photo from Paste Magazine
photo from Paste Magazine

By Ian Bremner

No matter the size, if you’ve ever been to a music festival, when you’re all packed up and ready to get outta dodge, you can’t help but notice the mounds of trash and overall sense of guilt at the hands of the same humanity you just spent the weekend with. Oregon’s Pickathon is doing its best to change those impressions.

Set in the woods at Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, Oregon, Pickathon’s ever-raising profile cannot only be attributed to amazing scenery, campfire vibes, intimate stages and impressive artist lineups. The festival places an equal emphasis on reducing waste, personal ethics and communal experience. Outside of Portland.. imagine that.

Shakey Graves live from the Pumphouse


Pickathon has been drawing 2500-3500 attendees in past years, so with more and more people making their way to the woods, it will be interesting to see how the No-Landfill-contribution policy plays out in years to come, but the feat in itself is very impressive.

As impressive, is the amount of talent they are able to draw. KEXP usually does fantastic video documentation of the artists throughout the 7 stages and with each artist playing 2 sets at different stages, there are plenty of opportunities to see all the music you want during your 3 days in the wilderness. Past performers range from Kurt Vile, War On Drugs, Sturgill Simpson, Courtney Barnett, Diarrhea Planet, Valerie June, Lake Street Dive, Hiss Golden Messenger (performing this year too), Those Darlins, Shakey Graves and folk legends like Michael Hurley, Jonathan Richman. This year’s crop of skillful newcomers include the likes of Ryley Walker, Israel Nash, Kevin Morby, Heartless Bastards, Jessica Pratt, Langhorne Slim, King Tuff, tUnE-yArDs, William Tyler, and the probably-multi-award winning superstar, Leon Bridges

Sturgill Simpson live from the Bunny Glade

Valerie June live from the Woods Stage


The festival funs from July 31 to Aug 2 with music going morning to night. It would be advertised as “family-friendly,’ but its mostly just “friendly.”