Best Things To Do

The Best Things To Do in Portland This Week: Sept 13-19, 2021

Time-Based Art Festival, Cameron Esposito, David Sedaris, and More
September 13, 2021
Experience vanessa german’s THE BLUE WALK as part of the Time-Based Art Festival (TBA).

This week, get out and about at the return of the beloved Time-Based Art Festival which the Portland Mercury calls “refreshingly approachable,” a show from the hilarious comedian Cameron Esposito, or a talk with acclaimed author David Sedaris. Whether you want to have a chuckle or experience contemporary art, there's a lot to offer in this week's list for your perusal.

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Andrew W.K.
The California musician and performer calls himself a "hardcore partier," a description that he more than lives up to. He's best known for his 2001 hit "Party Hard," which has become an anthem to live by. Embodying a lifestyle of partying hard not just in his music but also in his personality, this maniac once did a 43 minute air drumming workout video. That should give you a taste of what to expect from his live show.  
Revolution Hall, Buckman

Wild Rivers
The Toronto band Wild Rivers has been described by American Songwriter as "if Fleetwood Mac had a 2020 version." We take that to mean all the non-horrible parts of last year and more of the type of modern-day pop you will want to seek out.
Wonder Ballroom, Eliot



Cameron Esposito
Cameron Esposito is an outstanding standup comic, actor and writer whose sharp wit is matched only by her patient delivery on stage. She also runs the popular interview podcast, Queery.
Mississippi Studios, Boise


El Grito 2021
Coinciding with Hispanic Heritage Month, this fiesta commemorates the independence of Mexico and other Latin American countries from Spain. The most important holiday observed by Oregon's Hispanic community, the occasion will be celebrated with folkloric and Aztec dancers, live mariachi, salsa, cumbia and pop music, as well as traditional food and beverages, and community booths with interactive and educational materials.
Rose Quarter Commons, Lloyd District 



The Helio Sequence
The Portland-based production duo of Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel make up the veteran group known as The Helio Sequence. This outdoor show is a bring your own blanket or lawn chair affair.
Topaz Farm, Sauvie Island

Flux Pavilion
EDM producer, DJ, singer-songwriter, and label owner Flux Pavilion is touring in support of his second studio album .wav. The British musician was nominated for BBC Sound of 2012.
45 East, Buckman



An Evening with David Sedaris
Although he now lives in Europe, David Sedaris is unquestionably one of America’s preeminent humor writers. The NYT bestselling author will regale the audience with his signature autobiographical tales dripping with self-deprecation and satire, presumably from his essay collection The Best of Me, which was released last year.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Downtown


Minority Retort presents Dino Archie
Minority Retort is the NW's premier stand-up comedy showcase featuring Black and brown comedians. This week, they'll be showcasing Dino Archie, winner of the 2015 Seattle International Comedy Competitionalong with comedians AC O’Neal, Rissa Riss, Richie Aflleje and Ken Hamlett. The Mercury’s editor-in-chief caught up with producer (and occasional co-host) Jason Lamb about the future of the show.
Siren Theater, Old Town-Chinatown


Billy Strings
The winner of Best Bluegrass Album at the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards, singer, songwriter and musician Billy Strings stays true to his name: he will play good music on some strings.
Edgefield, Troutdale

A return from a sudden 2016 retirement from music, Nick Thorburn's Islands is making a comeback to center stage with music he has been working on from his kitchen studio. 
Mississippi Studios, Boise



DoveLewis Dogtoberfest 2021
To raise money for DoveLewis' blood bank, dogs and their hoomans are invited to this pooch-centric party that will include a photo booth and pet photo contest, a paw print art station, plus beer and Lucky Lab swag.
Lucky Labrador Brew Pub, Buckman


Pink Martini
Portland's "little orchestra" Pink Martini features over a dozen musicians who perform a multilingual repertoire that's exotic yet familiar, seamlessly switching between jazz, classical, pop, and global music sounds. The band has a certain je ne sais quoi that puts everyone in a good mood—they don't just perform a show, they know how to throw a party.
Edgefield, Troutdale

Fiddle player Libby Rodenbough, mandolinist Jacob Sharp, guitarist Joseph Terrell, and bassist Wood Robinson all make up this North Carolina group currently touring with their sixth album.
Mississippi Studios, Boise



Lot Laughs
Formerly scheduled to take place on Helium's lot, this Sunday comedy show has been moved indoors. The last performance of the summer series will see Drew Morgan take the stage.
Helium Comedy Club, Hosford-Abernethy

Asking the questions “What do we hold on to from our past?” and “What must we let go of to truly move forward?,” Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield will be performing from her album Saint Cloud. Appearing on many “best of 2020” lists, the project was born out of her recent sobriety.
Wonder Ballroom, Eliot 


