Festival Information

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General Event Info

FESTIVAL HAPPENINGS

Ticketing

GETTING THERE

11 am – 10:30 pm, July 1-4, 2023.

The festival site is a City of Portland public park, with most of the terrain a sloping, grassy hill. The walkways are ADA accessible and there is a designated ADA seating area at the top of the bowl. The main entrance at SW Columbia Street provides the most direct access point to the ADA seating area. Please note that as with all seating in the venue (except Blues Boxes), it is first-come, first-served. There is no reserved festival parking. Attendees can park in public lots and on the street. The closest parking garage is at SW First and Jefferson Street, just a few blocks from the festival site. If you have specific questions regarding accessibility, please reach out to our team at info@waterfrontbluesfest.com.
We’ve got you covered at the festival including:

• ATMs
• First-aid services
• Bicycle parking
• Delicious food and drinks
• Free water refill station
• Festival merchandise booth
• So much more!
All shows will go on rain or shine.
• Your festival tickets
• Valid ID
• Empty reusable water bottles (or factory sealed bottled water)
• One low-profile lawn chair per attendee. Please note attendees with chair seats more than 12” off the ground will be required to sit in specially designated areas.
• Good vibes!
The following items are not allowed at the festival:

• Outside beverages, other than factory sealed or empty water bottles
• Cannabis, drugs, outside alcohol and other controlled substances
• Hard-sided coolers or picnic baskets, including Styrofoam
• Smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco
• Umbrellas, tents or canopies
• Oversized blankets — please be courteous to your neighbor and only take up the space that you need (that’s about a regular beach towel-sized space per person)
• Carts or wagons
• Weapons of any kind
• Fireworks, explosives, or accelerants of any kind
• Drones
• Balloons, beachballs, frisbees, inflatable devices, or outdoor games
• Professional audio or video recording devices and equipment, including cameras with a detachable lens longer than 4″
• Animals, except service animals
• Glass of any kind All attendees and their belongings are subject to search upon entry. The festival is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.

We’re all here to have a good time and we’re all a part of the Blues Fest Community, so please remember:

  • Per the City of Portland, all Portland Parks are designated as smoke-free areas
  • Be kind to the park — dispose of trash and recycling in designated receptacles
  • Be kind to your neighbor — no physical or verbal harassment or abuse will be tolerated
  • Keep on moving — please do not block aisles, walkways, esplanade or other public areas
  • Be cool — please follow the guidelines and directions of the festival management team and its authorized contractors, as well as all posted signage
  • No seriously, be cool — please follow all federal, state and City of Portland laws, ordinances, rules and regulations
  • Waterfront Blues Festival staff will close entry to Waterfront Park when the audience reaches capacity, as directed by the City of Portland Fire Marshal
  • No video or audio recording of concerts without permission from artist
  • No distribution of commercial advertisements
There will be a variety of tasty food and snack options available for purchase including gluten-free and vegetarian options. There will be beer, wine, and nonalcoholic beverages available for purchase. A valid, acceptable ID is required for all alcohol purchases. All outside beverages are not allowed, however, attendees may enter with factory-sealed water bottles and empty reusable water bottles.

The on-site festival merchandise booth is the place to find all of your fun, new Blues Festival gear! In the meanwhile, you can shop online for shirts, swag and more from past festivals.

Applications for the 2023  Vendor Program will open in early 2023. Please check back here for more information.

Do you have something else to offer that isn’t food or goods? If you are a business that wants to advertise, sign up new customers, collect consumer data, hand out samples (or coupons, fliers or marketing materials) or simply engage with attendees without selling anything directly, you could be a sponsor! Please email sponsors@waterfrontbluesfest.com for more information.

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the festival! They help with a little bit of everything, from hydration and hospitality to ticket lines and merch sales. Volunteer positions will be posted in the spring of 2023. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first one to know!

Looking for even more info about fireworks, dancing, Official Partner Venues, food, vendors and all of the rad musical experiences at the festival? Be sure to check out our Festival Happenings page!

Afton Tickets is our local ticketing partner. Please contact Afton Tickets at support@aftontickets.com or by calling (800) 323-0634 between 8 am – 5 pm PST, Monday through Friday.

The Waterfront Blues Festival offers a variety of passes including GA and VIP 4-Day passes, GA and VIP 1-Day tickets, Blues Cruises, After Hours Shows and Community Concerts. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media to be the first to know when all these tickets go on sale!

