The Portland Blues Festival On The Waterfront

The annual Portland Blues Festival held in the Tom McCall Waterfront Park is a Portland event that I absolutely love!

portland blues festival

Blues music has always been a passion of mine...Jazz and Blues makes for some terrific tunes! It's the simple and down-to-earth messages that attract me.

If you're a Blues lover like I am, you cannot afford to miss the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival. The summers are a great time to get out and have some fun...when it's pleasant and inexpensive, even better! ;)

blues festival portland

The Portland Blues Festival began in 1988 under the name, "Rose City Blues Festival." Each year it's picked up more and more sponsors and has become a genuinely huge event. In fact, it's presently the largest Blues festival west of the Mississippi and the 2nd largest in the nation and has been named one of the greatest outdoor Blues festivals in North America. There is a regular attendance of over 120,000 Blues fans from all over the world to listen to over 150 acts on 3 stages.

People come from all over to enjoy the sounds of this exciting Portland event. The 2009 dates were July 2-5 and the cost was a recommended donation of $10 and 2 cans of food per person, per day. That is doggoned cheap for the amount of entertainment that was there this time around.

oregon food bank logo

In keeping with the charity and local mindset of the city of Portland, all proceeds go to the Oregon Food Bank to help individuals and families in times of need and the festival is run by volunteers. Now, how cool is that?? 

Not only is there music, music and more music, but you can sign up for workshops and even take a Blues Cruise on The Portland Spirit. If you have your main squeeze with you, this is something you may want to look into. Did I mention that there will be tons of food? Yup!

portland blues festival stage

To get down to the festival, I'd suggest you opt for public transportation, such as our MAX light rail, a bus or the Portland Streetcar. It's going to be crowded and driving in crazy traffic is never fun. If you do choose to make the drive to downtown Portland, get here early in the day and get into one of the many Smart Park garages. I suggest you venture into the downtown area well before noon....you can always grab a bite or have a relaxing cup of coffee until the show starts. ;) 

If you're coming from out of town for the Portland Blues Festival, hop over my Portland hotels page to find a nice place to stay. 

Like nearly everything else happening in Portland, the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland Oregon is a huge community event in an effort to keep the arts alive and benefit the city by helping the needy and hungry. 

For complete information, visit their web site.

blues festival portland oregon


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