Portland knows how to throw a party when it comes to blues. Every year, the Waterfront Blues Festival brings positive energy and plenty of top performers to the banks of the Willamette River. For decades, this legendary festival has been attracting blues lovers and bringing renowned musicians and people who enjoy good music from various parts of the world. Let’s explore this extraordinary summer event and learn how to travel around Portland on a budget and stress-free.
WATERFRONT BLUES FESTIVAL – JULY 1-4 – TOM MCCALL WATERFRONT PARK, 1400 SW NAITO PKWY. PORTLAND, OR 97201
A laid-back atmosphere, beautiful Willamette River, and awesome people are some of the reasons why Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival is one of the best and most visited local festivals. The event is held in Tom McCall Waterfront Park, a large outdoor area where guests can enjoy music while taking in the natural beauty of the surroundings. Prepare to be wowed by brilliant musicians, from award-winning blues legends to brilliant newcomers.
2023 Festival Lineup
The Waterfront Blues Festival has an exciting lineup this year that includes blues veteran Buddy Guy, the dynamic sounds of The Mavericks, the deep rhythms of JJ Grey & Mofro, the funky guitar skills of Cory Wong, and the melodies of Los Lonely Boys. Of course, there are many more blues, funk, and soul performers, including Shemekia Copeland with Ruthie Foster, Eric Gales, Neal Francis, Amythyst Kiah, Curtis Salgado, Celisse, and Rick Estrin & The Nightcats. Check out the official website for many more names, tickets, and lineups by day.
Food, Drinks, Happenings
Explore the festival’s culinary options created to make everyone happy. You’ll find everything from East African food, homemade ice cream, and falafel to barbecue, fried chicken, and noodles. Enjoy specialty brews or a glass of local wine while socializing with other music fans. The event also includes an art market where you can explore and purchase one-of-a-kind crafts, musical instruments, jewelry, and artwork, making it a complete sensory experience.
The Kids Zone
Waterfront Blues Fest is a family-friendly festival. Children of 12 and under don’t need to buy tickets, and there are some entertainment options for them, like dancing lessons and a family area with various activities. Kids may participate in interactive games, crafts, and even their own small music sessions. The festival’s family area guarantees that everyone can enjoy the event together, creating lasting memories and cultivating a love of music through generations.
If you decide to celebrate the Fourth of July in Portland, having fun at the festival venue, you’ll experience traditional large-scale fireworks with blues notes in the background.
Helping the Local Community
What distinguishes the Waterfront Blues Festival is its commitment to giving back to the community. The festival raises funds for the Oregon Food Bank, which fights hunger and food insecurity in the region. By attending the festival, you will not only be immersed in wonderful music but will also be contributing to a good cause. It’s a wonderful combination of entertainment and generosity that adds to the festival’s significance.
Waterfront Blues Festival Taxi Service
Count on Radio Cab for transportation to and from the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and other local rides during the festival. You can prearrange your cab rides, call a cab at 503-227-1212, or hail a taxi on the street. This long-rooted local taxicab service has polite and experienced drivers, 24/7 service, and affordable rates.
Allow the music to inspire you and the memories formed during this unique event to last a lifetime. See you in Portland!