Music fans help the hungry and catch great acts at Waterfront Bl - KPTV - FOX 12

Music fans help the hungry and catch great acts at Waterfront Blues Festival

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Portland’s annual Waterfront Blues Festival is officially under way, and up to 20,000 people are expected to pack the waterfront every day through July 4.

Thousands packed Tom McCall Waterfront Park Friday dancing to some big names and local bands, all while feeding the hungry in Portland.

The festival is an amazing chance to hear some big names like Chris Isaak and Joss Stone, as well as an opportunity to check out some local bands. In total, 150 acts will play on four stages over the five days of the festival.

Die-hard fans for this event lined up at the gate at 4 a.m. to grab that prime real estate to hear their favorite acts, and some even said they’ve come to this event each year since it started in 1988.

Admission to the festival, which is $10 online, will provide 30 meals to a hungry family through the Oregon Food Bank. The people who started this festival 30 years ago wanted to help the hungry here in Oregon.

More than 270,000 people in Oregon depend on this food bank, and festival organizers say the event has raised more than $10 million for the hungry and a thousand tons of food.

The organizers also noted that it’s not just the visitors helping out to feed the city’s hungry.

“So many of the blues artists that we have, they are doing what they can to help the Food Bank as well,” Myrna Jenson with the Oregon Food Bank said. “We’ve got some who’ve got their music sets underwritten and they’re giving their food back to the Food Bank. That’s just amazing generosity. They know how many Oregonians are one paycheck away from being in trouble.”

Visitors to the festival should allow for extra time to make it through security, as bags will be searched at the gate and items like glass bottles, alcohol and tobacco are not permitted. Also, no hard coolers and only factory-sealed water bottles are allowed inside.

With the thousands expected to attend the festival, parking is at a premium. Organizers suggest riding a bike or using public transportation for fans heading to the waterfront.

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