When it was announced back in December that Portland's two biggest music festivals would merge into a single festival, the expectation was that it would produce something special.
Well, here it is: Tame Impala, Duran Duran, Ice Cube and Ween, will headline the fest known as MusicfestNW Presents Project Pabst.
The rest of the lineup announced today includes 14 other acts. The fest will take place at Tom McCall Waterfront Park on August 27-28.
At a glance, that's the most top-heavy bill we've seen from either MFNW or Project Pabst on their own. You've got psychedelic virtuosos Tame Impala, which had one of the most acclaimed albums of 2015 in Currents; it's hard to imagine a band better suited to play under the sky on a warm summer night. You've got Ween, the prankster cult favorites who've only played a handful of shows since kinda, sorta breaking up in 2012. You've got Ice Cube, one of the most crucial voices in rap history, who's about to become a member of the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. (Also, see him in Barbershop: The Next Cut, opening April 15!) And then there's Duran Duran, England's most well-preserved '80s synth-pop demigods, whose mere presence should cause an armada of cigarette boats to spontaneously appear in the Willamette.
But here's what I like most about this lineup: Even with a relatively small number of bands, if you go from the bottom up, there are plenty of opportunities to discover a new favorite, whether it's Portland-based, Sub Pop-signed folk troubadour Kyle Craft, hip-hop force of nature Lizzo (who killed opening Sleater-Kinney's first reunion gigs last year), Philly power-pop dynamos Sheer Mag or punk maximalists Tenement. That's not to mention the second tier of acts you may or may not be obsessing over right now: boozy roots crew Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats; quad-guitar hurricane Diarrhea Planet; the true MVP of A$AP Mob, rapper A$AP Ferg; righteous indie-rock foursome Hop Along; vicious Atlanta garage-rockers the Coathangers; post-punk ranters Parquet Courts; and Portland's own STRFKR and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Oh, and reunited post-hardcore heavies Drive Like Jehu. And headbanging philosopher-wizard Andrew W. freaking K.
You've probably still got a few questions. Here's everything else the organizers—MusicfestNW is owned by the people who own WW—are sharing right now:
1. Yes, the official name of the festival is MusicfestNW presents Project Pabst. Abbreviate that however you want. (We sorta like MFNWpPP.)
2. Limited early bird tickets go on sale Friday, April 8, here. They will be $45 for single-day tickets, $75 for a weekend pass. After those sell out, prices increase to $55 and $90, respectively.
3. There will be separately ticketed night shows (including comedy shows) at venues all around town, beginning on Aug. 25. Artist announcements to come.
4. The festival is 21 and over.
5. The PBRcade from past Project Pabsts, featuring vintage arcade games and, maybe more importantly, air conditioning, will be there, as will PBR Wax mobile recording studio and record press, and something called PBR Vandalism where you can spraypaint the hell out of a van.
6. As you might have already guessed, the festival's beer of choice will be PBR—no more Heineken. Pabst's revived pale ale, Old Tankard, will also be available. (We're hoping for some of that actually pretty good boozy root beer, too, but no promises).
7. Yep, Trevor Solomon booked it.
Here is the full lineup for each day, followed by a playlist:
Saturday, August 27
Sunday, August 28