The festival takes place at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, just to the north and south of the Hawthorne Bridge on the west bank of the Willamette River, with the Main Festival entry located at 1400 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97201.

Haven’t had your fix of food carts, bookstores or breweries? Check out Travel Portland for more info and things to do in the Rose City. 

Wanna explore even more of the beautiful state of Oregon? Visit Travel Oregon for great ideas for the coast, Mount Hood, the Willamette Valley and more.

TEXT ONLY SEEN WHEN EDITING THE PAGE

This section depends on custom JS injected using the “Header and Footer Custom Code” plugin. Please be mindful of the proper behaviour of everything when doing any changes.

General Event Info

11 am – 10:30 pm, July 1-4, 2023.

The festival site is a City of Portland public park, with most of the terrain a sloping, grassy hill. The walkways are ADA accessible and there is a designated ADA seating area at the top of the bowl. The main entrance at SW Columbia Street provides the most direct access point to the ADA seating area. Please note that as with all seating in the venue (except Blues Boxes), it is first-come, first-served. There is no reserved festival parking. Attendees can park in public lots and on the street. The closest parking garage is at SW First and Jefferson Street, just a few blocks from the festival site. If you have specific questions regarding accessibility, please reach out to our team at info@waterfrontbluesfest.com.
We’ve got you covered at the festival including:

• ATMs
• First-aid services
• Bicycle parking
• Delicious food and drinks
• Free water refill station
• Festival merchandise booth
• So much more!
All shows will go on rain or shine.
• Your festival tickets
• Valid ID
• Empty reusable water bottles (or factory sealed bottled water)
• One low-profile lawn chair per attendee. Please note attendees with chair seats more than 12” off the ground will be required to sit in specially designated areas.
• Good vibes!
The following items are not allowed at the festival:

• Outside beverages, other than factory sealed or empty water bottles
• Cannabis, drugs, outside alcohol and other controlled substances
• Hard-sided coolers or picnic baskets, including Styrofoam
• Smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco
• Umbrellas, tents or canopies
• Oversized blankets — please be courteous to your neighbor and only take up the space that you need (that’s about a regular beach towel-sized space per person)
• Carts or wagons
• Weapons of any kind
• Fireworks, explosives, or accelerants of any kind
• Drones
• Balloons, beachballs, frisbees, inflatable devices, or outdoor games
• Professional audio or video recording devices and equipment, including cameras with a detachable lens longer than 4″
• Animals, except service animals
• Glass of any kind All attendees and their belongings are subject to search upon entry. The festival is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.

We’re all here to have a good time and we’re all a part of the Blues Fest Community, so please remember:

  • Per the City of Portland, all Portland Parks are designated as smoke-free areas
  • Be kind to the park — dispose of trash and recycling in designated receptacles
  • Be kind to your neighbor — no physical or verbal harassment or abuse will be tolerated
  • Keep on moving — please do not block aisles, walkways, esplanade or other public areas
  • Be cool — please follow the guidelines and directions of the festival management team and its authorized contractors, as well as all posted signage
  • No seriously, be cool — please follow all federal, state and City of Portland laws, ordinances, rules and regulations
  • Waterfront Blues Festival staff will close entry to Waterfront Park when the audience reaches capacity, as directed by the City of Portland Fire Marshal
  • No video or audio recording of concerts without permission from artist
  • No distribution of commercial advertisements
There will be a variety of tasty food and snack options available for purchase including gluten-free and vegetarian options. There will be beer, wine, and nonalcoholic beverages available for purchase. A valid, acceptable ID is required for all alcohol purchases. All outside beverages are not allowed, however, attendees may enter with factory-sealed water bottles and empty reusable water bottles.

The on-site festival merchandise booth is the place to find all of your fun, new Blues Festival gear! In the meanwhile, you can shop online for shirts, swag and more from past festivals.

Applications for the 2023  Vendor Program will open in early 2023. Please check back here for more information.

Do you have something else to offer that isn’t food or goods? If you are a business that wants to advertise your business, sign up new customers, collect consumer data, hand out samples (or coupons, fliers or marketing materials) or simply engage with attendees without selling anything directly, you could be a sponsor! Please email sponsors@waterfrontbluesfest.com for more information.

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the festival! They help with a little bit of everything, from hydration and hospitality to ticket lines and merch sales. Volunteer positions will be posted in the spring of 2023. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first one to know!

