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Summer Guide 2017 Highlights

The Cuthbert Amphitheater, 2300 Leo Harris Parkway, provides a chance to enjoy the sunny weather and live music simultaneously this summer. Here are three shows to look forward to at the venue along the river later this summer:

Young the Giant with Cold War Kids and Joywave (Aug. 20)

California’s indie pop outfit Young the Giant is touring after the release of its 2016 LP Home of the Strange. With soaring indie rock and sly vocals by Sameer Gadhia, the band’s sound is sure to complement the mid-August heat. Fellow California band, Cold War Kids, brings a bluesier sound to the package with songs off its newest release, LA Divine. East Coast kids Joywave, best known for their spot on “Dangerous” by Big Data, will bring their infectious indie pop to round out the late summer show.

Photo by Todd Cooper

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats with Lake Street Dive (Aug. 25)

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats capitalize on the nu-folk Americana revival in the best way possible. The band stomps and claps, but it never becomes too generic like The Lumineers or too hippie like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. The Night Sweats find a happy medium, somewhere in-between accessible and unique. Rateliff’s yelping in stomp-worthy songs like “S.O.B” is the perfect cathartic expression that, "damn, summer is almost done." Indie folk act Lake Street Dive opens.


Michael Franti and Spearhead (Sept. 7)

Michael Franti will bring the “Sound of Sunshine” and other songs to this frequently rainy state in September. Franti, a musician, humanitarian and spoken word artist among other titles, is known for his joyous folk inspired by world music styles. With his infectious joy and shoeless stage presence, Franti will be the perfect artist to wind the summer down and say goodbye to the sun for the next couple months. “That’s the sound of sunshine,” he sings as it goes away. — Sararosa Davies





Nas (above), Die Antwoord. Photos byTodd Cooper.


Cold cheap beer and good live music — what more can one ask for during the Oregon summertime? Project Pabst is the one-stop shop for that and so much more. Although it transformed the beloved, multi-venue MusicFestNW into a more traditional, centralized festival in 2014, the more condensed style of Project Pabst is concentrated with huge name artists and of course, all the PBR anyone could ever want or need. The two-day, two-stage fest offers a lineup packed full of heavy-hitters like Iggy Pop, Beck, Die Antwoord and Nas. Located on the waterfront in Southwest Portland, Project Pabst is extremely accessible, near a ton of downtown bars and restaurants — although the festival offers “food and beer at reasonable ‘non-festival’ prices,” according to Pabst Blue Ribbon’s website. Along with catching all of your favorite bands, Project Pabst will feature booths from sponsors like Dr. Martens, Kettle Brand chips, Townshend’s Tea and Car2Go offering items for purchase and free swag. The festival is 21+, obviously, and takes place Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26-27. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit portland.projectpabst.com. — Meerah Powell



Photo courtesy Thomas Moser


Everyone’s favorite competitive summer run is back for its 44th annual year. The Butte to Butte 10k and 5k runs, and 4M walk, will take place on July 4. Put on by Oregon Track Club, the 10k run will begin at Spencer Butte Middle School (500 E. 43rd Avenue), loop through Fox Hollow and end at 5th Street Market. The 5k will begin and end at 5th Street Market, after looping down to 24th and Amazon Parkway (by the old Roosevelt Middle School), and the 4-mile walk will begin at Spencer Butte Middle School and also end at 5th Street Market. Prizes will be given to the first three men and women finishers overall, and in separate age divisions in the 10k and 5k runs. After each event there will be live music and refreshments in the parking lot of 5th Street Market. The entry fee is $35 including a shirt, or $25 without a shirt. One child 12 and under is free when accompanied by an entered adult. The entry fee for an additional child is $10. Race packet pickup and in-person registration will be held at the Hilton (66 E. Sixth Avenue) on Friday, July 1, Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3. You can register prior to that online. On July 4, the 5K begins at 7:30 am, the 10k begins at 8 am and the 4-mile walk begins at 8:30 am. For more info or to register, check out buttetobutte.runnerspace.com. — Meerah Powell





