Waterfront Blues Festival
|Waterfront Blues Festival|
The festival's main stage in 2007
|Location(s)||Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon, U.S.|
The Waterfront Blues Festival is an annual event in Portland, Oregon, United States featuring three to five 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. It is the largest blues festival on the West Coast and the second-largest blues festival in the nation, with recent events attracting 120,000 blues fans from throughout the world with more than 150 performances on four stages. The festival benefits the Oregon Food Bank, a non-profit organization which provides food to low-income persons in Oregon and SW Washington states.
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) becomes the beneficiary of the Rose City Blues Festival, making the event Oregon's first annual blues festival to benefit the hungry. 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. Sponsors of the festival have included Miller Genuine Draft, Albertsons, and Safeway. Throughout its history, the festival has raised millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands pounds of food.
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