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Honoring the Local Music Scene 

A stage and a spiritual element to this year's Bend Roots Revival

  • Moon Mountain Ramblers | Photo Credit: Steve Giardini

or Central Oregon music lovers, the end of September signals one of the biggest community music festivals in the area. Bumped one week later than usual due to the Modest Mouse show at the Les Schwab Amphitheater last week, Bend Roots Revival has become a local tradition since 2006.

The festival, started after organizers Mark Ransom and Brent Alan, both musicians and longtime fixtures in the local music scene, recognized that Bend has become a destination for internationally successful acts. The two wanted to create a gathering to celebrate the talent of local musicians, who may have become overshadowed by the national radar.

  • Photo Credit: Steve Giardini

"We wanted to create something that honored local musicians, their personality and artistic character," Ransom recalls.

Bend Roots Revival started in the Parilla parking lot, spreading to the Victorian Cafe and closing down the flaming chicken roundabout at Galveston and 14th Street. The homegrown music festival outgrew that space and moved to the Century Center for two years, before having to relocate again in 2012. Next, the festival moved to Pakit Liquidators before the business closed. It's found its more permanent home on the Deschutes Brewery lawn across from the Les Schwab Amphitheater.

"I think the biggest new thing is that we added a stage," Ransom says of this year's festival. "It's in the area that we're calling the 'community art and chill zone.' It offers a respite from the barrage of loud music and will have Zara Bird tasty, organic, non-alcoholic drinks and Bucha Buena kombucha will be at that location."


ansom envisions the new stage, aptly titled the Music Makers Stage, to be the spiritual center of the festival. He's recruited Breyn Hibbs, owner of Sol Alchemy Temple, to lead rituals on Saturday and Sunday. Music on this stage will lean on the more acoustic, folk side and getting heavier hitting later in the evening.

"It underscores our mission in the community in regard to performing arts and the effect it has on our souls," Ransom says. "It's something I've always wanted to do for a long time. We've always had yoga and other kinds of activities that are rooted in meditation."

  • Photo Credit: Steve Giardini

Aside from the new spirituality element, attendees have a lot to look forward to this year. With 121 confirmed bands playing at this year's festival, there's really something for everyone. Ransom hopes the space will grow into a visual arts community within the festival, so there's also the chance to participate in the community mural painting project with Rise Up on Saturday afternoon. There's also a plethora of music workshops with some of the area's finest musicians.

"The festival is a ritual. It comes from the idea that we're, the best I can tell, the reason we're here to celebrate and help each other," Ransom says. "We've experienced dark times lately and the world needs hope. It's a strong belief of our organization, to form a connection from where hope can spring. The ritual event we're bringing in with Sol Alchemy, allows us to recognize this darkness and I imagine a Phoenix rising from the ashes. The rebirth. That creative energy is what can sustain that and take it to a collective community level. That's the most important part of the festival. That's what a lot of people feel about Bend Roots and that's why it's important to keep going."

Bend Roots Revival

Friday, Sept. 29 - Sunday, Oct. 1

Bend Roots Revival Festival Grounds

SW Shevlin-Hixon Dr, Bend.

No cover.

About The Author

Anne Pick

Music Writer | The Source Weekly
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