Posted August 7, 2013 by Tim Stout in Show Reviews

Pickathon // 8-2 thru 8-4-13 // Pendarvis Farm


Oh Pickathon, how I already love you. It feels like years that I’ve known you and yet we only met for the first time a few days ago.

As you know, we celebrated the launch of PortlandLive.com on August 1st, and I can’t think of a better way to have done so then by spending four nights on a farm in Happy Valley.  A happier valley I’ve never known.

I suppose that it is true to say that there are those who have been to Pickathon and there is everyone else.  I’m elated to be able to file myself in the first category from here on.

There were the performances, of course, and I’ll get to the music in a minute, but I’d like to share some run-of-the-mill Pickathon scenes if I may:  A gorgeous fabric canopy stretches, twists, layers, and breathes overhead in the heat of the day as families and friends dance below at the Mountain View Stage… a camper stumbles out of her tent deep in the forest for a cup of coffee and happens upon a set at the Woods Stage, so she pulls up a haystack… a well-fueled night-lifer takes in a starlight campfire outside the Galaxy Barn as the band rages on inside…

The pleasant scenes at Pickathon are endless and every one of them manages to remind those experiencing it that it’s a special thing happening which makes for unmatched positive vibrations throughout the grounds and that last throughout the weekend.

Not surprisingly, Pickathoners are a particularly music-savvy bunch, so I can only imagine how refreshing it is for the artists to play for such attentive ears.  I think that it’s a combination of the overall positive vibrations I spoke of earlier and these attentive ears that make it possible for such a diverse array of bands to fit in so well together at the same festival.

Though the lineup leans heavy on Americana and Indie Rock, there was also Soul, Country, R&B, Children’s, Punk, Malian Blues, and more.  No genre was off limits and I have to imagine that every single person who attended the festival came away with a new appreciation for a type of music that they generally don’t listen to.

The festival’s headliners, Feist and Andrew Bird, both played a couple of great sets (every band plays at least twice over the three days), and were received well, but one more tribute to this festival is that every band kind of sits on equal footing and receives similar exposure. The magical side stages have a lot to do with that, I imagine, as does the ability of Pickathon’s organizers to handpick bands you may not know yet but should and will once you see them on Pendarvis Farm.

I had all intentions of listing my musical highlights, and I realize that it’s a bit of a cop out to say, but I seriously enjoyed every single artist that I saw, and was continually faced with a new favorite set of the weekend.

How many days until Pickathon 2014?


Tim Stout

Tim Stout
Co-founder of Portland Live - Tim has been promoting and covering live music for almost fifteen years and feels fortunate to have been born and raised in such a great music city.


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