Unlike the Oregon Country Fair, which has been around since the dawn of time, the Mohawk Valley Music Festival is a relative newcomer to the whole latter-day-hippie pastoral music scene thing. Started in 2014, Mohawk — with its beautiful setting 20 minutes outside Eugene at Bob’s Ranch in Marcola, the former site of the Northwest World Reggae Festival — is looking to take things to the next level this time around. “There’s just this vibe of real positivity about this event,” says general manager Tarra Jones, who says the woodsy setting by the river provides the perfect backdrop for a laid-back weekend of camping, community, music and arts. “Whether you’ve never been to a festival or whether you go to festivals all the time, you won’t find anything within a hundred miles of us that offers so much for so little. There is something for everyone here. There’s diverse music, and the site is intimate but big enough to have fun.” Along with local bands ranging from Sol Seed and Indubious to the Garcia Birthday Band, Jones scored a coup this year when she booked funky Minneapolis band Wookiefoot, a staple of the festival circuit. “They put on a hell of a show,” Jones says. “It’s like a circus, basically.” The Mohawk Valley Music Festival takes place Aug. 11-13 at Bob’s Ranch in Marcola. $90 for the weekend includes camping and access to fresh well water; info and tickets at mohawkvalleymusicfestival.com. — Rick Levin



Face painting at Beats, Brews and BBQ


There are many reasons that Oregon summers are great, but one of the biggest is that there are a ton of opportunities to fill up on great food. Here’s a round-up of some food-centric events going on throughout the state this summer. Want a fruitful start to your summer? Check out the Lebanon Strawberry Festival, featuring the “World’s Largest Strawberry Shortcake” and lots of other fun food options in the festival food court. It’s going on from June 1-4 at Cheadle Lake Park (37919 Weirich Drive, Lebanon). To get a free slice of shortcake, check out the fest’s Grand Parade, starting at 11 am Saturday, June 3 — cake will be served right after. The festival is free, but donations are accepted. If you’re down to start the summer with the demise of your diet, check out the fourth-annual Beats, Brews and BBQ at Alton Baker Park on June 9-10 for some mouth-waterin’ meat; it runs from 5 to 11 pm on Friday, June 9, and noon to 11 pm Saturday, June 10. Tickets range from $12-$25. On July 29, the 12th Annual Northwest Paella Fest will take place on the outskirts of Eugene. The fest, celebrating the Spanish rice and seafood dish, is a benefit for Food for Lane County, and last year raised $17,000. Paellas will be made by teams and eaten by guests, but the event is invitation only. Paella makers are expected to arrive around 2 pm and have their dishes ready to eat by 7 pm. There is a suggested donation of $30 per person for FOOD For Lane County. For more info, check out paellafest.blogspot.com. End the summer with some authentic Scandinavian food at the Scandinavian Festival (Sixth and Greenwood, downtown Junction City) from August 10-13. There will be Swedish meatballs, meatpies and æbleskivers, little “pancake puffs,” along with almost 40 other food cart options. The fest is going on from 10 am to 10 pm on Thursday, Aug. 10, through Saturday, Aug 12, and 10 am to 8 pm on Sunday, Aug. 13. Admission is FREE.
Meerah Powell



Acrobats at the Whiteaker Block Party. Photo courtesy Girin Guha.


The Whiteaker Block Party is back this year for the 11th time, and bigger than ever. With ten stages and four blocks of fun to be had, it’s the can’t-miss event in Eugene for the summer. Media liaison Girin Guha says the block party is all about local talent, accessibility and creativity. “It was always a sort of symbiosis with local business,” he says, adding that in recent years they’ve partnered with LTD for free bus passes. Neighbors in the Whiteaker neighborhood have kept this tradition afloat through grit and willpower, a sort of DIY festival to promote local talent. “You’ll see some street performers, and as you walk along the street you’ll start having that sonic experience, like oh, there’s someone’s front yard with a stage and they’re rocking out,” Guha says. You’re likely to see him on stage with his band, the Girin Guha Experience. “Some of the stages have genres, like ours is a metal stage,” he adds. Past years have seen nearly 10,000 people attending the one-day event, with “a lot of costuming and some art installations.” Food and craft vendors will be sprinkled among the various stages, and “the majority of the bands are Whiteaker bands or Eugene-based bands, so there’s a real local-ness to it.” This party is sure to be the quintessential Eugene experience. The Whiteaker Block Party takes place Aug. 5, along Third Avenue between Blair Boulevard and Jackson Street. FREE.  — Kelly Kenoyer