FESTIVAL HAPPENINGS

Looking for even more info about fireworks, dancing, Official Partner Venues, food, vendors and all of the rad musical experiences at the festival? Be sure to check out our Festival Happenings page!

Ticketing

Afton Tickets is our local ticketing partner. Please contact Afton Tickets at support@aftontickets.com or by calling (800) 323-0634 between 8 am – 5 pm PST, Monday through Friday.

The Waterfront Blues Festival offers a variety of passes including GA and VIP 4-Day passes, GA and VIP 1-Day tickets, Blues Cruises, After Hours Shows and Community Concerts. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media to be the first to know when all these tickets go on sale!

GETTING THERE

The festival takes place at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, just to the north and south of the Hawthorne Bridge on the west bank of the Willamette River, with the Main Festival entry located at 1400 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97201.

Haven’t had your fix of food carts, bookstores or breweries? Check out Travel Portland for more info and things to do in the Rose City. 

Wanna explore even more of the beautiful state of Oregon? Visit Travel Oregon for great ideas for the coast, Mount Hood, the Willamette Valley and more.

About The Festival

Play Video

CELEBRATING 35 YEARS OF BLUES

The Waterfront Blues Festival is downtown Portland’s largest and longest-running music festival and one of the most renowned celebrations of the Blues in the world. 2022 marked the 35th anniversary of the festival and a jubilant return to downtown Portland. Founded in 1988, the festival has welcomed over 2,000 acts including Gregg Allman, Buddy Guy, Lucinda Williams, Taj Mahal, Gary Clark Jr., Robert Plant, Mavis Staples and Trombone Shorty, garnering international acclaim and raising over $10 million dollars to fight hunger.

The festival is also an unparalleled showcase for Portland’s local music community and features local legends like Curtis Salgado, Liv Warfield and Norman Sylvester. As the festival moves into our next 35 years, we’ll continue to build upon our longstanding legacy and fanbase while also welcoming new artists and audiences, deepening our commitment to Portland and the community, and bringing the most exciting and dynamic blues, soul, funk and R&B artists to the stage for one magical, can’t miss Fourth of July Weekend.

2022 Waterfront Blues Festival - July 4, 2022. Photo by Jason Quigley.

PLAN YOUR TRIP

We’re excited to welcome you to Portland, Oregon! For those of you traveling locally, nationally or internationally- here are some great resources for planning your trip!

TRAVEL PORTLAND

Haven’t had your fix of food carts, bookstores or breweries? Check out Travel Portland for more info and things to do in the Rose City

TRAVEL OREGON

Wanna explore even more of the beautiful state of Oregon? Visit Travel Oregon for great ideas for the coast, Mount Hood, the Willamette Valley and more.

HOTEL PARTNERS

Need a place to rest your head during the festival? May we suggest one of our partner hotels?

Get your special deal for Blues Fest fans at Hotel Vance!

Right across the street and just steps from the festival entry.

 

River views and cozy accommodations so convenient to the fest.

FESTIVAL MAP

A Look Back

2021

Those pandemic blues couldn’t stop us. 2021 saw the festival head “Upriver” to The Lot at Zidell Yards for four days of the Blues along the Willamette River. Come hell, high water, or a pandemic… long live the blues.

Lineup highlights: Samantha Fish, Curtis Salgado, Marc Broussard, Ghost-Note, MarchFourth, Jubu Smith, Hillstomp and Curley Taylor & the Zydeco Trouble

2020

In 2020 we hitched up the Blues Fest Bandwagon to bring live music to eight of our amazing fans in neighborhoods, street corners and cul-de-sacs around Portland. We also featured two ways to listen at home, with two full days of crowd favorite sets aired on the radio and a two-hour July 4th TV special celebrating memorable performances, capped off with a fireworks replay. The blues carried on!

2019

Lineup highlights: St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, The Robert Cray Band, Vintage Trouble, The California Honeydrops, Southern Avenue, Cyril Neville & the Uptown Rulers, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe & Shemekia Copeland

2018

Lineup highlights: George Thorogood & the Destroyers, The Mavericks, Larkin Poe, The Motet, The Revivalists, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Dirty Revival, Fantastic Negrito, Beth Hart & Nikki Hill

2013

Lineup highlights: Robert Plant presents the Sensational Space Shifters, Mavis Staples, Taj Mahal Trio, Eric Burdon, John Hiatt & the Combo, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Allen Stone and Too Slim & the Taildraggers

2005

Lineup highlights: Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, Paul deLay & Duffy Bishop, Liv & the Warfield Project, Guitar Shorty with the Texas Horns, Jackie Greene, Roy Tyler & the New Directions and Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Later that year in response to Hurricane Katrina, the Waterfront Blues Festival team produced "Blues for Katrina," a special fundraiser and concert raising over $100,000 for food banks in the Gulf Coast.

