I’m just going to say it outright: Pickathon is incredible. The scenic location on the hillside of Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, Oregon, just a quick commute from Portland, and facing Mt. Hood; the tasty and more than reasonably priced food; the free and plentiful water; the like-minded local purveyors and peddlers; the environmentally friendly no-single-use cup, plate and utensil policy; the insane mid-air fabric installations by Guildworks, which provide both visual beauty and much appreciated shade; the innumerable campsites spread throughout the surrounding woods and linked by miles of stringed lights and loosely collected into an otherworldly hive; the variety of stages stages, including side-by-side mainstages, a converted barn, a wooded amphitheater, and random “jam stages”; the terrific and thoughtful people who make it all happen, many of whom are locals, friends of the Pendarvis family and volunteers, and many of whom live onsite for weeks beforehand; and of course, the fantastic lineup, featuring a mostly roots americana-leaning artists, but still diverse enough to include bands like THEESatisfaction, Thee Oh Sees and The War on Drugs — it all makes for one of the best festival experiences you can ever hope to have, anywhere! Because of all the free shows that KEXP puts on every August, though, we have had to admire the festival from afar. This year, we sent a small team from Seattle to Pickathon to capture as many of the artists as we could in the idyllic landscape.
Gathered here is the first round of our field recordings, mostly located in the “Bunny Glade”, one of the festival’s dedicated jam stations. Like us, you’ll find among them some favorite artists, like Dr. Dog, performing in new ways, as well as some new artists, like Lake Street Dive, who will blow your socks off! Watch the videos now: