Festival Happenings

Celebrate the Fourth of July with us and downtown Portland’s only large-scale fireworks display! We’re thrilled to return to our annual tradition of a sensational fireworks display over the mighty waters of the Willamette River. Set to a soundtrack of classic blues, soul and funk this is a Fourth of July celebration you won’t wanna miss!
We love music fans of ALL ages at the Waterfront Blues Festival and thanks to our friends at Buick GMC of Beaverton, kids 12 and under receive free admission to the festival. We’ll have fun for the whole family including:
  • Kids dancing lessons
  • A family area and activities
  • A special youth music showcase with Friends of Noise on Saturday and Sunday
Stay hungry blues fans! The festival has LOTS of delicious bites from Portland’s world famous culinary community —with options for every eater (Omnivores! Vegans! Gluten Free!). This year’s food vendors include:
  • Horn of Africa – East African cuisine featuring lamb and chickens combos | Portland, OR
  • Bates BBQ & Burgers – Tri tip sandwiches, smoked mac n’ cheese and burgers | Creswell, OR
  • Phil’s Bento Bar – Marinated skewers with homemade sauces and seasonings over rice | Portland, OR
  • Smoke & Brine – Smoked meats with paired with pickled and fermented veggies | Portland, OR
  • Nico’s Ice Cream – Local homemade ice cream, featuring Oregon berries | Portland, OR
  • Garbonzos – Falafel bar with fresh salads, chicken and catfish | Portland, OR
  • Lavazza Coffee – Espresso bar | Portland, OR
  • Jackson’s Square – Fried chicken & waffles, po’boys and watermelon | Portland, OR
  • America’s Food Yakisoba – Homemade yakisoba noodles and spring rolls | Portland, OR
Forgot your sunglasses? Need a hat (or some earrings made of guitar picks)? Wanna take home a little piece of Oregon? We’ve got you friends! Our awesome lineup of vendors includes:
As if four stages over four days with 100+ acts wasn’t enough – we’ve got even MORE musical stylings at the festival. From a harmonica blowoff to intimate workshops there’s so much to explore including:
  • Journey to Memphis Finals | Since 1999, the Cascade Blues Association has sent local acts to represent our region in The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge. Over the years, that competition, the Journey To Memphis, has selected a terrific collection of some of our area’s top talent. The final round in the competition takes place each year on July 4 on the Front Porch Stage.
  • Kim Field’s Harmonica Blowoff | Kim Field hosts the annual Harmonica Blowoff July 4 on the Front Porch Stage.
  • Conversations at the Crossroads | The Academy Award Winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom chronicles the lives of mega-talented back up singers for some of the most celebrated artists in history. Join us for this special conversation with two stars from the film–Claudia Lennear and Judith Hill, moderated by Judy Tint.
  • Mysti Krewe of Nimbus Second Line | A celebration of those we’ve lost since we’ve last gathered led by Portland’s Mysti Krewe of Nimbus.
  • Friends of Noise Showcase | Friends of Noise (FoN) is a non-profit arts organization built on the values of collectivism and restorative justice. FoN seeks to transform the culture of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth access to the music industry, by hosting all-ages concerts throughout Portland, providing professional development for teen sound engineers, and empowering youth to advocate for themselves. FoN is proud to present some truly gifted all-ages talent at this year’s Waterfront Blues Festival, with performances and stage crew support on Saturday and Sunday at the Crossroads Stage.
We know y’all like to shake what your momma gave you and we are here for it! Whether you’re an all-star boogier or new to the dance floor – we can’t wait to get down with you at the fest!

Dance Lessons at Front Porch Stage and Dance Floor

Friday, July 1

  • 11:00-12:00: Country Blues Lesson — Brenda Russell 
  • 1:00-1:20: The BrassRoots Movement Parade
  • 2:30-2:50: Swing Blues Lesson — Brenda Russell
  • 3:50-4:10: African Dance Lesson — Loveness Wesa
  • 5:10-5:30: Slow Drag Lesson & Dance Performance DanceMode Productions
  • 6:30-6:50: Ballroomin’ Lesson & Dance Performance — DanceMode Productions
  • 8:00-8:20: West Coast Swing Lesson — Robin Robinson

