Your Guide to Summer Music Festivals

Soak in the sun and sounds of live music at these ten events around Oregon

written by Ben Salmon | illustration by Ni Ma

There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Oregon during the summer, and that includes music festivals, which give folks from Portland to Pendleton and points in between a chance to gather under the sun and enjoy a whole bunch of live music. Here are ten fests happening across the state that deserve a spot on your calendar this summer.


Big Ponderoo

This is year two for Big Ponderoo, a new event from the team behind one of Oregon’s great musical gatherings, the Sisters Folk Festival. Well-organized and expertly curated, Big Ponderoo features two days of Americana, folk-rock, rootsy soul and more in an easygoing atmosphere. At a time when too many festivals feel increasingly corporate (and expensive), Big Ponderoo is a throwback to the good ol’ days.

The War and Treaty perform at last year’s Big Ponderoo music festival in Sisters. Now in its second year, the Central Oregon event features two days of Americana, folk-rock and more.
The War and Treaty perform at last year’s Big Ponderoo music festival in Sisters. Now in its second year, the Central Oregon event features two days of Americana, folk-rock and more.
Photo by Rob Kerr/Big Ponderoo

Dates: June 29–30

Location: Village Green Park, Sisters

Lineup highlights: Shinyribs, Oliver Wood Trio, Silverada, The Brothers Comatose, Bella White

More info:


In February, organizers of Pickathon secured a ten-year permit to stay at Pendarvis Farm, where they’ve been staging this magical event for nearly two decades, even as development inches closer. Known for its pastoral setting, artsy vibe and adventurous lineups, Pickathon is one of the best music-fest experiences not only in Oregon, but across the country.

Dates: August 1–4

Location: Pendarvis Farm, Happy Valley

Lineup highlights: Courtney Barnett, Durand Jones, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Adi Oasis, CocoRosie, Ratboys

More info:


Britt Music & Arts Festival

Where some festivals focus on a day or a weekend, Britt Festival brings live music to Southern Oregon all summer long. The events are held at gorgeous Britt Pavilion, a naturally formed amphitheater set among majestic ponderosa pines and native madrones on the estate of nineteenth-century photographer Peter Britt. The festival’s programming is diverse, with pop, rock, country and jazz concerts alongside performances of classical music.

Dates: June to September

Location: Britt Pavilion, Jacksonville

Lineup highlights: Britt Festival Orchestra, Judy Collins, Willie Nelson, Trombone Shorty, Chris Isaak, Shaggy

More info:

Sunriver Music Festival

Launched in 1978, the Sunriver Music Festival presents world-class orchestra performances and pop concerts in Bend’s historic Tower Theatre and Sunriver Resort’s Great Hall, an all-wood, two-story building with stunning acoustics.

Dates: August 10–23

Location: Sunriver Resort Great Hall and Tower Theatre, Bend

Lineup highlights: Four classical concerts themed around earth, water, fire and air, plus a tribute to Broadway and film music

More info:


Waterfront Blues Festival

Now in its thirty-seventh year, the Waterfront Blues Festival is downtown Portland’s largest and longest-running music festival. It’s also a vibrant celebration of blues music and beyond, with a lineup that features giants of the genre, up-and-coming acts and local Portland talent. Staged in a prominent public park along the Willamette River right around the Fourth of July, the festival is a crown jewel of Portland’s summer event calendar.

Waterfront Blues Festival
Waterfront Blues Festival
Photo by Jason Quigley/Waterfront Blues Festival

Dates: July 4–7

Location: Tom McCall Park, Portland

Lineup highlights: Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Greensky Bluegrass, Lucinda Williams, Bobby Rush & North Mississippi Allstars

More info:

Project Pabst

From 2014 to 2017, the multi-day Project Pabst festival attracted a throng of PBR-guzzling hipsters to Portland’s waterfront to watch an eclectic lineup of bands perform under the hot sun. Then it stopped. And now it’s back with a mix of vintage pop stars and rising indie acts.

Dates: July 27–28

Location: Tom McCall Park, Portland

Lineup highlights: Billy Idol, Big Thief, T-Pain, Violent Femmes, Gossip, Denzel Curry, Manchester Orchestra

More info:


4 Peaks Music Festival

For nearly two decades, 4 Peaks has been the grassroots festival that keeps going, despite the obstacles and occasional years off. In 2024, the event will host three days of roots music and jam bands, plus fun stuff for kids, a silent disco and more, all with a view of the beautiful Cascade mountains from which the festival takes its name. While other big events backed by big companies have moved into Central Oregon in recent years, 4 Peaks is run by a local who is committed to keeping it high-quality, homey and fun.

4 Peaks Music Festival
4 Peaks Music Festival
Photo by Greg Homolka/4 Peaks Music Festival

Dates: June 20–23

Location: Stevenson Ranch, Bend

Lineup highlights: Neal Francis, ALO, Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country, Miko Marks, Diggin Dirt, Southern Avenue

More info:

Cascade Equinox Festival

The electronic-oriented Cascade Equinox Festival is a feature-rich experience, with art installations, workshops, kids’ camps, excursions, a healing garden and more to supplement the event’s impressive smorgasbord of booming beats and late-night bass music.

Dates: September 20–22

Location: Deschutes County fairgrounds, Redmond

Lineup highlights: STS9, Marc Rebillet, CloZee, Jungle, Liquid Stranger, John Craigie & Shook Twins

More info:


Jackalope Jamboree

Americana music and non-mainstream country is having a moment, with artists like Tyler Childers and Jason Isbell playing large venues and festivals popping up all over the country. Pendleton has its own version of this in the Jackalope Jamboree, which turns five in 2024. It’ll celebrate by hosting three days and three stages of music at the historic Happy Canyon Arena downtown.

Jackalope Jamboree
Jackalope Jamboree
Photo by E.J. Harris/Jackalope Jamboree

Date: June 27–29

Location: Happy Canyon Arena, Pendleton

Lineup highlights: Charley Crockett, Randy Rogers Band, Silverada, Kaitlin Butts, Pony Bradshaw, Vandoliers

More info:

Pendleton Whisky Music Fest

Each July, Pendleton’s venerable Round-Up grounds transform from a rodeo venue to a full-fledged party for one night. Country is the focus, though past years have also featured pop artists like Post Malone and Maroon 5, and this year’s version includes a set of beloved ’90s jams.

Date: July 13

Location: Pendleton Round-Up Grounds

Lineup highlights: Thomas Rhett, Jo Dee Messina, Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc, Sugarhill Gang

More info:

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