As we transit between mid-summer and mid-mid-summer and pre-late-summer, the stages are set for a glorious four-day weekend as music enthusiasts from around the world eagerly anticipate the arrival of Pickathon 2023. Nestled in the serene embrace of Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, Oregon, this magical festival promises to be a transcendent celebration of music, nature, and community. With a stellar lineup that boasts an impressive array of headliners and up-and-coming talents across various genres, Pickathon 2023 is anticipated to deliver an unforgettable weekend of sonic exploration and camaraderie – now with more Zero Waste Hydrogen Power!
Headliners That Set the Stage Ablaze:
Watchouse: For those who strive to be mesmerized, Watchouse is your huckleberry with its enchanting blend of folk, bluegrass, and indie rock. Known for soul-stirring harmonies and evocative storytelling, this talented duo will set the perfect tone for your magical late-night journeys on Saturday (Cherry Hill Stage) and Sunday (Woods Stage).
Lee Fields: Soul legend. Icon. Lee Fields. With a career spanning several decades, Fields is ELEVEN’s can’t-miss performance at Pickathon 2023. He will light up the stage with his powerful and evocative voice, transporting the audience to a higher golden plane of soul nirvana.
Madison Cunningham: A rising star and 2022 Grammy winner for best Folk album, Madison Cunningham’s rangy vocals and poetic songwriting will undoubtedly captivate the hearts of festival-goers. The complex instrumental interweavings on latest album Revealer have this Radiohead fan twitterpated (x-pated?). Her introspective and emotionally resonant compositions will create an extra-dimensional groove pocket, leaving audiences transported. Good luck finding your way back.
Vieux Farka Touré: Hailing from Mali, Vieux Farka Touré brings the mesmerizing rhythms of West African blues to Pickathon 2023. Infused with infectious energy and virtuosic guitar playing, this performance promises to be a transcendent experience, blending tradition with innovation. Festival veterans who suffer withdrawals from the memories of starlight stage performances by Tinariwen and Mdou Moctar can get a fix this year.
Tantalizing Talent Aplenty:
Beyond the top billing, Pickathon 2023 always always always boasts a treasure trove of hidden gems and about-to-explodes, eagerly waiting to share their unique sounds and talents with the world.
Dehd: This hypnotic Chicago-based indie rock trio will cast a punchdrunk spell over the audience with their lo-fi guitar flicks and evocative lyrics. It’s like taking a shot of Malort – a bit offputting and coarse at first, but it becomes a part of you. Expect hazy melodies. Do you want to disappear?
Butcher Brown: Fusing jazz, funk, and hip-hop, Butcher Brown’s genre-bending music is a treat for the ears and feet alike. With their blazing horns, bottomless pockets, and infectious energy, they will turn the stage into a dancefloor, inviting everyone to bob along. It’s just so groovy, man!
Ocie Elliott: Get your underwears straight up evaporated by the hauntingly-harmonious duo Ocie Elliott. I mean, just check out these cuties playing a mini concert in their mini-SUV. Beyond their incredible folky takes on all genre covers, their soul-soothing original melodies, heartwarming lyrics, and gentle harmonies will create a sense of intimacy and connection, making them a perfect fit for those times when we go full kumbaya at Pickathon.
The Shivas: Hailing from Portland, Oregon, The Shivas are just The Shivas. We know them. We love them. They might be Portland’s most iconic house-show headliner, and it feels weird because I’ve been seeing them in this capacity about as long as I can remember. Maybe they’re vampires and have been doing this in Portland since before Portland was Portland. It’s possible.
A Global Musical Odyssey:
Pickathon 2023 takes pride in its dedication to showcasing a diverse range of music from different corners of the globe. The festival is a treasure trove of musical cultures, offering attendees a unique opportunity to embark on a global musical odyssey.
Imarhan: [Tamanrasset, Algeria] Imarhan brings Tuareg desert blues to the stage. With hypnotic rhythms and soulful melodies, their performance will transport the audience to the heart of the Sahara Desert, embracing the rich heritage of North African music.
