From July 13 – 16 this year, banjo pickers and fiddle enthusiasts will ascend upon Horning’s Hideout in North Plains, Oregon for the 16th annual Northwest String Summit. The bluegrass festival has recently garnered national attention, especially among those interested in bluegrass music.
I had the pleasure of speaking with promoter and co-owner of the String Summit, Skye McDonald, to discuss 2017’s lineup and offerings. McDonald took over as co-owner of the summit in just it’s second year and has been working on the event for 15 years.
B: Who are some of the local Pacific Northwest bands playing this year?
S: Let’s see, we’ve got a number of them. Scott Law will be playing, he’s played before in different varieties. Fruition is a Portland band that will be returning this year. We’ve also got the Shook Twins, Crow and the Canyon, and Blitzen Trapper. I could name a bunch more.
B: Wow, quite the selection. So, as co-owner, what’s your role in getting this all set up and organized?
S: Well, it’s tough to say. Most of my time has been signing the talent. We’ve got over 50 bands this year. Of course, our featured bands like Yonder Mountain String Band and Greensky Bluegrass will be there. We’ve got five separate stages plus one kids-area stage. So most of my time was overseeing all that and organizing our staff, plus just constant marketing.
B: That’s a big task. You mentioned the kids’ stage. Are there other family-oriented events that weekend?
S: So I like to refer to the Summit as a family affair, because it’s really become one. Our faithful who have been coming for over 10 years are now bringing their children to soak in the fun. To cater to that crowd, we’ve started events like kids story-telling and now yoga, both for kids and adults. In fact, we host a lot of mindfulness and yoga exercises throughout the weekend.
B: What other new events will be at the String Summit this year?
S: Some of our other events include our Fallen Heroes tribute where we celebrate musical legends who have recently passed. This year’s will include songs from the Allman Brothers Band and others. For musicians, we have Banjo Camp and a few other workshops that are very unique to the String Summit. They’re basically a great way for musicians to meet and play a casual concert together. And we’re constantly adding to this mix of events. We’ve generally gotten great feedback each year as we add to the list. This year is looking to be just as busy and fun as ever.
After we hung up, my excitement for this year’s String Summit was through the roof. A big thanks to Skye McDonald for speaking with me, and we hope to see you at the 2017 Northwest String Summit to support our local artists! For your reference, ticket prices and information are listed below.
Tickets are available here! 4-day passes include primitive camping and children 10 and under are free from Thursday, July 13th to Sunday, July 16th, and 3-day passes include Thursday, July 13th to Saturday, July 15th. Tween passes are for ages 11-15 only.
4-Day Pass: $235 4-Day Tween Pass: $185
3-Day Pass: $195 3-Day Tween Pass: $145
2-Day Pass (Sat/Sun): $155 Sunday Only: $75