Saturday, July 2

  • 11:30-12:00: Zydeco Lesson Janine & Roland Jemerson
  • 12:00-12:20: Intro to Cajun & Zydeco Music Heritage —Herman Fuselier
  • 1:50-2:10: Kids Dance Lesson Janine & Roland Jemerson
  • 3:40-4:00: Cajun Waltz Lesson — Lucy & Larry Weinberg
  • 5:30-5:50: Line Dance — Jerome Martin & Friend
  • 7:20-7:40: Zydeco Lesson — Ali & Adam Grimshaw
  • 9:10-9:30: Dance Lesson — Ali & Adam Grimshaw 

Sunday, July 3

  • 11:30-12:00: Cajun Swing Lesson — Roland Jemerson 
  • 12:00-12:20: Cajun & Zydeco Music HeritageHerman Fuselier
  • 1:50-2:10: Kids Dance Lesson Janine & Roland Jemerson
  • 3:40-4:00: Dance Lesson—Ali & Adam Grimshaw
  • 5:30-5:50: Cajun 2-Step Lesson Janine & Roland Jemerson
  • 7:20-7:40: Line Dance Lesson — Janine & Roland Jemerson
  • 9:10-9:30: Northwest Bone Gang & Mysti Krewe of Nimbus Parade

Monday, July 4

  • 11:55-12:10: Dance Lesson & Performance —DanceMode Productions 
  • 12:35-12:50: Dance Lesson & Performance —DanceMode Productions
  • 1:15-1:30: Dance Lesson — Robin Robinson
  • 3:25-3:45: Partnered Blues Dance Prelims — Portland Blues Experience 
  • 4:45-5:10: Solo Blues Dance Prelims — Portland Blues Experience
  • 6:10-6:35: Partnered Jazz Dance Prelims — Portland Blues Experience
  • 7:35-8:00: Bon Bon Vivant Parade

Blues Cruises

AHOY, BLUES FANS

Cruise the beautiful Willamette River and hear the sweet sounds of the blues on the decks of the Portland Spirit. Each Blues Cruise features three intimate stages and an all-star lineup. A full bar and food are available for purchase. Check out the lineups and set sail this summer! 
  • Thursday, June 30 |  Hoodoo Moon Kickoff Cruise
  • Friday, July 1 | Chubby’s Bayou Birthday Cruise
  • Saturday, July 2 | Sail on Sister, A Blues Fest Cares Cruise, benefiting Meals on Wheels People
  • Sunday, July 3 | Driftin’ Blues, A Blues Fest Cares Cruise, benefiting The Jeremy Wilson Foundation
  • Monday, July 4 | Rollin’ on the River Cruise

AFTER HOURS

The Jeremy Wilson Foundation presents The Official WBF After Hours

Saturday July 2

Outer Orbit & Friends with special guest Noah Simpson

Doors 10 PM | Show 11 PM

Benefiting The JWF Musician Health & Services Program

 

The Get Down

615 SE Alder Street • Portland

$18 Advance | $20 DOS

Community Concerts

At the Waterfront Blues Festival, we want to see our entire community filled with the joy of music, which is why you’ll find us out in the neighborhoods this spring and summer serving up free concerts with some of our favorite local musicians.

May 6
Pre-Fest Pre-Funk

May 6 at Stage 722

Ron Artis II & The Truth, with Far Out West Band 

the welcome dome

May 14 at Pioneer Courthouse Square

LaRhonda Steele Band with Norman Sylvester, Outer Orbit with Sarah Clarke and Tevis Hodge Jr.

OREGON CONTEMPORARY

June 22 at Oregon  Contemporary Courtyard | 5 PM

LaRhonda & The Steele Family Band

PORTLAND PICKLES

June 23 at Walker Stadium | 7:05 PM

Rae Gordon and The Jesters

HILLSBORO HOPS

June 26 at Ron Tonkin Field | 1:05 PM

Andy Stokes and The Jesters

2022 Official Partner Venues

Looking to see even more great live music!? Look no further than our 2022 Official Waterfront Blues Festival Partner Venues. Our friends at these Partner Venues will host special acts and artists throughout June and July. For more details and tickets, please visit each Partner Venues’ website. Thanks for supporting live music in Portland!

NE Portland | Website

Official Show: Monday, July 4

Lake Oswego | Website

Official Show: Thursday, June 30

NE Portland| Website

Official Shows: Friday, July 1 • Saturday, July 2

SE Portland | Website

Official Show: Wednesday, July 15

Beaverton | Website

Official Shows: Friday, June 10 • Friday, June 24

SW Portland | Website

Official Shows: Friday, July 1 • Saturday, July 2