Meridian Brothers: [Bogotá, Colombia] This neo-tropicalista group offers an eclectic mix of cumbia, salsa, and experimental sounds. Their genre-defying compositions and unpredictable live performances will keep the audience on their toes, providing a one-of-a-kind auditory experience.
TOBi: [Ontario, Canada / Lagos, Nigeria] Oluwatobi Feyisara Ajibolade, better known as TOBi, blends hip-hop, soul, and R&B using raw and introspective lyricism. He has cited Gil Scott-Heron, Frank Ocean, Marvin Gaye, Eartha Kitt, Florence and the Machine, and Andre 3000 as inspirations, so yeah, this one should be a ripper.
Beyond the Stages:
At Pickathon, the music doesn’t stop with the headliners and scheduled performances. One of the festival’s greatest delights is the spontaneous collaborations and performance sessions that spring up throughout campsites, hidden groves, and wooded offshoots.
Art Installations: The festival’s picturesque setting is adorned with art installations that complement the natural beauty of Pendarvis Farm. Attendees can immerse themselves in a world of creativity, exploring interactive art and installations scattered throughout the grounds.
Food and Drink Delights: Pickathon prides itself on offering a diverse range of culinary delights to satisfy every palate. From local delicacies to international flavors, food vendors ensure that festival-goers can indulge in delectable treats and stay energized throughout the event.
Eco-Consciousness and Sustainability: True to its ethos, Pickathon prioritizes eco-consciousness and sustainability. With composting, recycling initiatives, and encouragement for carpooling and public transportation, the festival leaves a minimal environmental footprint, reminding everyone of the importance of preserving nature.
A Community of Music Lovers:
Pickathon’s allure is as much about the music as it is about the sense of community that thrives throughout the festival. The intimate setting encourages connections and friendships to blossom, as strangers become friends and music enthusiasts become kindred spirits both on and off the farm. Pickathon Family is real.
Workshops and Discussions: Pickathon isn’t just about watching performances; it’s also about learning and growing together. Workshops and discussions covering a range of topics, from music production to sustainable living, provide a platform for artists and attendees to engage in meaningful conversations.
Neighborhoods: A Harmonious Fusion of Music and Nature:
Pickathon 2023 isn’t just a music festival; it’s an immersive experience that celebrates the harmonious fusion of music and nature. The enchanting setting of Pendarvis Farm, surrounded by lush forests and breathtaking landscapes, provides the perfect backdrop for artists and attendees to connect with their surroundings and each other. This year’s setup is a little bit different, with no “primary” main stage but a magical and unique experience in each neighborhood stage. [Get to know them all in more detail on Pickathon’s website.] A few of our favorites:
The Cherry Hill Stage: FKA The Treeline stage and nestled among towering trees, the Cherry Hill offers initiates an inspired atmosphere for unique sets and introspective performances. Here, artists and audience members come together, creating a magical ambiance that stays connected long after the festival ends.
The Woods Stage: “Hidden” deep within the forest, the Woods Stage feels like an otherworldly sanctuary for musicians and listeners alike. Surrounded by towering trees and dappled sunlight, artists create ethereal performances, weaving their music into the natural rhythms of the woodland. Click here for a sneak peek of this year’s design.
The Refuge: As a place of relaxation and reflection, the Refuge provides a calm and peaceful space for attendees to unplug and recharge, and even get a massage!
Let’s Freaking Go:
As the curtains rise on Pickathon 2023, melophiles of all walks find themselves at the threshold of a magical musical wonderland. From the headliners who light up the night sky to the rising stars who cast their shimmering glow, the diverse lineup promises a vibrant tapestry of sounds and emotions. Nestled amidst the embrace of nature and that sweet-smelling Douglas Fir, Pickathon offers more than just music; it’s an opportunity to connect with like-minded souls, embark on a global musical odyssey, and create cherished memories that will echo in the hearts of attendees for years to come. [What are you waiting for? Get your Pickathon 2023 tickets here!]