News and top picks for arts, culture, and events

A summer without music is like a swimming hole without water. Below, we've pooled so many sonic opportunities, you're probably gonna want to dry off halfway down the list. Grab your beach towel and keep scrolling, though—our summer calendar starts with one-off outdoor concerts, then packs in festivals all the way through Labor Day, and wrap ups with some out-of-town options (road trip!).

We'll be adding more concerts and lineups as announced, so check back frequently.

OUTDOOR CONCERTS A LA CARTE

McMenamins Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn
Select shows below—for full lineup visit series website.

  • 6/16—Ingrid Michaelson
  • 6/26—Willie Nelson with Alison Krauss and Union Station
  • 7/8—Death Cab for Cutie with Built to Spill
  • 7/10–11—The Decemberists with Calexico
  • 7/14—David Gray with Amos Lee
  • 7/23—Morrissey
  • 7/25—Barenaked Ladies with Violent Femmes and Colin Hay
  • 7/26—Charli XCX and Bleachers
  • 8/9—Wilco
  • 8/21—Michael Franti and Spearhead
  • 8/28–29—Pink Martini
  • 9/5—Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals
  • 9/12—Brandi Carlile
  • 9/18—Empire of the Sun with St. Lucia and Holy Ghost!

Photo credit: Travel Portland

Oregon Zoo Summer Concert Series
Select shows below—for full lineup visit series website.

  • 6/21—Chicago
  • 6/27—The B-52s
  • 7/11—Indigo Girls and Caroline Aiken
  • 7/17—Needtobreathe
  • 7/25—Mavis Staples, Patty Griffin, Amy Helm and the Handsome Strangers
  • 7/31—Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell
  • 8/8—Ziggy Marley
  • 8/22—Chris Isaak
  • 9/5–6—Weird Al Yankovic

Summer Free for All: Concerts in the Park
Pick any evening this summer; there’s likely to be a free concert at a park near you. Select shows below—visit the series website for the full schedule. All shows at 6:30 pm.

  • 7/7—Freak Mountain Ramblers, Mt Tabor Park
  • 7/13—Ural Thomas and the Pain, Sellwood Riverfront Park
  • 7/15—The Stolen Sweets, Willamette Park
  • 7/29—Pilon D’Azucar Band, Dawson Park
  • 8/4—Chata Addy, Fernhill Park
  • 8/6—The Wanderlust Orchestra, Couch Park
  • 8/12—Pete Krebs and the Earnest Lovers, Ventura Park
  • 8/14—Curtis Salgado, Lovejoy Fountain Park

Washington Park Ampitheater. Photo credit: Portland Parks Foundation

Washington Park Summer Festival
Parklandia in the West Hills! All Washington Park concerts are free and at 6 pm.

  • 8/7—Brass Ops: 234th Army Band, Oregon National Guard
  • 8/8—Opera in the Park
  • 8/9—Portland Festival Symphony
  • 8/10—Reggie Houston’s Crescent City Connection
  • 8/11—Johnny Limbo and the Lugnuts
  • 8/12—The Many Colors of Edna Vazquez
  • 8/13—Tizer Quartet

Portland Festival Symphony Concerts
Directed by Lajos Balogh, these free classical concerts—think Beethoven, Mozart, Dvorák—start at 6 pm, alfresco!

  • 7/25—Cathedral Park
  • 8/1—Laurelhurst Park
  • 8/2—Peninsula Park
  • 8/8—U. S. Grant Park
  • 8/9—Washington Park 

Photo credit: Ecotrust

Sundown at Ecotrust
Free First Thursday concerts, from 5:30–8 pm, outside Ecotrust’s Natural Capital Center. Lineup announced on June 5. 

  • 7/2
  • 8/6
  • 9/3 

FESTIVALS

  • 5/22–25—Sasquatch! (Quincy, WA): Worth the hassle of battling Memorial Day weekend traffic? Sleater-Kinney and Modest Mouse join Robert Plant, St. Vincent, Spoon, and Tame Impala at the Gorge Ampitheater.