Cinema Unbound Summer Movie Series
A chance to soak in the last warm days of September, this outdoor screening series is showing a variety of films new and old. On Thursday, revisit the classic 1982 Jim Henson film The Dark Crystal, or see David Lowery's masterful The Green Knight on Friday On Saturday, you can see a different type of green being with the original Shrek.
Lloyd Center Rooftop, Lloyd District



Portraits of Them
After a year of documenting their experience with low-dose testosterone through monthly portraits, artist Ursa Nüffer-Rodriguez presents this multimedia exhibition which includes video, photos, audio experiences and sculptures, offering a different narrative of (trans)gender becoming than the idealistic, linear portrayal that is often fed to us.
Tips on Failing, Boise (Monday-Saturday)

Venice VR Expanded 2021
Fine art meets tech in this immersive exhibition that manipulates space for a 360-degree storytelling experience like no other. The Portland Art Museum is once again the exclusive U.S. host for this competition within the Venice International Film Festival, which is organized by the Venice Biennale, so don’t miss this singular chance to explore new worlds through stunning visuals and soundscapes.
Fields Ballroom at the Portland Art Museum, Downtown (Monday-Sunday)

Time-Based Art Festival
If quarantine had you asking "what is time?" within the last year, then perhaps PICA's cutting edge annual contemporary art festival can answer that question. Expand your mind by taking in experimental art by local and international artists ranging from ephemeral performance pieces to print projects to artist lectures. The Mercury has your picks here.
PICA, Kenton (Thursday-Sunday)


Negroni Week 2021
For this yearly event sponsored by Imbibe Magazine and Campari, bars all over the city will mix up everyone's favorite bitter crimson cocktail to raise funds for charitable organizations. Participating venues can stick to the classic version made with gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth or whip up their own unique variations.
Multiple locations (Monday-Sunday)


One of the most revolutionary directors of his generation, Werner Herzog's work is as varied as you will ever find in a filmmaker, so you'll get something different every night of this film series. On Monday you can watch the German tragicomedy Stroszek and on Saturday you can catch Nosferatu The Vampyre.
Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood (Monday & Saturday)


Joy (Comes) in the Mourning
Curated by Portland Playhouse's community programs and associate artistic director Ramona Lisa Alexander, this hybrid festival presents interactive experiences that will explore the themes of loss and grief. After a trying year, this community gathering seeks to create a sacred space to mourn and heal with the help of artists, healers, dancers, faith-based leaders, singers, musicians, and community groups.
Portland Playhouse, King (Monday-Saturday)

Mount Angel Oktoberfest
Celebrate the autumn harvest German style, with plenty of beer, brats, spaetzle, and more. Mount Angel's 56th Oktoberfest will include lots of revelry, with jaunty music provided by bands of all sorts—strap on your lederhosen and get down to a Chardon Polka Band, Gruber Family Band, a brass band, and a squeezebox (whatever that is) band.
Mount Angel (Thursday-Sunday)

Earth and Ocean Festival
This festival celebrating land and sea aims to promote environmental awareness and stewardship through a series of art events such as pottery firing on the beach, live performances, a farm-to-fork dinner, dueling easel live painting, and more.
Cannon Beach (Thursday-Sunday)

Mid-Autumn Festival / Zhong Qiu Jie (中秋節)
Zhong Qiu Jie (中秋節), a.k.a. the Mid-Autumn Festival, is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture. Following the lunar calendar, the celebration takes place on or close to the "harvest moon" during the autumnal equinox. Stroll through the tranquil Chinese Garden, which will be adorned with festive hanging lanterns. You'll also be able to get hands-on at a lantern making station, view a calligraphy demonstration, and try some mooncakes, the festival's signature treat.
Lan Su Chinese Garden, Old Town-Chinatown (Saturday-Sunday)

Spirit of Halloweentown
You'll find it impossible not to get into the spooky spirit at St. Helens' annual tribute to Halloween. Leaning into the fact that the movies Halloweentown and Twilight were partially filmed there—Ashley Greene aka Alice Cullen will even make an appearance this year—the city transforms into a themed attraction complete with a giant pumpkin, circus performers, a haunted house, and more.
St. Helens (Saturday-Sunday)


Lose Yr Mind Fest 2021
Push your worries and cares out of your pretty little head and get lost in the music during this annual independent music festival. The seventh iteration of Lose Yr Mind will span one weekend with Meatbodies, Acid Dad, Dommengang, Help, and Dirty Princess taking the stage on Saturday, and Deap Vally, Death Valley Girls, Scott Yoder, Sleeping Beauties, Spoon Benders, and Plastic Cactus slated for Sunday.
Vitalidad Movement Arts Center, Buckman (Friday-Saturday)