In its second year in the current format, Musicfest NW returns to Portland this weekend with a lineup packed with high energy and so much fun, you might even see hipsters dancing. The three day event brings in (probably) the biggest rock band out of the Pacific NW in the 21st century, Modest Mouse (sorry Everclear) as the headliner. The lineup fills out nicely with a diverse set of bands ranging from Belle and Sebastian to Danny Brown.
For those of you who have never attended or haven’t been since they drastically altered the structure, Musicfest NW takes place smack dab in the middle of Downtown Portland on the grass/dirt of Tom McCall Waterfront Park. It boasts two stages and a vast array of food trucks to keep the energy level high and your BAC low. It also brings in bands from all over the world but retains a heavy dose of local flavor.
The festivities kick off with a pre-party at the Dr. Martins store on West Burnside with Portland rockers, Helio Sequence and Divers before gates officially open Friday evening long enough for the bands Misterwives and Foster the People to get the weekend going. There are a handful of MFNW affiliated night shows (which start on Wednesday) throughout the city including local cuts at Mississippi Studios two soulful bands, Just Lions and Thanks.
Noon thirty begins the first full day of action on Saturday with Alialujah Choir. Their acoustic set will go down as smooth as a mimosa and absolutely worth crawling out of bed for. Throughout the day, you’ll be able to catch acts like Battles, Twin Shadow, and Belle and Sebastien before being capped off by the worldly sounds of Beirut. Another several night shows take place in various venues across town after the waterfront shuts down.
The final day of Musicfest NW is one of the most anticipated. The day starts heavy early with Seattle’s dance pop group Beat Connection. Helio Sequence makes another appearance just before hip hop extraordinaire Danny Brown brings his old-school-meets-new-school soundscape. Straight from the Isle of Sweden is folk giant the Tallest Man on Earth who followed by some band with a weird name Modest Mouse.
While it’s not the 100+ bands citywide affair that used to be Musicfest NW, it is still a musical showcase with some of the biggest bands on the indie scene. More importantly, it’s getting mighty close to the end of summer and these weekends need to be utilized and a music festival on the Portland waterfront is (probably) going to be your best bet.
Purchase tickets HERE