Bret Michaels and En Vogue


You can always count on the Lane County Fair to provide a few summer musts: people watching, ignoring that little safety-reasoning voice in your adult head and justifying a ride on a rickety mobile pirate ship, and shameless enjoyment of ’80s/’90s bands. This summer the chart-topping female R&B group En Vogue will perform at the fair. Yes, the same ’90s band that empowered us to call out our cheating exes whether we were working professionals or middle school students. LeAnn Rimes, Bret Michaels, Eli Young Band and Loverboy & Survivor will also hit the fair stage. Don’t forget to pet the goats, bunnies and cows on display and for sale while you’re at the fairgrounds, too. The fair also hosts Oregon authors, pig races and, most likely, clowns — though we prefer interacting with the less-scary reptile exhibits. Finally, the fair experience wouldn’t be complete without consuming sugary fried dough, so bring a friend or enjoy an entire elephant ear all to yourself. The Lane County fair runs 11 am to 11 pm Wednesday, July 19, through Saturday, July 22, and 11 am to 8 pm Sunday, July 23, at the Lane County Fair Grounds, 796 W. 13th Avenue, atthefair.com. $6-$9. — Corinne Boyer



Eugene Pro Rodeo. Photo by Todd Cooper.


Sip on a cold beverage, eat some snacks, sit back and enjoy the crackle of fireworks in the humid summer sky. The Fourth of July is one of the best parts of summer, and here are some area events to check out before and during the big nighttime sha-bang. For a chance to take in some culture, visit Art and the Vineyard, Maude Kerns’ three-day art and wine festival, July 2 to 4, in Alton Baker Park; it’ll have a fireworks show on the Fourth. Want to spend your July 4 getting fit and breaking records? Register for the annual Butte to Butte to participate in a 10K, 5K or 4-mile walk. If you’re looking for a buckin’ good time, head to the 26th annual Eugene Pro Rodeo (90751 Prairie Road) on the Fourth. The rodeo runs July 1 to 4. It boasts the “largest fireworks in Lane County.” Tickets range from $12.75 to $23.75. For more info, visit eugeneprorodeo.com. For some more traditional July 4 events, visit Springfield’s Island Park (200 W. B Street) for the annual Light of Liberty Celebration. It offers live music, activities for kids and a fireworks show over the Willamette River. It’s from 4 to 11 pm. Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the gate, and kids 5 and under are free. For another classic, catch the Eugene Emeralds, Eugene’s minor league baseball team, playing Boise at PK Park for Red, White and Boom! Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but run $9-$15. The game starts at 6 pm. For more info, visit facebook.com/eugeneemeraldsfanpage. — Meerah Powell






Whether you love it or hate it, marijuana is a huge part of Oregon culture. And yes, obviously Oregon has a summer festival about it. It’s the third annual Oregon Hempfest, a three-day festival taking place Friday through Sunday, June 23 to 25, in Roseburg (383 Brumbach Rd). Though it might seem like it, Hempfest is not a weed-smoking free-for-all. According to the event’s website, “The Oregon Hempfest will enforce and respect the guidelines in Measure 91, and we only support the LEGAL aspects of marijuana in the state of Oregon.” This includes no recreational cannabis for sale at the festival. The fest offers more than 20 musical acts and more than 100 vendors, classes, guest speakers and camping. Hempfest opens at high noon (get it?) on Friday, June 23. The day-event hours go on until 8 pm, and camping hours start at 8 pm. Single day passes are $20 and night passes are also $20, but there is an early bird special for the whole weekend (both day events and night) for $60. It’s a family friendly fest in the daytime, and children ages 9 and under are free. It’s 21 and over for overnight camping. Visit umpquahempfest.com for more info and to purchase tickets. — Meerah Powell




