Entertain Me: MusicFest NW 2013

By The Beacon | September 12, 2013 12:54am
Radiation City performs at MusicFestNW | photo by Sophie Anderson

By Olivia Alsept-Ellis |

MusicFestNW (MFNW) is not your average music festival. Unlike traditional music festivals, which bring all the artists into one location, MFNW spreads itself across this city once a year. The five-day music festival took over some of Portland’s best bars and music venues from Sept. 3-8. It’s also unlike any other music festival because it makes an attempt at corralling a diverse range of musicians rather than focusing on one specific genre. The boasted headliners, which performed at Pioneer Courthouse Square, were Young the Giant, Animal Collective, Neko Case and The Head and the Heart. However, there were 150-plus bands between 16 locations over the five-day period.

Many of the bands it chooses to honor are typically low-key, local, indie produced and/or experimental in nature. Names like Radiation City, !!!, The We Shared Milk, Onuinu - I can’t make this stuff up! Basically, it’s a hipster paradise, as if Portland wasn’t already. UP students who escaped the UP-bubble weekend for the downtown pursuits of MFNW found blood, sweat and musical glory.

“The Head and the Heart melted everybody’s face off with passion and love,” junior Lauren Speers said. “I’ve never shared so much sweat with people as I did at the Diplo concert.”

Sophomore Jack Greenwood also found chaos at the Dan Deacon show.

“(Dan Deacon) asked the crowd to part like Noah and the Red Sea,” Greenwood said. “In our scramble to choose a side, my friend and I tripped over each other and fell down laughing. He gashed his knee open while I sustained minor abrasions.”

While the extreme diversity is one of the highlights of MFNW, this also means there is an extreme amount of shows that one can choose from. With wristband access, you can go to any show you have room for - long time fan or first time listener. However, this freedom can lead to an extremely jam-packed agenda.

Senior Sophie Anderson said, “I went to so many shows I barely had time to eat.”

Anderson opted to avoid the $90 price tag on the wristband by volunteering. She highly recommends this alternative.

“It’s fun if you do it with a friend, it saves you money, and leads to some quality people watching,” Anderson said.

As a senior, Anderson didn’t face the same the obstacles that sophomore Greenwood did.

“Logistically speaking, the festival can be hard for younger students due to many venues restricting entry to 21-and-up. Additionally, the distance between venues, close scheduling and TriMet’s midnight curfew more or less necessitates that concert goers travel by car,” Greenwood said.

So free up your schedule next year, even if it is for just a show. You can find me next year in the mosh pit at MFNW.