After the rousing success of 4 Peaks Music Festival, the fine people of Central Oregon and its surrounding environs have a few more multi-day music shows to look forward to. In fact, two festivals are slated for the next two weekends. Powell Butte will host the 9th Annual Crawfest Music Festival July 15-17, and La Pine will host the 4th annual Newberry Event Music and Arts Festival July 21-24.
Crawfest 9th Annual Music Festival
Crawfest is instantly impressive because of the affordability. Tickets cost $20 a day, $30 for a weekend pass with tent camping, or $60 for a weekend pass with vehicle and tent camping. To see a full three days of music for that price isn't just rare; it's all but impossible these days.
The man behind the fest, Jake Crawford, didn't intend for it to become a festival when it first began. He said, "It all started out by building a stage so my friend's band, Lowfront, would come over from Oregon City. He brought one other band with him, and someone coined the name Crawfest because of my last name of Crawford. The next year four bands came, and now it's been 30 bands for the last five years. I had no intention of starting a music festival originally, but music is very important, and I saw this event being the highlight of many people's year. It has really been about the musicians and has developed organically into what it is now."
The two stages at Crawfest are packed deep with genre-spanning artists both local and domestic. Local favorites like MoWo, Open Defiance, Harley Bourbon, and Tuck and Roll are spread across the weekend but that doesn't even skim the lineup. Olympia funk band DBST headlines Friday night, indie rock band Pluto the Planet plays midday Saturday, and comedian Ngaio Bealum will bring the jokes Saturday afternoon.
The eclectic lineup is definitely purposeful. "Variety is essential," said Crawford. "We started out with a lot of punk rock and roll bands. Now we have anything from gospel to heavy metal. We like to say the music at Crawfest is like Central Oregon weather, wait 20 minutes and it will change."
With vendors like Mongolian Tea House (coffee, tea, espresso), Sons of Beer (BBQ & burgers) and BUZZ'N (sno cones and infused Red Bull), food and beverages are covered. Festival goers will also find artisanal booths with local glass blowers, goat's milk products, jewelry, and more.
In describing Crawfest for newcomers, Crawford explains, "Overall vibe: laid back. Non-commercialized, in that we aren't doing this for money. We are happy to break even. I truly believe music is going to save us all."
16065 SW Alfalfa Rd., Powell Butte
Check Facebook.com/crawfestoregon for more information
Newberry Event Music and Arts Festival
The Newberry Event Music and Arts Festival starts at 4:20pm on Thursday, July 21 and runs until 4:20 on Sunday, July 24, because weed, man. The tickets are a bit pricier ($75). But the proceeds support a very good cause. The festival was started in 2013 as a way to raise money and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis, and the this year's festival continues that tradition.
Last year, the legendary band Fishbone played Newberry and this year's lineup is no slouch, either, featuring a diverse and exciting playbill that promises something for everyone. Highlights include Euforquestra out of Iowa City, Iowa, playing Iowa fuse jazz, funk and afro-Caribbean sounds to make for one of the highest energy bands currently touring. Andy Frasco and the U.N. put on one of the best live shows around with their soulful blues harmonics and euphoric good vibes. Zahira mixes pop, reggae and electronic beats to be one of the most musically diverse acts around.
Combined with wine tasting, yoga, food, live DJ sets, art, and dancing, the vibe at the 2016 Newberry Festival is most definitely conscious.
Newberry Event Music and Arts Festival
DiamondStone Guest Lodges, 16693 Sprague Lp., La Pine
Check newberryevent.com for tickets and pricing