After 30 years, Oregon Food Bank steps away from Waterfront Blues Festival

Mavis Staples – NWMS staff photo

2018 festival will continue under leadership of Waterfront Blues Production

January 16, 2018 – Oregon Food Bank today announced that it is stepping down as owner/operator of the Waterfront Blues Festival, a multi-day music and community event held every year over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The festival remains strong and will continue under the stewardship of the core team who originally built it in 1988.

“We couldn’t be happier to hand the festival back over to the team that built it into the largest blues music fest west of the Mississippi,” said Oregon Food Bank CEO Susannah Morgan. “This festival is a community institution, and we are confident that it will continue to flourish under the leadership of Waterfront Blues Production and Fuller Events.”

Planning for the 2018 festival is well underway. Ticket sales and an artist preview will be announced in mid-February via a new festival website. The 2018 festival will take place July 4 through July 7 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. Oregon Food Bank will remain a beneficiary of the event.

Until this year, Oregon Food Bank has produced Waterfront Blues Festival in addition to receiving a portion of the net proceeds as beneficiary. The generosity of Blues fans and festival attendees has returned more than $10 million and 20 million pounds of food for Oregon Food Bank. However, after 30 years, the time has come for Oregon Food Bank to exit as producers and concentrate its financial resources and staff energies on its core mission of eliminating hunger.

“Our foremost responsibility is fighting hunger,” Morgan added. “It’s a big job that requires our full attention and commitment.” Oregon Food Bank currently serves more than 700,000 people experiencing hunger in Oregon and Clark County, Washington through a statewide network of 21 regional food banks and 1,200 partners and programs.

Effective immediately, Waterfront Blues Production and Fuller Events have assumed all oversight and management of the festival. The team includes longtime festival artistic director Peter Dammann, who has also performed on stage at the festival numerous times, and Fuller Events, which has supported the festival for years.

About Oregon Food Bank
Oregon Food Bank works to eliminate hunger and its root causes… because no one should be hungry. Oregon Food Bank believes that hunger starves the human spirit, communities thrive when people are nourished, and everyone deserves healthy and fresh food. Oregon Food Bank helps feed the human spirit of more than 700,000 people through a food distribution network of four Oregon Food Bank branches and 17 regional food banks serving Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Oregon Food Bank also leads statewide efforts to increase resources for hungry families and to eliminate the root causes of hunger through public policy, local food systems work, nutrition and garden education, health care screening and innovative programming. Find out how to feed the human spirit at

About Waterfront Blues Festival
Since 1988, the Waterfront Blues Festival has served as downtown Portland’s signature Fourth of July celebration. With four stages and more than 125 musical acts pulling capacity crowds to Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the festival provides a platform to keep blues music alive and add cultural, arts and entertainment value to the City of Portland and region. It is the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi, the second-largest blues festival in the nation, and one of the most revered festivals of its kind in the world. It is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Memphis-based Blues Foundation’s coveted Keeping the Blues Alive Award for ‘Best Festival.’ Since its inception, the festival has been committed to elevating the presence of local non-profits through fundraising and exposure. More information is available at

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