Northwest String Summit


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I do love music festivals! They include 3 of my favorite things; music, the outdoors and beer. And there is a feeling of peace and calm that occurs when you are outside, sun shining, amongst the trees listening to people who have a passion and love for what they do….how can you not just smile? And let it wash away anything else that is happening and just live for that moment, because unlike how we treat the outside world, that moment is the only one that matters….

So with that,  I was super excited to be able to go to my first Northwest String Summit this year. Each festival takes on a life if its own and each has their unique qualities….no exception here.

First off the camping is amazing! After parking you are shuttled to the grounds where you can walk into the forest (with running creek) and find your nook for the weekend. Because I got there late my site was on a slight hill but still awesome. Hill or not I love waking up in the forest.

The grounds themselves are beautiful, the fest is a Horning’s Hideout (, 30 or so minutes from Portland and at least 6 miles from the nearest town hiding in the forest. Besides the forest there is a lake where you can paddle boat and a family of peacocks running around, plus lots of other cool things to do and look at.

As for the music and people….The flair and weirdness of Portland carried over, but in a good way. Everyone is super friendly, wild costumes (and costume changes for the night shows) and a lot of dancing. Like festivals I’ve been to in the past where people lay tarps right at the stage and guard them with their lives, that area is up on the hill behind and there is a huge area to stand and dance….or hula hoop, or play frisbee in-between bands. Im not much of a dancer but I did all weekend!!

The music too was amazing…there are 4 stages so music is going on all the time…On Saturday I was up till 230AM and still missed the last hour. The coolest stage was an old hippy school bus where the bands played on the roof overlooking the crowd. And there were many CO bands there too which had me happy and feel at home.

The highlight occurred on Saturday night where Yonder Mountain String Band (A CO band Ive seen many times) played the full Pink Floyd album “Animals”….and i don’t use this word often but it was epic!! Between the electric, the strings, the psychedelic, the lights it was overly impressive…..and about half way through the set there were dancing pigs with sling shots shooting balloons into the crowd…followed by large pig like basketball hoops where people shot the balloons into the pigs mouth…its tough to explain but it was the coolest recycling projects I’ve seen!!

The festival ended for me at the tent stage listening to the band Fruition do a awesome version of Stevie Wonders “Superstition”

All in all one of the best festivals Ive been to, the perfect balance of high, low, young, old, crazy and mellow….i met a ton of cool people and even saw some CO folks….There is an really cool bond that is built with people around you at a festival. It takes on a  few seconds and few words before you are great friends and dancing together, or chatting….its another element that is hard to duplicate in the “real world”

i do hope I can experience it again!


Here is a not so good video i took of Yonder’s set….at least gives a small sample size of the coolness of the set!!

Last modified: July 23, 2016

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