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Here's what people are saying about the Waterfront Blues Festival

“If you happen to be in the City of Roses (a.k.a. the other Portland) in early July, don’t miss its Waterfront Blues Festival, a four-day event with a world-class lineup of blues, soul, funk, and R&B artists….The independently owned, operated, and ticketed music festival brings people of all backgrounds and generations together for a celebration of music, dancing, culture, and community.”

“… why not hit up the Waterfront Blues Festival, where some of the world’s most interesting and exploratory music—not just blues, but jazz, zydeco, bluegrass and folk from around the world—can be found around nearly every corner?”

“10 best fireworks Shows in the US: The Waterfront Blues Festival draws tens of thousands of Portland locals and visitors to the city center.”

“… a fun, safe space for a diverse, multigenerational crowd that benefits the local community.”

“Portlanders are loving 2022’s return of the Waterfront Blues Festival.” 

“Big events are back in Oregon this summer – The Waterfront Blues Festival isn’t just going for the status quo. It’s going for better.”

“As a true Portland-based festival, the food offerings at the waterfront will go above and beyond the typical corndogs and curly fries, including a wide range of Oregon-based businesses — think: Portland names like Garbonzos and Nacheaux. However, the festival’s location downtown also puts it steps away from several exceptional Portland restaurants and bars.”

“Held along the scenic west bank of the Willamette River in downtown Portland, the festival has been a mainstay on the city’s cultural calendar …. and continues to be one of the region’s best live music events thanks to its consistently stellar line-ups of acts together with a welcoming, friendly and inclusive atmosphere.”

“The Waterfront Blues Festival, long known as the largest of its kind west of the Mississippi River, is a tentpole event on Portland’s summer calendar. … Major outdoor events, which are huge economic drivers that also fill hotel rooms, restaurants, and bars, have been slower to return in Portland proper and in Oregon than in much of the rest of the country…. returning to the downtown waterfront for these and more events was both a conscious decision and a no-brainer.”

“… Waterfront Blues Festival is putting music fans first.”

awards & recognitions

  • Willamette Week’s ‘Best of Portland’ Reader’s Poll 2023 — Best Outdoor Event, second place
  • Willamette Week’s ‘Best of Portland’ Reader’s Poll 2022 — Best Music Festival
  • Willamette Week’s ‘Best of Portland’ Reader’s Poll 2019 — Best Music Festival and Best Outdoor Event
  • Oregon Festival and Events Association’s Ovation Award 2023 — Sponsor of the Year, PrintWorks
  • Oregon Festival and Events Association’s Ovation Award 2022 — Most Innovative Marketing Campaign
  • Oregon Festival and Events Association’s Ovation Award 2021 — Fundraising Event of the Year, Blues Fest Cares Concert
  • Oregon Festival and Events Association’s Ovation Award 2020 & 2021 — Music Festival of the Year
  • Oregon Festival and Events Association’s Ovation Award 2018 — Festival of the Year
  • Blues Foundation’s Keeping the Blues Alive Award — Blues Promoter of the Year, Peter Dammann (Festival Artistic Director)