If you missed Oregon Food Bank’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display, it’s still not too late to catch the tail end of the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival located in Portland’s South Waterfront area. The festival, which started yesterday, Thursday, July 4th and is going on through Sunday, July 7th, is presented by First Tech Federal Credit Union. Proceeds from ticket sales will be “supporting Oregon Food Bank’s mission to eliminate hunger and its root causes,” according to the festival website, and last night they filled the horizon with color and effects with Oregon’s largest fireworks display.
Festival passes are required this year for all ages on Sensational Sunday, July 7th. Sensational Sunday will feature Robert Plant presents The Sensational Space Shifters, Taj Mahal Trio, Mavis Staples, Robert Randolph and the Family Band and more. Although many of the passes are sold out, if you act now, you can still purchase some of the passes, including the Blues Basic Pass and the Sensational Sunday Pass. The Blues Basic Pass is $60, and it’ll provide you with four-day entry to the entire festival and priority re-admission. The Sensational Sunday Pass is $50, and it will provide you with entry on Sensational Sunday, July 7th. Passes are nontransferable and nonrefundable.
The gates open every day at 11 a.m., and music begins at noon. The Waterfront Blues Festival is Oregon Food Bank’s largest annual fundraiser. 100% of donations and revenue from special passes benefit Oregon Food Bank’s mission. The festival features more than 120 acts on four stages over four days. Saturday, July 6th features John Hiatt & the Combo, presented by iQ Credit Union and North Mississippi Allstars, presented by Boeing Co.
Along with plenty of live music and dancing, you can also enjoy some educational workshops, interviews, stripped-down performances, children’s programming, and jam sessions at the festival’s most intimate setting: the FedEx Crossroads Stage. The FedEx Crossroads Stage is a great place to learn for all ages, whether you are a blues novice or an expert. In the past, the FedEx Crossroads Stage has offered blues harmonica and piano for kids, blues history and storytelling with festival arts, blues photography workshops with Dick Watermon, special jam sessions, and more. This year, if you purchase your tickets now, you can still catch Lynn Hyde and Stuart Kinzel teaching blues harp for kids, Arthur Moore and his harmonica hoedown, David Vest with the gulf coast piano, Leif Totusek with candela blues, and much more. Check the schedule to see all the artists performing at the FedEx Crossroads Stage.
Some of the festival sponsors include The Safeway Foundation, First Tech Federal Credit Union, iQ Credit Union, The Oregonian, FedEx, Delta Music Experience, Kia, Health Net Pavilion, Regal Entertainment Group, Marriott, and many more. You can find the entire list of sponsors here.