Festival Information

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General Event Info

FESTIVAL HAPPENINGS

Ticketing

PLAN YOUR TRIP

11 am – 10:30 pm, July 1-4, 2022.

Gates open daily at 11 am, with music starting at 12 pm. Gold & Platinum Passes allow for early entry at 10:15 am. GA+ Passes allow for early entry at 10:30 am. All other passes and tickets can enter at 11 am.
We want all of our artists, fans, staff, volunteers and vendors to have a fun and safe experience at the festival. Safety remains our top priority, and we will continue to work with local and state authorities to establish Covid-19 protocols for the 2022 festival, which will be published at least one month prior to the event.
The festival site is a City of Portland public park, with most of the terrain a sloping, grassy hill. The walkways are ADA accessible and there is a designated ADA seating area at the top of the bowl. The main entrance at SW Columbia Street provides the most direct access point to the ADA seating area. Please note that as with all seating in the venue (except Blues Boxes), it is first-come, first-served. There is no reserved festival parking. Attendees can park in public lots and on the street. The closest parking garage is at SW First and Jefferson Street, just a few blocks from the festival site. If you have specific questions regarding accessibility, please reach out to our team at info@waterfrontbluesfest.com.
We’ve got you covered at the festival including:

• ATMs
• First-aid services
• Bicycle parking
• Delicious food and drinks
• Free water refill station
• Festival merchandise booth
• So much more!
All shows will go on rain or shine.
• Your festival tickets
• Valid ID
• Empty reusable water bottles (or factory sealed bottled water)
• One low-profile lawn chair per attendee. Please note attendees with chair seats more than 12” off the ground will be required to sit in specially designated areas.
• Good vibes!
The following items are not allowed at the festival:

• Outside beverages, other than factory sealed or empty water bottles
• Cannabis, drugs, outside alcohol and other controlled substances
• Hard-sided coolers or picnic baskets, including Styrofoam
• Smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco
• Umbrellas, tents or canopies
• Oversized blankets — please be courteous to your neighbor and only take up the space that you need (that’s about a regular beach towel-sized space per person)
• Carts or wagons
• Weapons of any kind
• Fireworks, explosives, or accelerants of any kind
• Drones
• Balloons, beachballs, frisbees, inflatable devices, or outdoor games
• Professional audio or video recording devices and equipment, including cameras with a detachable lens longer than 4″
• Animals, except service animals
• Glass of any kind All attendees and their belongings are subject to search upon entry. The festival is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.

We’re all here to have a good time and we’re all a part of the Blues Fest Community, so please remember:

  • Per the City of Portland, all Portland Parks are designated as smoke-free areas
  • Be kind to the park — dispose of trash and recycling in designated receptacles
  • Be kind to your neighbor — no physical or verbal harassment or abuse will be tolerated
  • Keep on moving — please do not block aisles, walkways, esplanade or other public areas
  • Be cool — please follow the guidelines and directions of the festival management team and its authorized contractors, as well as all posted signage
  • No seriously, be cool — please follow all federal, state and City of Portland laws, ordinances, rules and regulations
  • Waterfront Blues Festival staff will close entry to Waterfront Park when the audience reaches capacity, as directed by the City of Portland Fire Marshal
  • No video or audio recording of concerts without permission from artist
  • No distribution of commercial advertisements
There will be a variety of tasty food and snack options available for purchase including gluten-free and vegetarian options. There will be beer, wine, and nonalcoholic beverages available for purchase. A valid, acceptable ID is required for all alcohol purchases. All outside beverages are not allowed, however, attendees may enter with factory-sealed water bottles and empty reusable water bottles.
The on-site festival merchandise booth is the place to find all of your fun 2022 Blues Festival gear! In the meanwhile, you can shop online for shirts, swag and fun from past festivals. Shop

With 80,000 attendees, the Waterfront Blues Festival is the place to be on July Fourth weekend! We are always looking for unique, Oregon-based goods and treats to be featured at the fest. The application for the 2022 Waterfront Blues Festival Vendor program has officially opened! Apply to be a Merchant Vendor here or a Food Vendor here. Applications will close on April 15, 2022.

Do you have something else to offer that isn’t food or goods? If you are a business that wants to advertise your business, sign up new customers, collect consumer data, hand out samples (or coupons, fliers or marketing materials) or simply engage with attendees without selling anything directly, you could be a sponsor! Please email sponsors@waterfrontbluesfest.com for more information.

