Hot on the heels of Capitol Hill Block Party's full lineup announcement, our friendly neighbors in Portland also dropped some news on the festival front this afternoon regarding Musicfest NW.
Up until this year, MFNW felt like the Portlandia version of SxSW: a kinder, gentler, brunch-ier take on a wristband-enabled buffet of bands scattered around the whole city's live music venues with a few bigger acts playing early evening shows in a central square. Depending on the ambitiousness of your agenda, it involved some degree of strategy, tolerance for queues, and a willingness to explore a considerable span of urban geography. I've been a fan for years, and MFNW has become one of my regular end-of-summer favorites.
This summer, however, in a move that will probably please those who found the wristband band chase frustrating, MFNW organizers are dropping a bomb on the festival's thirteen-year-old format. Emerging from the ashes of the citypalooza of years past will be a consolidated, two-day, single-site festival at a waterfront park featuring 18 bands playing non-overlapping sets on two stages from noon until 10 pm. Though I'm sorry to see the old multi-headed festival format going away, there's little to complain about with the lineup: Girl Talk, Spoon, Phantogram, Haim, Run The Jewels, tUnE-yArDs, Future Islands, Fucked Up, Man Man, the Antlers, Gardens & Villa, Pink Mountaintops, Thundercat, EMA, Shy Girls, Modern Kin, Landlady, and the Districts. There's certainly some appeal in being able to see everything from the comfort of Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Early bird tickets go on sale Friday Friday ($50 for a single day, $85 for the weekend, with VIP running $175/$300). Oh, and the dates have been bumped up from post-Labor Day to mid-August (the 16th & 17th), too. All in all, a pretty decent price for a chill weekend at the park with bands, food trucks, and poster shops.