For some reason, I'd really like to imagine the Pickathon Music Festival as the evolution of a small party in the woods that started years ago. Perhaps Todd Pendarvis (probably not an actual person) simply invited a few people and a band, and then it just kept getting bigger and bigger. According to this article in last week's Portland Mercury, that's partially true. Pickathon started in 1997 as a fundraiser for radio station KBOO. As it got bigger, it stayed independent for all of the right reasons: if corporate sponsors took over and the economy tanked, the festival would suffer. Better to have something fail on your own terms, right?
- Derek Erdman
- Main Stage Area View
But Pickathon certainly isn't failing. Everywhere I looked I saw happy faces, thriving independent commerce and a lesser-known community happy to have an event that's all their own. It's the kind of festival that restores a forgotten hope in the festival environment. Where others are bloated, commercialized and strewn with litter, this one is fair, respectful and nearly self-sustaining. I'm a person with an inherent distrust of hippies and their life ethics, but this festival changed my mind about a few things.