The Waterfront Blues Festival presents an amazing July 4th fireworks display, launched from a barge on the Willamette River in between the two main stages.
  • Ahoy, blues fans! Cruise the beautiful Willamette River and hear the sweet sounds of blues on the decks of the Portland Spirit. Each Blues Cruise features three intimate stages and an all-star lineup. A full bar and food are available for purchase. Set sail this July! Buy your tickets today 
  • All Blues Cruises board from the seawall at S.W. Salmon and Naito Parkway, in front of Salmon Street Springs Fountain.
  • Please bring your photo ID. All passengers 18 years of age and older must present photo ID upon boarding. All carry-on bags are subject to inspection, and passengers may be photographed.
  • Each cruise requires a separate ticket. Festival admission is not included or required with a Blues Cruise ticket. Blues Cruise tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable.
Four days and four stages of fun. Our two main stages alternate all day long in the bowl of Waterfront Park, the perfect setting for blues and views. The Crossroads Stage is nestled near the Hawthorne Bridge and offers intimate and memorable performances, educational workshops, interviews and more. At the north end of the festival grounds, the Front Porch stage brings the boogie with a huge outdoor dance floor and rockin’ Zydeco and blues music
The fun overflows from Waterfront Park! Both before and during the festival, we’ve got events, live music, and parties throughout town. Be sure to follow us on social and sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know about ALL the fun! We’re kicking off the 2022 fun with a special showing of The Torch at Portland’s iconic Hollywood Theatre on Tuesday, March 29. The Torch dives into Buddy Guy’s storied career and efforts to pass along the blues lessons he’s learned along the way. Buy your tickets here.
For those who just can’t sit still during the music (we feel you friends!), we’re excited to bring back the Front Porch Stage with the largest outdoor dance floor in Oregon featuring two days of Zydeco music and two days of groovin’ blues. The Waterfront Blues Festival has become a must go-to event for blues and Zydeco fans, drawing dancers from across the US and Canada. Want to learn? We’ve got free lessons! More information available later this spring.

We’ll have lots of fun family friendly activities on site for blues fans of all ages! Don’t forget, kids 12 and under are free thanks to Buick GMC of Beaverton.

Afton Tickets is our local ticketing partner. Please contact Afton Tickets at support@aftontickets.com or by calling (800) 323-0634 between 8 am – 5 pm PST, Monday through Friday.
We know things look a little different this year! In order to offer the BEST experience to all of our amazing fans, we’ve streamlined some of our ticketing options and added some new ways to experience the festival. Here’s a helpful guide to some of the changes.

• I used to buy a Blues Buddy pass, what’s similar? The GA+ 4-Day Pass is similar to the Blues Buddy pass. GA+ gives fans early access to the festival, plus priority entry and re-entry.

•I used to buy a Blues Fan pass, what’s similar? The GA 4-Day Pass is for you! This pass gets priority entry and re-entry to all four days of the Blues Fest!

•Tell me more about the Blues Boxes! The Blues Boxes are a new way to experience the festival. Much like “box seats” at the theater or a sports game, each Blues Box is your own area in the prime section of the bowl (with primo viewing of both main stages). Each Blues Box comes with 4 chairs, 4 tickets per festival day (you can have different friends come with you each day or party with the same crew all weekend long, it’s up to you!) and bartender service from our friendly Blues Box team. Please note that the Blues Boxes do not offer access to other VIP areas (but who needs that, when you’ve got some of the best seats in the house?!).
All 4-Day passes will be offered in limited quantities at each of the three ticket tiers — Early Bird, Tier 1 and Tier 2. The earlier you buy, the better the price! Ticket tiers are simply different pricing levels for the same pass, so benefits and access don’t change as the tier pricing changes. Tiers may change at any time. Simply put, snag your pass soon at the best price!

Kids 12 and under are free thanks to Buick GMC of Beaverton.

1-Day tickets will be available in June. Blues Cruise Tickets will be available later this spring. We’ll also have some fun new events and After Hours shows. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media to be the first to know when all these tickets go on sale!
All 4-Day passes including the GA, GA+, Gold & Platinum Passes allow for entry, exit and re-entry to the festival. Festival re-entry is not included for 1-Day ticket holders.

Gates open daily at 11 am. Gold & Platinum Passes allow for early entry at 10:15 am. GA+ Passes allow for early entry at 10:30 am. All other passes and tickets can enter at 11 am.

Priority Festival Re-Entry: When the festival is at capacity, your 4-Day pass entitles you to enter or re-enter the festival when space is available, with priority over 1-Day ticket holders.

All sales are final. No refunds. Please contact Afton Tickets with additional questions by email at support@aftontickets.com or by calling (800) 323-0634 between 8 am – 5 pm PST, Monday through Friday.
Oregon Trail Card Holders may attend the festival at no charge by presenting their Oregon Trail Card at the Main Gate or Hawthorne Gate Ticket Booths starting at 11 am daily. Admission is limited to the card holder plus one member of their immediate family. Kids 12 and under are free of charge. All festival passes are subject to availability and limited quantities are available. Oregon Trail Card Holders would receive a 1-Day ticket, and are subject to the same access and restrictions for all 1-Day ticket holders, including no in-and-out privileges.

The festival takes place at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, just to the north and south of the Hawthorne Bridge on the west bank of the Willamette River, with the Main Festival entry located at 1400 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97201.

Gold VIP, Blues Box and Platinum VIP Pass holders will receive a parking pass for a nearby, off-site private parking lot. Ongoing shuttle service will be provided to and from the festival site. Location, shuttle hours and more information will be provided later this spring. At this time, the off-site parking lot and shuttle service is reserved for our Gold VIP, Blues Box and Platinum VIP Pass holders.

