Among other sets, Laura Gibson played a soundtrack to Portland Playhouse’s special staging of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in the Workshop Barn. Read theater review…

Image by Travis Schreer

Every festival has its own identity, and the more you attend, the more you familiarize. Last weekend, we met What The Festival for the first time, and found it free-spirited, idealistic and convivial—but our ties to 14-year-old Pickathon go back much further. A couple years ago, fest founder Zale Schoenborn talked the ear off Portland Monthly’s proverbial mule, brimming with excitement about Pickathon’s new eco-friendly measures, then-breaking talents like Sallie Ford and Typhoon, and returning favorites like Dr. Dog. Even at that time, the event had long since earned a great groundswell among fest-goers and bands. Why?

Pickathon, and other fests that follow its model (Horning’s Hideout, holler back), are the antidote to shallow, fickle, uninvested modern music appreciation. Rather than rabidly chasing the Next Big Thing, Pendarvis Farm fosters a long-term, sustainable relationship with fans, bands, and the land. (Has a band played Pickathon several times? Great! That only means we know them better. Gonna buy some food from a vendor? Let’s give you a washable, permanent plate; we assume you’ll want seconds.) Unsurprisingly, this nurturing, wise environment attracts fewer "bros and ho’s" and more families, couples, and "old-heads." Where many festival scenes are fleeting revels rapidly outgrown by serious people, Pickathon sets itself up as the opposite: an experience one grows into.

Click through our slide show (above) to relive Pickathon 2012!

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