PREVIEW: 4 Peaks Music Festival 6.20 - 6.23.19
Words by Mitch Melheim
Photos by Gary Calicott & Greg Homolka
4 Peaks Music Festival will be returning to beautiful Bend, OR from June 20-23 for the twelfth edition of the beloved family festival. Recently announced expansions to the festival grounds and a partnership with production company Symbiotic Event Services (Winter Wondergrass, X Games, Arise Music Festival) have fans curious about the festival’s new look. Meanwhile, the lineup provides the same generous mix of jam, bluegrass, funk, and blues it always has.
Thursday starts out with a couple of local acts, including Mosley Wotta, the only artist on the lineup to have his own TEDx Talk. The Lil’ Smokies then close out the night with a two-hour set in the tent that is sure to be a rowdy one. If you’ve seen the Smokies since the addition of Jake Simpson on fiddle a couple years, you’ve probably noticed that they’ve turned it up a notch and have become the ball of energy bluegrass fans are looking for come late night.
Friday is funk day, with east coast supergroup Matador! Soul Sounds, Pink Talking Fish, Polyrhythmics, Swindler, and Mestizo Beat all laying down their respective brands of funk before the sun goes down. Once nighttime arrives, the festival welcomes the legendary Los Lobos to the Cascade Mountain Stage before a little fun in the late night tent with the festival’s host band, Poor Man’s Whiskey.
Saturday, just like every other morning at 4 Peaks, starts with 9 AM yoga in the tent. Hopefully that’s all the tranquillity you need because the night turns into perhaps the biggest party night of the whole weekend. Blues guitar hero Sonny Landreth plays an afternoon set at the Cascade stage in between sets from The Drunken Hearts and Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, followed by another Poor Man’s Whiskey set.
Andy Frasco & the U.N. bring their intergalactic party rock to the tent stage to get the evening started, followed by The Wood Brothers, fresh off of their first ever GRAMMY™ nomination. Then comes the phenom, Billy Strings. Billy and his band will be playing a two-hour late night set that will likely leave you both mentally and physically discombobulated well into Sunday morning.
Sunday starts off jammy with Scott Law and The Mostest before New Orleans acoustic act Rising Appalachia closes out the festival at 4:00 PM. The festival’s easy-going Sunday schedule is much needed after a weekend of raging and will likely mean that you can go home and sleep in your own bed that night, something which can’t be appreciated enough after four days of dancing in the high desert.
4 Peaks offers a variety of flexible ticket options that range from the $225 four-day pass all the way down to the $40 Sunday ticket. Single day passes are also available for both Friday and Saturday. And as always, both camping and admission for children under ten are free.