals

1.      Pickathon

Established in 1998, Pickathon has become a Portland staple as an independent music festival that is perfect for music lovers of all ages. This family-friendly festival is hosted in Happy Valley, Oregon on the Pendarvis Farm, only about a 30-minute drive from Downtown Portland. This is the perfect event for festivalgoers who are looking for a gathering that is dedicated to sustainability. The Pickathon lineup is sure to provide a unique and eclectic experience for attendees.

Attendees can enjoy a variety of new and well-known musical acts that will perform on artistic stages designed with the Portland spirit in mind. Many of these artists will even perform at least two sets (which is rare for music festivals). Pickathon continues to go strong year after year and 2020 is expected to be no different.

When: Early August 2020

Where: Happy Valley, Oregon

Slideshow image sourced from Pickathon.com.

2.      Waterfront Blues Festival

If you are a lover of blues, funk, soul and R&B, then the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland is the best festival in the Northwest for you. As the name suggests, this festival is located on the waterfront in the city. The Waterfront Blues Festival is a Portland favorite and has been voted the Best Festival and Best Outdoor Event by readers of Willamette Week’s in a “Best of Portland” poll.

Attendees will be treated to four stages with live musicians performing throughout the day, food from the best local restaurants and vendors selling their goods! The Waterfront Blues Festival schedule is typically around the Fourth of July, so this four-day festival is the perfect way to spend the long weekend in Portland. Other popular aspects of this event include the Harmonica Blowoff, blues river boat cruises and a late-night firework show.

When: July 2-5, 2020

Where: Portland, Oregon

Slideshow image sourced from Koin.com.

3.      Northwest String Summit

The Northwest String Summit (NWSS) is a festival with a long history, as the event recently celebrated its 18th year in Oregon at the picturesque Horning’s Hideout. NWSS is a festival that sticks with its theme and it has been the largest Americana and String Music festival in the Pacific Northwest for many years. Fans of acoustic guitars and energized electric bands will feel right at home at the Northwest String Summit festival.

Located about 20 miles away from Portland, the Northwest String Summit festival at Horning’s Hideout is consistently one of the best camping festivals for the gorgeous scenery in the Tualatin Hills. Campers can set up their tents in the fir forest and enjoy a family-oriented experience with numerous kid-friendly features and activities located on the grounds.

When: Mid-July 2020

Where: North Plains, Oregon

Slideshow image sourced from Stringsummit.com.

4.      Soul’d Out Music Festival

After just concluding its 10th year, the Soul’d Out Music Festival is THE Portland festival for the best R&B, funk, soul and hip-hop performances. No other festival in the area has such a diverse lineup each and every year. The festival has had incredible headliners in its 10 years including Erykah Badu, Solange, Buddy Guy, Tower of Power and many others.

However, Soul’d Out also hosts local Portland legends and some wild card performers in its unique lineup. If you are looking for a festival that is full of soul and artists performing with passionate fervor, then the Soul’d Out Music Festival is the right choice for you.

When: Mid-April 2020

Where: Portland, Oregon

Slideshow image sourced from wweek.com.

5.      Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

The Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is a free concert in Portland presented by the Jazz Society of Oregon. This festival is open to the public and is now running in its 39th year, making it a longtime staple for jazz music in the area. For many years, this Portland music festival has promoted local businesses in the community while also bringing together the best jazz and blues musicians in the region for a musical extravaganza.

Attendees can enjoy dynamic jazz, R&B and soul music in a natural amphitheater situates beside the Willamette River and underneath the St. Johns Bridge. The festival grounds are lush and green, making it the ideal location to spread out a blanket, set up a picnic and listen to some soothing jazz. If you are looking for a festival that represents Portland’s love of music, the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is the pick for you.

When: Mid-July 2020

Where: Portland, Oregon

Slideshow image sourced from JazzOregon.com.

6.      PDX Pop Now

PDX Pop Now is an event that is dedicated to the growth and evolution of Portland music, so much so that this festival is free and welcoming of all ages. This organization is run entirely by volunteers who are committed to providing the people of Portland with live performances from local artists. In fact, the Board of Directors is operated by over 200 individual volunteers with a passion for driving Portland’s musical community.

Volunteers of PDX Pop Now also work with these local artists to produce a compilation album for the audience to discover artists in the local music scene. Local businesses also work alongside artists in order to throw benefit events and operate different outreach programs. All of this preparation eventually leads to the music festival – PDX Pop Now!

When: Expected to be July 18-19, 2020

Where: Portland, Oregon

Slideshow image sourced from wweek.com.