The Light of Pickathon
Filed under: In Living Color | Posted by: jody
I went up to Oregon last weekend for Pickathon, a three-day roots music festival situated on an 80-acre farm 20 miles outside of Portland. Needless to say, the Pendarvis Farm where it was held is absolutely beautiful. The stages were scattered amongst the green forests and meadows. The Woods Stage, for instance, was set about 5 minutes down a forest path (past a “boogie toll”–which a couple of festival goers had set up—you basically had to dance to pass) in a completely natural amphitheater.
In addition to the natural beauty of the festival, the very set up of the festival lent to a very open and welcoming atmosphere. Instead of just playing once and then jetting out, most of the bands played multiple times over the course of the three days which meant that the bands were all hanging out, watching the other bands, mingling with the festivals goers, and creating a real community type atmosphere. Scott from Dr Dog might have said it best when he talked about the feeling of the festival. He said: “I feel better about being a person since I’ve been here.” So do I, Scott. So do I.
And let’s not forget the music which was absolutely top notch. Highlights included watching Justin Townes Earle perform in a barn, Breathe Owl Breathe from Michigan getting 500 people to pretend they were Saber tooth tigers, stumbling onto a band like Hillstomp, who are a crazy, energetic, and super talented duo out of Portland, sitting literally 2 feet from Dr Dog while they played, the 700-person square dance, and the numerous performances by the Hackensaw Boys from Virginia. Needless to say, I was super bummed to leave the festival. The music, the setting…it was basically like adult summer camp. Luckily for me, I will be able to (as When You Awake photographer Bobby and I have started saying post trip) keep the “light of Pickathon” in my heart, as a number of these musicians will be performing at the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival in September in Tennessee which I plane to attend. Lookout for coverage of that late September. For more about Pickathon, check out this podcast I made on Monday about the festival. Photos from all of the bands, taken by Bobby Kittleman, are after the jump.
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