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Festival Beat

Published: 2006/07/27
by Mike Greenhaus

5 Questions: Pickathon Roots Music Festival

The 8th annual Pickathon Roots Music Festival will take place on August 4 and 5 in Portland, OR. Boasting scenic views of Mt. Hood, the two-day gathering will take place at Pendarvis Farm, featuring performances by Iris Dement, Kelly Joe Phelps, the Wood Brothers, Greg Brown, The Wilders, the Wailin’ Jennys, Darol Anger and The Avett Brothers, among others. Below, festival founder Zale Schoenborn answers our five questions.
Do you have a favorite festival memory?
Every year brings together a totally unique mix of musical magic that is always special, but one of my favorite memories came at the end of last weekend after setting up at our new site for two days straight. The sunset was casting light on Mt. Hood as I sat on the hill, watching our amphitheater design come together, and the biggest smile came on my face as I realized were going to complete an epic artistic site design collaboration that will be remembered as something truly special in the world of summer festivals. Its hard to describe in words, but imagine 10,500 square feet of shade cloth, 26,000 square feet of fabric design, 2 outdoor stages, a 20 foot tall grand entrance, large radial kite designs pulled over the front half of the amphitheater, views of Mt. Hood above the stage, and you will sort of imagine the scale of what is being built. Below is a picture I shot of Mt Hood while this was happening. You can see a bit of the shade cloth coming through in the picture. Whats new this year?
We are presenting our best musical lineup ever on three stages, a stunning new Festival Location (Pendarvis Farm in Portland, OR), a full slate of kids activities, all-star workshops, and plenty of beautiful festival atmosphere touches that are designed to enchant anyone and everyone. Another major new initiative for Pickathon is demonstrating leadership in sustainable music festival practices. Some sustainability examples include alternative transportation planning, renewable energy offset credits, recycling and composting, among many others.
What performance are you personally most excited to see?
Im excited to see many of the folks making their debut at Pickathon this year including Iris Dement, Greg Brown, Wood Brothers, CJ Chenier, the Avett Brothers, The Wailin Jennys, Martha Scanlan, The Wilders, The Everybodyfields, just to name a few. Im excited to see a lot of the collaboration between artists that happens unpredictably every year. Lastly, Im looking forward to experiencing the energy of the late night Galaxy Barn, and how it may affect their life.
Do you have any tips for fans?
Come early to find your spot and give yourself time to take in the sights and sounds of Pickathon festival grounds. Kids are encouraged as we are providing a family camp and continuous kids activities throughout the weekend. Bring shoes as well as flip flops since the farm is new to having a festival and some blackberries will still remain on parts of the grounds.
How has the festival grown over the years? In 1999, the Pickathon started from a purely local grassroots basis with crowds being made up of most of the local musicians and their friends playing a wide range of music we loved playing. Now in our 8th year, the Pickathon has matured into the biggest indie-Roots Festival in the west coast influencing what is shaping todays musical horizons while maintaining the community feel that has always been a part of what we do.

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