Each summer, the Portland music scene moves outside as parks and venues embrace the ultimate concert backdrop of the Pacific Northwest.
The annual Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts series kicks off a lineup of 20 shows with Taj Mahal on June 23. Over the course of the summer, Brandi Carlile, Los Lobos, AfroCubism, Matisyahu and many more will play in the zoo’s intimate outdoor amphitheater, which is accessible by MAX light rail from downtown.
The Fourth of July weekend brings some of the the world’s best blues musicians to downtown Portland for the annual Waterfront Blues Festival (July 1-4). Featured musicians this year include Lucinda Williams, Buddy Guy and Maceo Parker.
Music lovers can venture a bit outside of the city to Troutdale for McMenamins Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn, where Willie Nelson, the Fleet Foxes, Neko Case and others will perform, complete with a beautiful setting in the Columbia River Gorge.
Bluegrass comes to the countryside of North Plains for the annual Northwest String Summit (July 21-24), and the Pickathon roots music festival returns to Pendarvis Farms in Happy Valley (Aug. 5-7). Guests will be treated to myriad Portland artists making a name for themselves on the national scene, as well as dozens of national indie rock, folk and blues artists like Mavis Staples, Damien Jurado and the Fruit Bats.