Free Portland Downtown Concert(s): The Third Annual Big Busk This Weekend

The Martyrs
The Martyrs @ The Big Busk
Downtown Portland, Oregon

If there aren’t enough big Portland events for you this weekend, how about a free downtown concert around every corner? That is what you get with the Big Busk, which returns for its third year this Saturday. The first set will start at 11AM, the last at 7PM. It’s mostly up and down Morrison and Yamhill, with a couple acts performing in front of Tender Loving Empire at 10th and Stark.

There is an an afterparty at The White Eagle, starting probably around 9. So far, Steel & Glass, DaiN, and Fair Weather Watchers are playing the afterparty. You can also view many pictures from last year on Flickr here.


Related Portland Events & Info


Portland Big Busk Press Release & 2011 Bands

I received an email in 2009 (the first year) about the first Big Busk and asked the founder, Richard Mavis, what exactly is “The Big Busk”.

Richard’s response:

There’s no pretension to it. I got the idea one night, posted an ad on Craigslist the next, and then it became a thing. The people that were into it were really into it, for various reasons of course but mostly for the reasons that make this festival different from others being decentralized (no stage, no audience) and invasive (every corner is a stage, everyone is the audience), publicized (media mentions and other promotions) but insiderey (you could ¬Å“wander into it¬Â just by being downtown), and so on.

Yeah, it’s an experiment. Busk and bust are different by just one letter. But so far reaction has been positive. There are forces that would like to see this become a regular event. Hopefully this one will be good enough to warrant a second.**

Best, Richard

Press Release from 2010’s event

Buskers Do It On The Streets

The Big Busk is a new music festival for downtown Portland. Last year nineteen bands played for over seven hours in scattered spots around downtown. This year’s Big Busk promises to be even better. The lineup expands almost daily with bands ranging from solo singer-songwriters on ukuleles to a nine-headed alt-folk leviathan.

The idea behind the event is, for an entire afternoon, to saturate downtown with music. All kinds of music. There is no main stage, but every corner is a stage. There is no one audience, but everyone is the audience. There is no admission fee, but we trust attendees tip generously.

So it’s kind of an experiment. It’s also kind of an art project and a tongue-in-cheek celebration of creative defiance. Good music for tough times.

For information on how to take part in this year’s Big Busk, contact Interested in attending? More information can be found at

2011 Big Busk Bands (links to bands here):
All The Apparatus
Allegro Elite Duo
Allie on the Uke
AnnaPaul and the Bearded Lady
Artemas Rex
Brian McGinty
Charlotte Grahek
Fair Weather Watchers
Gone Fishin’
Gordon Goldsmith
Half Way There
Halley the Harper
Justin and Belinda
Kory Quinn and the Comrades
Lance Vallis
Larry Burnham
Lew Jones
Mark Perry aka Slim Bacon
michael the blind and the els
Steel & Glass
Stephen P Bucklew
Sue Zalokar
The Martyrs
Tree Top Tribe
Turtle da Bass


**Apparently it did.

, , , , , ,

One Response to Free Portland Downtown Concert(s): The Third Annual Big Busk This Weekend

  1. Eric July 15, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    How did you avoid an ubiquity of 5 gallon buckets? how do we apply?

Leave a Reply