Photo credit: What the Festival

  • 6/5–7—Improvisation Summit of Portland: Free jazz legend Roscoe Mitchell hits Portland for the first time in over two decades to headline the fourth annual experimental music festival.
  • 6/19–22—What the Festival (Wolf Run Ranch): If three days of LED-studded EDM—headliners include Big Gigantic and Odesza—sound like your cup of something-that’s-probably-not-tea, head toward Dufur for the “millennial generation’s Woodstock.”
  • 6/22–7/26—Chamber Music NW Summer Fest: Billed as the most ambitious chamber music festival in the Northwest, highlights of the 45th Summer Fest include partnerships with the Northwest Dance Project and—in Eugene—the Oregon Bach Festival.
  • 6/26–27—Quiet Music Fest: Transforming Disjecta, for the fifth time, into a “tranquil cave of sonic serenity,” organizer Chris Johanson’s 2015 sleeper brings out the softest side of musical artists including Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Irma Vep, and Rebecca Gates of the Spinanes. 

Photo credit: Pickathon

  • 7/2–5—Waterfront Blues Fest: Few are bluesier than headliner Buddy Guy, but attempting that feat, this year, are Stone Foxes, Jelly Bread, Galactic, and Macy Gray.
  • 7/16–19—Timber! Outdoor Music Festival (Carnation, WA): Waiting for you in the woods: Dead Milkmen, Shaprece, and the sparkling surf rock of La Luz.
  • 7/16–19—Northwest String Summit (Horning’s Hideout). Surprise! Yonder Mountain String Band headlines this year’s string-off. Also the Del McCoury Band, Greyboy Allstars, the Infamous Stringdusters, and oh, hello, Shook Twins.
  • 7/17–19—Cathedral Park Jazz Fest: Among St. John’s smooth draws: Kung Pao Chickens, Hailey Niswanger’s PDX Soul, and the Paul Creighton Project.
  • 7/17–19—Project Pabst: Light lager, big names. This year PBR brings us Weezer, Blondie, Wampire, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo, and more.
  • 7/17–19—Wildwood MusicFest (Sheridan): Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Willie Tea Taylor, Big Harp, and locals like Joe McMurrian and Run on Sentence.
  • 7/24–26—PDX Pop Now!: Beware! For three days, effervescent Portland pop acts lurk under the Hawthorne Bridge.
  • 7/24–26—Northwest World Reggae Festival (Scio): Lineup TBA
  • 7/31–8/2—Pickathon (Pendarvis Farm): Headliners include Tune-Yards, Ty Segall, Leon Bridges, Cloud Nothings, and Heartless Bastards. (Strings know no borders; the lineup also includes Tuareg desert blues band Tinariwen.)
  • 7/31–8/2—Watershed Fest (Gorge Ampitheatre): Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, and the Florida Georgia Line headline this rollicking country western fest at one of the nation’s top outdoor venues. 

MusicFestNW. Photo credit: Travel Portland

  • 8/7–10—Beloved Open-Air Sacred Art and Music Festival (Tidewater): the festival that believes “sacred” and “music” are a necessary redundancy returns to the coastal forest for four days of sonic devotion and clear intentions.
  • 8/14–15—Gentlemen of the Road (Walla Walla, WA): Foo Fighters. Mumford and Sons. The Flaming Lips. Tune-Yards. The Vaccines. And more—all in the town so nice they named it twice.
  • 8/21–23—MusicFestNW: Willamette Week’s 2015 lineup includes local faves Lost Lander and Alialujah Choir—along with hot national acts like Foster the People, Beirut, and Milo Greene.
  • 8/5–7—Bumbershoot (Seattle, WA): Atmosphere, Babes in Toyland, Børns, Chance the Rapper, Dead Moon, Nacho Picasso, Peaches, Social D, and Zedd—the 45th annual festival rocks the Seattle Center from A to Z.
  • 8/11–13—Sisters Folk Festival (Sisters): Finger pickin’ and roots singin’ in the shadow of the three sisters. Acts include Tracy Grammer, Darlingside, and Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys.

WORTH A TRIP 

Eugene's Cuthbert Ampitheater.

Cuthbert Ampitheater (Eugene)
Select shows below—for full lineup, visit venue website.

  • 6/14—Gordon Lightfoot
  • 7/23—Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional
  • 7/24—Taj Mahal with Charlie Musselwhite
  • 8/5—Jackson Browne
  • 8/28—Sublime with Rome
  • 9/27—Counting Crows

Les Schwab Ampitheater (Bend)
Select shows below—for full lineup, visit venue website.

  • 5/23—Ryan Adams
  • 5/25—Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters
  • 7/21–22—Phish
  • 8/2—Wilderness
  • 8/8—Wilco with Speedy Ortiz

Show Comments