Eight Cool Things at MFNW — That Aren't Music

Free haircuts, populist liquor and all the water you can drink.

MusicfestNW isn't just a concert. It's an experience, of which music is only one part. The biggest part, sure. But man does not subsist on bands alone. Waterfront Park is going to be your home for two and a half days, and while Danny Brown and Foster the People will entertain you, they're not going to feed you, keep you hydrated, park your bike or cut your hair. (Maybe if you ask nicely, but probably not.) Don't worry, though. We've got the extracurricular essentials covered. 

Expose yourself to art: When your ears need a rest and your eyes want to gaze on something other than guitars, stroll through Eleven PDX's Live Art Tent, where local artists such as Ashley Montague and Beth Myrick will be creating on the fly. Then, stop in at the Poster Mart and check out concert posters created by local artists. Sort through Dan Stiles' bright Odesza artwork and Lou X-Ray's eerie pieces inspired by the Murder City Devils. 

Get stuffed: As usual, MFNW eschews the usual fried country-fair food of most music festivals, instead bringing in your favorite carts from around town. This year's slate: the Dump Truck, PDX Sliders, So Cold Shaved Ice, Maiale di Volo wood-fired pizza, Taqueria La Merced, Oregon Beignet, Dogs & Fries, and Bunk Sandwiches, whose pork Cubano is, for our money, the best damn sandwich you can get at any festival in the world.

Oh, snaps: You know what they say: “Pics or it didn’t happen.” So head to one of two Smile Booths to say, “Milo Greeeene!” and snap a photograph, then share the moment with your Twitterverse. If those are too crowded, head to the Dr. Martens booth to admire its famously chunky footwear and take a photo in its mobile photo booth. Just don’t forget the MFNW hashtag. Otherwise, no one will believe you were there. 

Local cuts: It's been a long summer. You've been letting that mullet grow out all long and luxurious, but the heat is finally starting to get to you. Why not trim it up? Ditch the dusty festival look and cut those locks to sweat in style. Since 1993, Rudy's Barbershop has been styling the masses, and this weekend, it'll do you up for free. That's right: a free haircut that's not from a barber college. 

Started from the bottom...: Hard liquor isn't just for MFNW VIPs anymore. Jack Daniels will be serving its brown stuff from its Airstream liquor garden, which will be open to of-age whiskey worshippers no matter what wristband they've got on. Not up for the hard stuff? Penner-Ash will also be serving the finest wine you'll find at any festival in the country. No one will judge you for your third or fourth glass, especially at $7 each. 

Safer travels: MailChimp has your bike parking covered, so feel free to forgo the waterfront's stop-and-go traffic and head straight for the festivities. Afterward, in case you haven't quite danced off your drinks, use the MFNW code with Lyft and get $20 off your first ride. As long as you don't live out in McMinnville, that's pretty much a free ride to your neighborhood bar to keep the party going. 

Hydration nation: There is a drought upon us, but not at this festival. MFNW wants to make sure there's not a single dry mouth in the house. That's why MFNW attendees will have full access to a free water-refilling station, courtesy of Earth20, the only bottled-water brand that uses 100 percent recyclable bottles. If you're in need of a full-body cool-down, step inside Kind's free misting station. While you're at it, don't forget to protect your skin. Kiehl's will be handing out free sunscreen samples, ensuring you won't return to work Monday tomato-red and sensitive to touch. 

Nu realities: A music festival already is essentially an escape from reality, but if you really want to escape, HTC Vive is bringing a state-of-the-art, fully interactive virtual reality experience to Waterfront Park. Want to jet across the galaxy? Visit ancient Rome? Shrink to Ant-Man size? All you need is to slip on one of the awesome headsets—no hallucinogens necessary.  

WWeek 2015

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