The hot vaxx summer dream of 2021 may actually come true in 2022, now that events that postponed or scaled down last year seem to be ready to reopen with full force.
The latest function to announce its return is the Waterfront Blues Festival. The four-day lineup of live music and lawn dancing will move back to Waterfront Park during Fourth of July weekend.
In 2020, the event was completely canceled because of the pandemic, just like every other large-scale gathering in that outdoor space, including the Shamrock Run after-party, Portland Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, Rose Festival CityFair and the Oregon Brewers Festival.
However, in 2021, organizers found a way to pivot by relocating to Zidell Yards’ then-new physically distanced concert experience. Located on the South Waterfront underneath the Ross Island Bridge, the venue, which previously hosted Feast and Project Pabst, corralled audience members inside separate, fenced-in pods that resembled miniature backyards.
The festival—now in its 35th year, making it Portland’s longest-running music event—comes home to the grassy bowl, though July 1-4, 2022. Ticket sales will begin in March, which is also when organizers plan to announce the performer lineup.
“Fans have stood by us while we’ve creatively adapted to the pandemic over the last two years,” Waterfront Blues Festival Director Christina Fuller stated in a press release. “We’re excited to return to Tom McCall Waterfront Park this summer, stronger than ever.”