This year's Summer Concert Guide is the Source's compass for the upcoming months of music in the Pacific Northwest. We take you north, east, west and south for festivals, one-off shows and summer-long series that showcase nationally touring acts, underground favorites, and weekends so stuffed with pure musical summer joy that you'll contemplate trading your job for a VW bus and selling hemp bracelets on the festival circuit.
But before storming to all corners of the compass, let's not forget the wealth of local shows that make Central Oregon one of the best places in the world to spend the summer months. Where else can you listen to Dave Matthews Band from a comfortable seat on the Deschutes River, see Portland's neo-country act Blitzen Trapper on a resort golf course, and burn the barn with Greensky Bluegrass at the infamous Rockin A Ranch with a view of four majestic mountain tops?
As evidenced by the show listings (see pg. 16), there is a local concert series nearly every night of the week, and bands playing almost every day. In fact, in our research, we found only 11 days in June, July and August that didn't have live music options. (You need to rest your ear buds at some point, right?)
4 Peaks Music Festival
A festival with a heart of gold, this year's three-day long hoedown, 4 Peaks, is bigger and better than ever, doubling ticket sales from 500 to 1000 for 2014. Big-time bluegrass players Railroad Earth, Hot Buttered Rum and Brothers Comatose are highlights, along with an appearance from the Furthur Bus. Rockin A Ranch, $150.
High and Dry Bluegrass Festival
This hybrid workshop/jam/festival just outside Bend is a picker's fantasy with the intention of bringing bluegrass and acoustic music to the masses. The Oly Mountain Boys, The New Bass Mandolin and The Loafers will bring a hillbilly string-charm and a collaborative mentality. Audience participation encouraged. Just outside Bend, $15 for three days, $10 for camping.
Sisters Folk Festival
One of the most well respected, small-town Americana festivals the nation over, the Sisters Folk Festival has a lineup of heavy hitters ready to pick their way into the heart of Central Oregon. Denver's Paper Bird coo gorgeous harmonies and all the way from Austin comes Shakey Graves, a one-man-band-style country virtuoso troubadour with stories woven from the dust of the open road. Sisters, $60-120.Read more stories from our directional guide to music here.