Oregon, with its rich musical heritage, plays host to a variety of country music festivals throughout the year. This list highlights ten of the most popular country music festivals in the state, each offering a unique musical experience.
1. Waterfront Blues Fest
Location: Portland, Oregon
The Waterfront Blues Festival is a four-day blues music celebration. This annual event, which began in 1988, is held at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. Originally known as the Rose City Blues Festival, it was founded with the help of the Cascade Blues Association to raise funds for homeless projects. It now hosts over 100 blues, soul, funk, and R&B artists, as well as a variety of food trucks, wineries, and breweries.
Location: Pendarvis Farm, near Portland, Oregon
Date: August 3-6
Founded in 1999 by Zale Schoenborn, Pickathon is a three-day festival known for its diverse lineup encompassing indie, rock, rap, folk, and bluegrass. It’s also recognized for its eco-friendly practices, including the use of renewable energy, recycling, and composting. With its origins as a fundraiser for the FM radio station KBOO, Pickathon has grown significantly, now attracting more than 5,000 attendees per day.
3. Oregon Jamboree
Location: Sweet Home, Oregon
Established in 1992 as an economic development project for the Sweet Home community, the Oregon Jamboree is a three-day country music extravaganza. Held on a spacious field near Sweet Home High School, the festival has hosted renowned artists like Brad Paisley, Faith Hill, and Kenny Chesney. Celebrating its 25th year in 2023, the Oregon Jamboree offers a festival environment with two stages: one in a park setting and another in Sankey Park.
4. Cascade Equinox
Location: Central Oregon
Founded by Toby White, Cascade Equinox offers a unique blend of music genres, including electronic, funk, jam, soul, and bluegrass. This event showcases the vibrant Central Oregon music scene and embraces its countryside surroundings. Besides music, attendees can enjoy camping, glamping, daily yoga, meditation, and more. The 2023 lineup features artists like Big Wild, Phantogram, and Emancipator.
5. Sisters Folk Festivals
Location: Sisters, Oregon
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Sisters Folk Festival takes place annually in the charming town of Sisters. The festival spans seven venues across the city, including the Village Green Park and Sister Art Works, offering a variety of musical experiences. Beyond the music, this nonprofit festival strengthens the community through art and music, promising a transformative festival experience.
Location: Clackamas County Fairgrounds & Events Center, Oregon
Harefest is a unique music festival that pays tribute to legendary bands through tribute acts. The 2023 lineup includes tributes to iconic bands like Guns N’ Roses, Queen, and Pink Floyd. In addition to music, the festival offers camping, food, and drinks, creating an immersive experience for attendees.
Location: Various locations in Oregon
Faerieworlds is a one-of-a-kind music and art event themed around the faerie realm. The festival, founded by Emilio and Kelly Miller-Lopez and Robert Gould, features artists, musicians, authors, and crafters associated with folklore and faerie lore. Faerieworlds has found homes in various locations throughout Oregon and beyond over the years, providing a unique and enchanting experience.
8. Northwest String Summit
Location: Horning’s Hideout, North Plains, Oregon
Northwest String Summit, hosted at Horning’s Hideout, offers a boutique music festival experience. Starting as a small gathering of local string band musicians, it has grown into the largest String and Americana Music Festival in the Pacific Northwest. The festival features diverse genres like Americana, Indie Rock, Jam, and Bluegrass, along with camping options, children’s zones, a marketplace, and a variety of food vendors.
9. Oregon Country Fair
Location: Veneta, Oregon
The Oregon Country Fair is an eclectic event that takes place annually over two days in Veneta. It attracts around 35,000 attendees and features 22 stages with a wide array of performances, including music, juggling, comedy, daredevil acts, and more. Founded in 1969, the fair embraces a “Come in costume” ethos, encouraging creative expression and community engagement.
10. Project Pabst
Location: Portland, Oregon
Project Pabst is a multi-genre music festival held on Portland’s South Waterfront near the Ross Island Bridge. It is sponsored by Pabst Brewing Company and StubHub and features a diverse lineup of artists while encouraging eco-friendly transportation options. The 2023 lineup includes Iggy Pop, Dinosaur Jr., and Goldyard, making it a must-see event for music fans.
These Oregon country music festivals provide not only excellent music but also a sense of community and a celebration of artistry. Whether you like blues, indie, country, or a mix of genres, there’s a festival on this list to satisfy your musical cravings in Oregon.