Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland

The Blues Festival in Portland plays host to a stellar group of blues performers each year. More than 100,000 blues fans from around the world head for this yearly festival, held around the July 4th holiday, in Portland Oregon.

Sam Churchill

The festival features performances by Bruce Conte, Grady Champion, Soul Vaccination, Preston Shannon, and many others at more than 7 stages. The festival also features a cruise on the Willamette River on the Portland Spirit. Afternoon cruises, about 2 /12 hours long, for all ages and evening cruises, about 3 hours long, for adults are a popular attraction. The cruise features its own stages and offers a buffet and full bar.

The first festival was in 1987 and featured performances by John Lee Hooker, Paul deLay Band, Curtis Salgado, Norman Sylvester Blues Band and Lloyd Jones Struggle. In 2010 the festival's performers included JJ Grey and Mofro, Mingo Fish Trap, Paul Cebar, Kara Grainger, and many others. Visitors in 2010 set a new record with topping $650,000 in donations and 100,000 pounds of food.

Sam Churchill

A fireworks show is featured on July 4th - the largest in Oregon. The fireworks show features music that's synchronized to the music and simulcast by KINK FM 102.


The cruise along the Willamette river is about 2 1/2 hours long and features a number of performances in the afternoon and evening cruises. It is an intimate setting on the famous Portland Spirit, a 150-foot yacht with one outdoor and two indoor decks. The Portland Sprit has a capacity of about 450 guests and was overhauled in 2004 to bring her right up to date with the latest amenities. The decks include the Starlight deck for open-air viewing and a built-in marble dance floor on the Columbia deck.

Daily admission to the Blues Festival in Portland is just $10, plus two cans of food. With the festival's increasing popularity, organizers have had to turn away disappointed fans because the venue reached its capacity. The Blues Festival in Portland also offers guaranteed admission, even when the gates close when the venue reaches capacity. Guaranteed admission is available to those that buy passes, in advance.

The festival offers four levels of passes:

* Four-Day Festival Pass - $40

Guaranteed admission and an official collector's button

* Blues Buddy Pass - $75

Benefits of the Four Day Festival Pass plus entrance up to 30 minutes early (so you can find a great spot) and admission to the after hours blues jams!

* Blues Benefactor Pass - $300

All the benefits of the Blues Buddy Pass plus great features like access to the benefactor-only stage that features seating and shade, daily parking pass, complimentary Sunday brunch, and four food and four beer coupons.

* Individual Sponsor - $1,250

This is the ultimate experience: you get All the benefits of the Blues Benefactor Pass plus access to the sponsor hospitality pavilion and on-stage seating, access to the hospitality pavilion for the Fourth of July BBQ and fireworks show and sponsor recognition on the website and in the Oregon Food Bank's annual report.

Get your guaranteed admission passes and Portland Spirit cruises at Ticket Tomato.

Waterfront Blues Festival