1995

Lineup highlights: Luther Allison, Bobby Parker Band with Little Jimmy King, Savoy Brown, Norton Buffalo, W.C. Clark, Tinsley Ellis, Bugs Henderson, Big Daddy Kinsey and The Kinsey Report, Little Charlie and The Nightcats, John Mayall, The Paladins, Roy Rogers and The Delta Rhythm Kings, Finis Tasby, The Holmes Brothers and the Subdudes

1988

The countdown to the annual Blues Festival began in 1988 when Oregon Food Share, the predecessor to Oregon Food Bank, became producer and beneficiary. That year, the festival raised $7,500 and 650 pounds of food.

Lineup highlights: Jesse Mae Hemphill, Blubinos with Monti Amundson, Norman Sylvester Revue, Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Margo Tufo Revue, Johnnie and the Jokers, William Clarke Band, Lloyd Jones Struggle and the Jelly Roll Kings

A Look Back

2021

Those pandemic blues couldn’t stop us. 2021 saw the festival head “Upriver” to The Lot at Zidell Yards for four days of the Blues along the Willamette River. Come hell, high water, or a pandemic… long live the blues.

Lineup highlights: Samantha Fish, Curtis Salgado, Marc Broussard, Ghost-Note, MarchFourth, Jubu Smith, Hillstomp and Curley Taylor & the Zydeco Trouble

2020

In 2020 we hitched up the Blues Fest Bandwagon to bring live music to eight of our amazing fans in neighborhoods, street corners and cul-de-sacs around Portland. We also featured two ways to listen at home, with two full days of crowd favorite sets aired on the radio and a two-hour July 4th TV special celebrating memorable performances, capped off with a fireworks replay. The blues carried on!

2019

Lineup highlights: St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, The Robert Cray Band, Vintage Trouble, The California Honeydrops, Southern Avenue, Cyril Neville & the Uptown Rulers, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe & Shemekia Copeland

2018

Lineup highlights: George Thorogood & the Destroyers, The Mavericks, Larkin Poe, The Motet, The Revivalists, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Dirty Revival, Fantastic Negrito, Beth Hart & Nikki Hill

2013

Lineup highlights: Robert Plant presents the Sensational Space Shifters, Mavis Staples, Taj Mahal Trio, Eric Burdon, John Hiatt & the Combo, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Allen Stone and Too Slim & the Taildraggers

2005

Lineup highlights: Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, Paul deLay & Duffy Bishop, Liv & the Warfield Project, Guitar Shorty with the Texas Horns, Jackie Greene, Roy Tyler & the New Directions and Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Later that year in response to Hurricane Katrina, the Waterfront Blues Festival team produced "Blues for Katrina," a special fundraiser and concert raising over $100,000 for food banks in the Gulf Coast.

1995

Lineup highlights: Luther Allison, Bobby Parker Band with Little Jimmy King, Savoy Brown, Norton Buffalo, W.C. Clark, Tinsley Ellis, Bugs Henderson, Big Daddy Kinsey and The Kinsey Report, Little Charlie and The Nightcats, John Mayall, The Paladins, Roy Rogers and The Delta Rhythm Kings, Finis Tasby, The Holmes Brothers and the Subdudes

1988

The countdown to the annual Blues Festival began in 1988 when Oregon Food Share, the predecessor to Oregon Food Bank, became producer and beneficiary. That year, the festival raised $7,500 and 650 pounds of food.

Lineup highlights: Jesse Mae Hemphill, Blubinos with Monti Amundson, Norman Sylvester Revue, Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Margo Tufo Revue, Johnnie and the Jokers, William Clarke Band, Lloyd Jones Struggle and the Jelly Roll Kings

Get in Touch

Sponsorship

Vendors

Applications for the 2023 Vendor Program will open in early 2023. Please check back here for more information.

Volunteers

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the festival! Volunteer positions will be posted in the spring of 2023. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first one to know!