The summer music festival season is so ripe in the Northwest that by this point it’s become ridiculous how much good music is coming through the area on a week to week basis. In the past few months we’ve had the Capitol Hill Block Party, Pickathon, the No Depression Festival, the Doe Bay Music Festival, KEXP’s Concerts at the Mural series, Bumbershoot this past weekend. Basically if you ever find yourself complaining about the local music scene, find someone to punch you in the face immediately and realize how many lucky we are. The festival schedule isn’t showing any signs of slowing down either. Starting today Musicfest NW takes place in Portland and features another stellar lineup and is basically a massive five-day live music party simultaneously taking place at 20 venues throughout the city.
A trip to Portland is probably a little tougher on your gas budget than a quick drive to the Seattle Center, so of course your good friends at KEXP will be set up in the Doug Fir Lounge Thursday and Friday, broadcasting live exclusive sets from some of your favorite artists who will also be playing scheduled sets at MFNW. We’ll move over to The Woods on Saturday, where artists will be playing laid-back, unscripted acoustic sets which we’ll bring to you live on the air as well. And though the Bumbershoot Music Lounge was “secret,” all of the KEXP performances at MFNW will be free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Just check out the schedule here and pick your spots.
As for MFNW, the third-largest indoor festival in the country, the quality of the lineup surprised even me when I looked back over it the other day. For the first time be adding an outdoor stage at Pioneer Courthouse Square which will serve as a “main stage” on Saturday and Sunday, culminating with festival-headliners The National at 7:30 on Sunday. Also playing at clubs and venues across Portland over the course of the extended weekend will be The Smashing Pumpkins, The Decemberists, The Walkmen, The Thermals, Menomena, The Tallest Man on Earth, Black Lips, Justin Townes Earle, Bobby Bare Jr., The Helio Sequence, Ra Ra Riot, Major Lazer, Surfer Blood, Japandroids, The Cave Singers, Suckers, Thee Oh Sees, Rocky Votolato, BOAT, Dan Mangan, Free Energy, Past Lives, The Mynabirds, Champagne Champagne, recent Sub Pop signees Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, Unnatural Helpers, The Head and the Heart, and…well…I feel like I need to go on, but I guess there comes a point in such listings where it needs to be left at “and many more!” For the complete lineup click here.
So as you can see, tons of great talent (especially from Seattle and Portland) will be entertaining you all day and into the nights of one of the biggest party weeks of the year in Portland. And if KEXP is going to be there, that means it can’t be THAT hard for you to make it down too. You don’t even have to lug around a bunch of banners and equipment and radio garbage. All you need for a good time is transportation, booze money, and a place to stay (though this could be optional). And remember, if you can’t make it, tune into KEXP all day Thursday and Friday for live broadcasts.
KEXP broadcast from the Doug Fir:
Thursday September 9th
10:30am Laura Veirs
2:30pm Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
4:30pm The Cave Singers
Friday September 10th
10:30am Blue Giant
12:30pm Bobby Bare Jr
2:30pm The Tallest Man on Earth
4:30pm Thee Oh Sees
KEXP Sessions at The Woods:
Saturday, September 11th
1:00pm Crooked Fingers
2:00pm Free Energy
4:00pm The Mynabirds
5:00pm The Builders and the Butchers
For the schedule and locations of KEXP events, click here.