MusicfestNW presents Project Pabst

Portland’s largest music festival combines the city’s favorite things: music and beer.

Lizzo8_MFNW2017_CatalinaGaitanMinneapolis-born rapper and singer Lizzo took the stage by storm in 2017.
Catalina Gaitan

The Captain Pabst stage in 2017.

Editor’s note: MusicFestNW announced it is taking a hiatus in 2018. 

In the Rose City, there’s no reason to enjoy only one great thing at a time. Portland is chock-full of delightful collaborations (maple bars and bacon, anyone?). One of the city’s favorite and most hotly anticipated duos, however, comes only once a year: MusicFestNW presents Project Pabst. This annual music festival has rocked the city since 2000 and was dubbed one of the most authentic American experiences by Time magazine.

MusicFestNW presents Project Pabst (or “MFNWpPP,” for short) returns every August to Tom McCall Waterfront Park, bringing together two of the things locals love the most: beer and live music. Thousands of attendees enjoy a sunny weekend by the river, with back-to-back performances by major headliners and up-and-coming artists — along with plenty of beer, of course.

Father John Misty performing at the 2017 festival.

The festival’s diverse range of performers gives attendees the opportunity to see their longtime favorites while also discovering new and emerging musicians. Need proof? The 2017 lineup included musical legends Iggy Pop and Beck, along with national up-and-comers like Father John Misty, Noname and Lizzo — not to mention Portland’s very own The Last Artful, Dodgr.

If the live entertainment isn’t enough to satisfy, MFNWpPP’s food and drink options — most of which are local — are sure to do the trick. In addition to classic tall boys of PBR, locally sourced beverages like Portland Sangria and Brew Dr. Kombucha are sold throughout the venue. Hungry attendees can also sample from a variety of local eats; 2017 offerings included healthful acai bowls and smoothies from Moberi and heaping plates of wood-fired chicken and Peruvian aji-covered crispy potatoes from Chicken And Guns.

Best of all, the fun is condensed into one weekend and a single venue.

MFNWpPP tips:

  • Bring your ID. The festival is open only to attendees 21 years and older, so be sure to bring some kind of photo identification with you.
  • Stay hydrated. Attendees are permitted to bring two factory-sealed water bottles, along with an (empty) reusable water bottle. There is a free water refill station, along with water bottles for sale. Beer, wine and soft drink are sold throughout the venue, and several local food carts and restaurants sell food all weekend long.
  • Stay cool. This is an entirely outdoor event, so organizers recommend bringing plenty of sun protection. Double up on sunscreen and consider wearing a hat and sunglasses. Lightweight, un-restrictive clothing and comfortable shoes are also recommended for keeping cool (and dancing!).
  • Take public transit. Car parking is limited, so consider taking public transportation or commuting by bike or foot. Plenty of bicycle parking is available at the venue, and the park is accessible by Trimet bus and MAX light rail. Check TriMet’s website for more information.
  • Know what not to bring. Be sure to leave the following prohibited items at home: weapons, professional cameras (SLR/DSLRs with detachable lenses), illegal substances, spray bottles, laser pens, glow sticks, chairs, musical instruments, sleeping bags, umbrellas, walkie-talkies and outside food and drink.

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