Pink Martini, the Dandy Warhols, Blind Pilot and filmmaker Gus Van Sant, somehow, are among the artists schedule to perform at Vortex2020, a sequel to the state-sponsored music festival that took place at Milo McIver State Park near Estacada in 1970.
The original event was the first of its kind—a collaboration between then-Oregon Governor Tom McCall and counterculture activists meant to draw protestors away from the annual gathering of the American Legion in Portland, where President Richard Nixon was scheduled to give an address.
In the wake of the Kent State shootings, both sides feared a mass protest could result in more violence. So the festival—dubbed "A Biodegradable Festival of Life"—was set up as a diversion. It worked: an estimated 100,000 people attended, with police mostly turning a blind eye to drug use and public nudity.
Now, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the festival this summer, a second Vortex is being held in the same location—though this time, the government is not involved.
Although the festival was announced last year, more details were given at a "community briefing" this past Sunday at the downtown loft belonging to Pink Martini frontman Thomas Lauderdale, one of the event's main organizers.
Most notably, no tickets will be sold for the festival—entrance can only be gained "through meaningful volunteer work on a designated Vortex2020 project," according to press materials. Specifics on how exactly that will work is still forthcoming.
What we do know are the dates: Aug. 22-23, 2020. The organizers are planning for 10,000 attendees, according to a press release sent out by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The park will be closed for 10 days leading up to the festival to help prepare the site, which will include three stages of music.
The full lineup—made up of all Oregon artists—is still forthcoming, but other acts announced so far include singer Storm Large, Edna Vazquez, MarchFourth Marching Band, representatives of hip-hop fashion collective Produce and the Tutus, who performed at the original Vortex. Pianist Hunter Noack will also be adapting his "In a Landscape: Classical Music in the Wild" series for the event.
An update Vortex2020 web site will launch Feb. 14—Oregon's 161st birthday.