Of all the festivals that occur over the summer in the area, one particularly appetizing fest is totally dedicated to local food. The second annual Eugene Food Truck Fest will be taking place 11 am to 7 pm on Saturday, June 17, at Lane Events Center. More than 50 food trucks will be serving throughout the day, including Da Nang, Viva! Vegetarian Grill and The Great Philly Steak. There will be a tasting competition for People’s Choice 2017 and Eugene’s Favorite Food Truck 2017, according to the fest’s website. Along with the unabashed joy that comes with eating delicious food, patrons can leave feeling even better, because 15 percent of the event’s proceeds go toward the Eugene Mission. For more info, visit eugenefoodtruckfest.com. Admission to the event is $2, kids ages 5 and under are FREE.  — Meerah Powell



Oregon's Deajah Stevens (left) and Ariana Washington (right) in last year's NCAA championships. Photo by Josh phillips


Eugene is known for a lot of things — our general hippie-ness, Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, Nike and Oregon football — but we’re not called “Tracktown, U.S.A.” for nothing. If you’re a runner yourself, take a break from the slew of 5ks, 10ks and marathons that are so prevalent in town, sit back and watch the feet of the nation’s best collegiate athletes hit the track. On June 7-10, the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships return to Hayward Field. This will be the 15th year that Hayward Field hosts the championships, “more than any other venue in the history of the meet,” according to GoTrackTownUSA’s website. Whether you’re an avid track and field fan, or you have never been to a meet before, the NCAA Championships has a diverse array of events throughout its four days — a little something for everyone. Both women and men will be competing in a wide range of events, from steeplechase, shot put and pole vault to the 100-meter dash and hurdles. The 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships is Wednesday, June 7, to Saturday, June 10. Tickets range from $11-$29 per day, and $22-$58 for the whole championship. For ticket info and a full schedule of events, check out GoTrackTownUSA.com. — Meerah Powell




When you think of an LGBTQ Pride festival, the first host city that probably comes to mind is San Francisco, or if we’re talking more local — maybe Seattle or even Portland. But the Eugene-Springfield community also enthusiastically celebrates Pride, and is doing so on Saturday, Aug. 12, from noon to 7 pm in Alton Baker Park. The Eugene-Springfield Pride Festival is open to not only those in the LGBTQ community but to friends and allies as well. The all-day event is family friendly and kids are welcome. The fest offers food, drinks, vendors, a raffle and live entertainment; and there are still ways to get involved if you care about the cause. Check out eugene-pride.org for info on how to become a sponsor, volunteer, vendor or performer. $5 suggested donation. — Meerah Powell



Mac DeMarco. Photo by Todd Cooper.


If you’re trying to find a place to catch some great live music from big name bands this summer, the Oregon Zoo in Portland is probably the last venue to come to mind. But think again. The Oregon Zoo is boasting a diverse lineup of performers in its summer concert series, and instead of the typical burnt-out acts that usually play the state zoo-and-county-fair circuit — one-hit wonders from the early 2000s or ’80s hair metal bands on their almost-40th reunion tour — the Oregon Zoo’s lineup is filled with acts that could actually gain a good crowd from a normal music venue setting. The lineup offers popular older acts like ’80s rock star Pat Benatar, ’90s sensation Natalie Merchant and alt-rockers/folk-rockers, consecutively, Echo & The Bunnymen and Violent Femmes, as well as newer ones such as somber singer-songwriter Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes) and slacker-rocker Mac DeMarco. There are also some off-the-beaten-path acts like Seu Jorge (the singing sailor in Wes Anderson’s A Life Aquatic) covering David Bowie songs and Garrison Keillor doing comedy and storytelling. Ticket prices vary for each performance, but most start at $30. So, after you’re done checking out the lions and the penguins for the day, grab a soft pretzel and a soda, sit down and enjoy a show. — Meerah Powell




