Looking at lineups for some of the major local venues this summer, it appears that audiences and/or bookers want one prolonged and mostly vanilla sausage fest. For Cuthbert’s 2014 season, of the nearly 40 acts scheduled to grace the amphitheater stage, seven include women (counting the Eugene Symphony’s free concert July 19). The Lane County Fair does not fare better: Of the eight acts to hit the main stage, there will be one musician who’s a woman — Pat Benatar (July 26 with Neil Giraldo). Of Matthew Knight’s oddly sparse summer schedule, it’s all guys: Rod Stewart and Santana (July 31), Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (Aug. 7), Bruno Mars (Aug. 11) and the Zac Brown Band (Sept. 26). If the numbers were switched, EW has a feeling there’d be an onslaught of Lilith Fair jokes (which, oddly enough, was a festival started because of gender disparity in music).
This seems to be a Eugene-area phenom and a trend we’ve been watching since EW’s “Gone Grrrlz” cover story (10/31); other Oregon fests and venues have locked in a slew of dynamic musicians, featuring talent from both genders. Edgefield has Lyle Lovett, Sarah Brightman, Sara Bareilles, Beck, The Head and The Heart, Heart and Panic! At the Disco still to come. Pickathon (Aug. 1-3) brings Nickel Creek, Warpaint, Angel Olsen, Valerie June and Those Darlins through Happy Valley. Portland’s Aladdin Theater has Southern Culture on The Skids, Imelda May, Gaelic Storm and Aimee Mann on the docket, while Crystal Ballroom is bringing in Beth Orton, Lily Allen, Shovels & Rope and Banks.
The Eugene trend does not ring true for the worlds of country and faeries: While Sweet Home’s Oregon Jamboree leans heavily on dudes (Tim McGraw, Joe Diffie, Justin Moore, Billy Currington and many more) it has booked two female country powerhouses — the award-collecting Miranda Lambert (Aug. 1) and Cassadee Pope (Aug. 2), winner of CMT’s 2014 Breakthrough Video of the Year. Brownsville’s Willamette Country Music Festival (Aug. 15-17) boasts a more even roster, with Kelleigh Bannen, Ashley Monroe, Thompson Square, Natalie Stovall and The Drive, Amy Clawson and Pam Tillis and Sara Evans.
Faerieworlds (or as Maxim calls the fest: “Bonnaroo staged for Middle Earth”), hosting its last go-around at Mount Pisgah July 25-27, dares to completely mix up the talent of the sexes with Norwegian wunderkind singer and fiddler Martine Kraft (her premiere West Coast performance), Omnia, Sea Stars, Zirp, Brother, Woodland, S.J. Tucker, The Wicker Men and more.
Don’t miss: Seattle’s introspective hip-hop artist Raz Simone, who won fans opening for Die Antwoord earlier in May, with Rittz and Tuki Carter July 21 at WOW Hall; Los Angeles’ bubbly indie-folk outfit Campfire Cassettes July 22 at Cottage Grove’s Axe & Fiddle.