Get your music on with these Portland summer festivals

The expectations to have an amazing summer are always daunting. And if you’re an Oregonian, traveling to Portland and going on a grand adventure or attending one of the many events hosted in the city is an absolute must. With summer almost to the halfway point, I’ve accumulated a list of four events that I find to be quite interesting, and are sure to make one’s summer a lively one.

Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival

The Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival opens July 14 and continues until July 31. This is the literal definition of throwback. While some enjoy the contemporary music that is played on the radio, this festival encompasses the music of composers such as Beethoven and Mozart. This festival is great for anyone who loves classical music and appreciates the music of God’s Composer. However, the festival also features tango music and contemporary composers to spice things up.


The Pickathon embodies the definition of Portland. The festival, which runs from August 5–7, prides itself on being waste-free and environmentally friendly. Even though it may be nice to the environment, it isn’t so nice to the wallet, as tickets can range as high as $600 for divas looking to reserve a preset camping site all ready to go for the weekend. World-class chefs will also be on hand for exquisite curated meals. The music lineup includes Beach House, Black Mountain and Fruit Bats. I may have never heard of these bands before, but I’m sure they are quite fitting for Portland.

Portland Opera

I’m also aware that Portland State has a huge opera program with many enthusiastic students. Opera in the Park is a free festival that showcases the talent of opera singer Angela Meade. The goal of the festival is to encourage others who want to pursue a career in opera. One of the main reasons why the festival is free is to help inspire and spread the culture of opera. The festival is on August 6 on Southwest Kingston Avenue.

Concerts in the Park

While not strictly a festival, the Concerts in the Park series runs all summer long. All performances are free and hosted in various parks around the city, running from Monday through Friday and on occasional weekends. For those seeking sun and great free musical entertainment, this is the series to follow, incorporating music from Celtic to funk, African jazz and everything in between.

These festivals are only a handful of what Portland offers. As you probably know, Portland is very cultured and takes pride in providing art, especially through the summer when school is out and it’s time to have fun. If you’re looking for a festival that isn’t provided in this short list, a good place to look is But remember, have fun and keep rocking!