It’s controversial, risqué, but also obviously a whole lot of fun. Portland’s version of the annual World Naked Bike Ride is coming up again on June 24, so either avoid it and shield your eyes or strip down and saddle-up. It should be mentioned, though, that the event isn’t just a naked bike ride for the sake of a naked bike ride. The ride brings thousands of people together every year in support of body-positivity, bike safety and human-powered transportation as an ecological alternative, and since it’s technically a protest, according to Portland World Naked Bike Ride’s website, it’s perfectly legal. Also, there is no requirement to get completely naked. The dress code is “as bare as you dare,” according to the website. Although the starting location has not yet been announced yet, the ride itself is approximately 7 miles long. It meets at 8 pm and leaves at 9. Check out pdxwnbr.org for more info. The event is free, but donations are accepted. Eugene has its own World Naked Bike Ride this year, and it's on June 10.  — Meerah Powell




For some people, summer can get downright trashy — groggy day-drinking extravaganzas and playing beer pong for hours in the hot sun — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Maude Kerns Art Center’s 34th annual Art and the Vineyard Festival is a chance to take in some culture July 2 through 4. The festival, which started as a small art auction and wine-tasting event, has now become the premier art and wine festival in the southern Willamette Valley, according to its website. The festival is all-ages and includes a “Youth Art Arena” for younger children to do arts and crafts. For adults, there will be wine tasting from various wineries in the region and a beer garden sponsored by Hop Valley. There will also be an international food court with a little something for everyone. As for art, the Artists’ Marketplace will be filled with artists from Oregon and beyond selling paintings, photographs, sculpture, jewelry and more. There will also be live music throughout on all three festival days, and the last day, July 4, will have a fireworks show. The festival is open from 10 am to 7:30 pm Sunday, July 2, and Monday, July 3, and 10 am to 8:30 pm Tuesday, July 4. Tickets are $10 a day or $25 for a three-day pass. Youth ages 6 to 14 get in for $5 a day and children under 5 are FREE. For more info, visit artandthevineyard.org or contactstaff@mkartcenter.org. — Meerah Powell





For a lot of people, music festivals can be too overwhelming. Hordes of people rushing from stage to stage to see their favorite artists, cramped camping areas and trash everywhere can be a recipe for anxiety. Luckily, Pickathon exists. The annual music festival — which takes place in Happy Valley, and caps ticket sales at 3,500 people, according to its Facebook — is a dream come true for people who love music but hate the usual festival culture that comes with it. Camping is first-come, first-serve in the woods of the 80-acre Pendarvis Farm, giving patrons the option to set up camp with a group of friends near the heart of the festival, or get some solitary time on the outskirts. Unlike other music festivals, Pickathon also makes a conscious effort to eliminate waste by using reusable plates, cups and utensils, taking advantage of solar power and, of course, strongly pushing recycling and composting. Over the four-day fest, artists will play at least two sets, giving fans the chance to choose their own adventure and curate the perfectly diversified schedule, or see their favorite artists more than once. This year, the lineup includes the always wonderful and always soulful Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires and noisy and lovable alt-rock Gods Dinosaur Jr. among many, many other acts. Pickathon takes place from Aug. 3 to 6. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit pickathon.com. — Meerah Powell



Marv Ellis & We-Tribe


How better to kick off the summer than with BBQ in the park? The fourth annual Beats, Brews and BBQ will feature headliners Revelators on Friday, June 9, and Marv Ellis & We Tribe on Saturday, June 10. Northwest bands like Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Hank Shreve Band, Sol Seed, Goldfoot, Eleven Eyes and Inner Limits will grace the stage as well. Justin Sheppard, owner of Cornerstone Tailgates and Events, is putting on the event. He says, “If people are really into craft beer, we’ll have a great selection of craft beer from all over Oregon.” Your ticket buys you a commemorative event mug and three taster tickets. Barbeque aficionados can expect all their favorite restaurants to be represented, as well as a few non-barbeque alternatives for vegetarian attendees. “People can come with their blankets and lawn chairs and kick it in the grass,” Sheppard says. Alton Baker Park is a great venue, he says, because of the ample shade, space and parking. “We expect a good 1,500 people throughout the weekend,” he adds. The event is family-friendly till dusk, with face painting tents available to keep your kids adorably occupied. Beats, Brews and BBQ is Friday, June 9, from 5-11 pm and Saturday, June 10, from noon-11 pm at Alton Baker Park. Tickets are $15 for Friday, $17 for Saturday, or $25 for both. Kids under 15 get in FREE. — Kelly Kenoyer