There is no designated general festival parking. We encourage our fans to take public transportation or use ride shares whenever possible. Street parking in downtown Portland fills quickly. SmartPark and City Center Parking are great options. You can also park on the east bank of the river and walk across the Hawthorne Bridge or along the East Bank Esplanade. A few of the nearby parking lots include:

• SW First and Clay
• SW First and Jefferson
• SW Naito and Taylor
• SW Naito and Harrison
• SW Fourth and Yamhill
• SW Third and Alder
Take a TriMet bus, ride MAX light rail or hop on a Portland Street Car to make your way to the festival. Bonus – no need to worry about parking!

Visit the TriMet website to plan your ride.
Bicycle parking will be available during event hours at your own risk. The Waterfront Blues Festival, and any associated groups coordinating the bicycle parking, are not responsible for theft or damage. Bicycles left overnight will be considered abandoned.

Haven’t had your fix of food carts, bookstores or breweries? Check out Travel Portland for more info and things to do in the Rose City.


Wanna explore even more of the beautiful state of Oregon? Visit Travel Oregon for great ideas for the coast, Mount Hood, the Willamette Valley and more.

(Info coming soon – standby!)

About The Festival

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CELEBRATING 35 YEARS OF BLUES

The Waterfront Blues Festival is downtown Portland’s largest and longest-running music festival and one of the most renowned celebrations of the Blues in the world. 2022 marks the 35th anniversary of the festival and a jubilant return to downtown Portland. Founded in 1988, the festival has welcomed over 2,000 acts including Gregg Allman, Buddy Guy, Lucinda Williams, Gary Clark Jr., Robert Plant, Mavis Staples and Trombone Shorty, garnering international acclaim and raising over $10 million dollars to fight hunger.

The festival is also an unparalleled showcase for Portland’s local music community and features local legends like Curtis Salgado, Liv Warfield and Norman Sylvester. As the festival moves into our next 35 years, we’ll continue to build upon our longstanding legacy and fanbase while also welcoming new artists and audiences, deepening our commitment to Portland and the community, and bringing the most exciting and dynamic blues, soul, funk and R&B artists to the stage for one magical, can’t miss Fourth of July Weekend.

A Look Back

2021

Those pandemic blues couldn’t stop us. 2021 saw the festival head “Upriver” to The Lot at Zidell Yards for four days of the Blues along the Willamette River. Come hell, high water, or a pandemic… long live the blues.

Lineup highlights: Samantha Fish, Curtis Salgado, Marc Broussard, Ghost-Note, MarchFourth, Jubu Smith, Hillstomp and Curley Taylor & the Zydeco Trouble

2020

In 2020 we hitched up the Blues Fest Bandwagon to bring live music to eight of our amazing fans in neighborhoods, street corners and cul-de-sacs around Portland. We also featured two ways to listen at home, with two full days of crowd favorite sets aired on the radio and a two-hour July 4th TV special celebrating memorable perofrmances, capped off with a fireworks replay. The blues carried on!

2019

Lineup highlights: St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, The Robert Cray Band, Vintage Trouble, The California Honeydrops, Southern Avenue, Cyril Neville & the Uptown Rulers, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe & Shemekia Copeland

2018

Lineup highlights: George Thorogood & the Destroyers, The Mavericks, Larkin Poe, The Motet, The Revivalists, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Dirty Revival, Fantastic Negrito, Beth Hart & Nikki Hill

2013

Lineup highlights: Robert Plant presents the Sensational Space Shifters, Mavis Staples, Taj Mahal Trio, Eric Burdon, John Hiatt & the Combo, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Allen Stone and Too Slim & the Taildraggers

2005

Lineup highlights: Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, Paul deLay & Duffy Bishop, Liv & the Warfield Project, Guitar Shorty with the Texas Horns, Jackie Greene, Roy Tyler & the New Directions and Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Later that year in response to Hurricane Katrina, the Waterfront Blues Festival team produced "Blues for Katrina," a special fundraiser and concert raising over $100,000 for food banks in the Gulf Coast.

1995

Lineup highlights: Luther Allison, Bobby Parker Band with Little Jimmy King, Savoy Brown, Norton Buffalo, W.C. Clark, Tinsley Ellis, Bugs Henderson, Big Daddy Kinsey and The Kinsey Report, Little Charlie and The Nightcats, John Mayall, The Paladins, Roy Rogers and The Delta Rhythm Kings, Finis Tasby, The Holmes Brothers and the Subdudes

1988

The countdown to the annual Blues Festival began in 1988 when Oregon Food Share, the predecessor to Oregon Food Bank, became producer and beneficiary. That year, the festival raised $7,500 and 650 pounds of food.

Lineup highlights: Jesse Mae Hemphill, Blubinos with Monti Amundson, Norman Sylvester Revue, Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Margo Tufo Revue, Johnnie and the Jokers, William Clarke Band, Lloyd Jones Struggle and the Jelly Roll Kings

Get in Touch

Sponsorship

Vendors

The application for the 2022 Waterfront Blues Festival Vendor program has officially opened! Apply to be a Merchant Vendor here or a Food Vendor here. Applications will close on April 15, 2022.

Volunteers

Applications open in May. Check back for more info.