(Update: The look of this post did not turn out how I’d hoped. I think I’ve fixed that. More importantly, a colleague reminded me that Breedlove Guitar Co. is holding a festival later this summer, so I’ve added those details below.)
For music fans, summer means one thing: festivals, festivals, festivals. After a fall, winter and spring of crowding into dark, sweaty bars and clubs for live music, there’s something about crowding into bright, sweaty pastures for live music that just sounds so refreshing.
Central Oregon has its share of music festivals, though the number in 2009 will be smaller than in past years. More on that later. For now, let’s focus on the present.
Festival season kicks off this coming summer solstice weekend with the Coyote Festival, held at Summer Lake Hot Springs near Paisley. That’s not exactly in Central Oregon, true, but we’re going to count it because there are a whole lot of local bands playing there, and a whole bunch of people from the area are heading down for the party.
The lineup is headlined on Friday by Taarka and Larry and His Flask, on Saturday by Moon Mountain Ramblers and David Jacobs-Strain, and on Sunday by Coyo. There’ll be three stages, fire dancers, workshops, drum circles and, of course, dips in the hot springs. Kids are welcome, too, and there are activities planned for them.
Tickets to the Coyote Festival for the entire weekend cost $50 and are available at Music Makers, The Cosmic Depot, Bend’s Indoor Garden Station and Ranch Records in Bend. There are also discounted rates for kids and for single-day passes. You can find a ton of info at www.coyotemusicfestival.com, or by calling 541-943-3931.
The fun doesn’t stop this weekend, though. After the jump is a list of music festivals happening within an easy drive, along with all the details you need to know.
What: Jade’s Jazz Festival
When: July 11-12
Where: La Pine Event Center (old White School complex) at First and Morson streets.
Artists: Nina Callaway, David Patrone and the Midnight Auer Quartet, Blues Quarter, Lino, Bellavia
What: Breedlove Festival
When: July 30-Aug. 1
Where: Breedlove Guitar Co. campus
Artists: Ed Gerhard, Chris Hillman, California Guitar Trio, Misty River, Bill Keale & Kim Breedlove
What: High & Dry Bluegrass Festival
When: Aug. 14-16
Where: Runway Ranch near the Bend Airport
Artists: Great Northern Planes, Lee Highway, Green Mountain Bluegrass Band, Old Wave
What: Sisters Folk Festival
When: Sept. 11-13
Where: Throughout Sisters
Artists: Peter Rowan, Alison Brown Quartet, Todd Snider, Kelly Joe Phelps, Susan Werner
What: Bend Roots Revival
When: Sept. 25-27
Where: Intersection of 14th Street and Galveston Avenue, Bend
Artists: Dozens of local acts
Now for a quick update on some of the other festivals that happened in past years. The 4 Peaks Music Festival, as you may have already heard, is canceled for 2009. Organizers say “the economy and lack of a venue” forced them the drop the festival, which in its first two years hosted some big-name jam-bands such as Tea Leaf Green, Animal Liberation Orchestra, Hot Buttered Rum and more.
The 4 Peaks team still plans to stage a show in October and then revive the multi-day, outdoor summer festival in 2010, according to a release.
Then there are the Outback Festival, held last October at Summer Lake Hot Springs, and the Moon Mountain Music Festival, held in July at Elk Lake Resort. Organizers are currently trying to figure out what shape both will take, said Drew Kelliher, one of the driving forces behind both festivals.
Outback might happen on a smaller scale, such as a one-day party with DJs, Kelliher said. Organizers are looking for a place to hold the Moon Mountain festival, but Kelliher said something will happen “no matter what,” even if it’s a concert in Bend.
Neither the Central Oregon Blues & Crawfish Festival in Sisters nor the Elevate underground arts festival in Bend will happen this year, according to organizers.
That’s all the area festivals I could think of, but it’s entirely possible I forgot something. If you know of one that I missed, please drop me an e-mail or leave it in the comments and, if appropriate, I’ll add the info.
(Guitar photo courtesy Breedlove.)