Waterfront Blues Festival

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Waterfront Blues Festival
The festival's main stage in 2007
Location(s)Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Most recent2019
Waterfront Blues Festival south main stage

The Waterfront Blues Festival is an annual event in Portland, Oregon, United States featuring four days of performances by blues musicians. The festival started in 1988 and takes place in Tom McCall Waterfront Park, along the west bank of the Willamette River in downtown Portland.


Aerial view of the 2016 festival

The festival began in 1987 as the Rose City Blues Festival, sponsored by the Cascade Blues Association, to benefit the Burnside Community Council's projects for the homeless. The FM community radio station KBOO has broadcast performances from the event, throughout the festival's history. The following year, Oregon Food Share (predecessor of the Oregon Food Bank) became the beneficiary of the Rose City Blues Festival. In 1991, the name was changed to the Waterfront Blues Festival.

The festival celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2007, earning the Rose City Award from the Portland Oregon Visitors Association and an official U.S. Post Office postmark commemorating the festival.

There was no festival in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 festival will be held at Zidell Yards.

Waterfront main seating area


Blues Festival poster

Every year there is a new poster for the Waterfront Blues Festival. The artist is Gary Houston, who has been making the iconic poster art for the festival for eighteen years[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gary Houston".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°30′58″N 122°40′21″W / 45.516°N 122.6726°W / 45.516; -122.6726