KEXP Suggests: Pickathon 2017, August 3-6


It won’t just be the record-breaking temps that make this weekend the hottest of the year so far. Besides the start of KEXP’s own Concerts at the Mural series this Friday, down in Happy Valley, Oregon, our friends at Pickathon are at it again. It’s always hard to say that “this year” is the best yet because “last year” was also always so great. That makes Pickathon one of the most consistently excellent festivals in the Northwest, if not the country. And don’t let the name fool you: each year’s lineup is a diverse, multi-genre mix of roots and contemporary music. Sure, you’ll find some old-timey fingerpickers in the bunch but only alongside purveyors of modern and world styles. This year, the Screaming Eagle of Soul, Charles Bradley, headlines, joined in the ranks by other KEXP faves like Dinosaur Jr., Ty Segall, Drive-By Truckers, Jonathan Richman, Deer Tick, and so many others. Just look for yourself at this spectacular lineup:


But Pickathon isn’t just about the music – you won’t find a less corporate, more environmentally friendly or fan-focused festival of this caliber anywhere else. Local food vendors provide some of the best of Portland’s local grub, and Pickathon has successfully eliminated single-use of dish ware and utensils with a simple token system and a dedicated staff of dishwashers. Plus, the morning and afternoon activities are designed for all ages. From the grounds of this rustic farmland, it’s hard to believe that the suburbs and city are so close.

If you haven’t bought tickets, there are still some available here. But if you can’t make it this year, the festival is once again offering a live video stream throughout the weekend.

We weren’t kidding about how consistently this festival aligns with KEXP’s programming. Here are 20 sessions we’ve recorded over the years with artists performing Pickathon this year:

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