Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Musicfest NW Releases Lineup, Goes Parklife

Posted by on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 1:37 PM

MFNW goes to the Park
  • MFNW goes to the Park

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.


Comments (5) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Utter shite. This year's festival is nothing compared to years past. 1/10th the number of bands, similar cost for entrance and an outdoor venue better suited for a blues fest than rock n' roll.

Not only did they ruin the festival they also alienated the local venues who are such a huge part of the music scene here in Portland. In fact, many of the venues dropped their advertising with the Willamette Week as retaliation for this slap in the face.

The organizers at WW really didn't think this through and will pay economically for their poor decisions. All because some people didn't want to wait in lines for shows they didn't pay for individually anyway.

The wristband system, which some people incorrectly assumed would guarantee entry, was flawed and needed to be adjusted, but to simply throw in the towel and move to the waterfront was a horrible idea. A simple $5 discount of ticket sales at the doors (for those with wristbands) of the venues could have been a possible solution.

Personally I never purchased a wristband and simply bought tickets for the shows I REALLY wanted to see and never once had a problem getting in.
Posted by John Ma on April 30, 2014 at 3:49 PM · Report this
I used to live near the waterfront in the SW. The ground was trashed by the first event of the summer. Expect mud. It's not an especially large space either; big enough for a carnival but not warped tour (which was held at the state fairgrounds in Hillsboro).
Posted by wxPDX on April 30, 2014 at 4:34 PM · Report this
snacktruck 3
@1 nailed it. This festival appears in the dumper after going to the two stages, wristband bullshit. What a shame but then again, HAIM, yawn. And the Girl Talk schtick with the party dude and girl on stage dancing is just fucking awful at this point and time.
Posted by snacktruck on April 30, 2014 at 5:09 PM · Report this
Really disappointing turn for the festival. MFNW used to be a blast, a really vibrant and exciting way to play musical Monopoly throughout the city. Rolling out this boring lineup and consolidating it all on one stage is such a step in the wrong direction for what has been a great festival in the past. I was talking it up to a bunch of out of town friends to try to get them to come up and visit, but we'll be skipping this one (even if Fucked Up is pretty great).
Posted by Casual_Observer on May 1, 2014 at 12:41 AM · Report this
Josh Bis 5
I can only imagine that these massive in-city, multi-venue music festivals must be logistically nightmarish to plan & program. The City Arts version in Seattle lasted only a few years; so it's pretty impressive that Portland kept it going for so long. I'm probably going to give this one a shot -- I like the lineup, Portland, and summer -- and hope that the city's venue's pick up the slack in terms of aftershows and evening activities (stuff in the park is done at 10).
Posted by Josh Bis on May 1, 2014 at 7:41 AM · Report this

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