The Best Things to Do in Portland This Weekend: August 14-16, 2020

August 14, 2020
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The 23rd annual Portland Adult Soapbox Derby is now the Portland All-Ages Shoebox Derby! Watch live on Saturday as miniature cars race down a virtual volcano. (Soapbox Derby via Facebook)

In normal times, mid-August would have been peak festival season. Instead, this weekend brings livestreamed versions of Portland traditions like the All-Ages Shoebox Derby Add to a List and India Festival Add to a List , plus new events like Lesbian Fest Add to a List If you're masked up and ready to head out, check out the Rose City Rollers' Outdoor Skating at Oaks Park Add to a List  or the beginning of the Oregon Short Film Festival Add to a List in the Dalles. For a mix of both, check out Take Out Add to a List Jazz Add to a List —the Montavilla Jazz Festival will bring the show to you! Read on for details on all of those and more of our picks for things to do this weekend.

FRIDAY

IN-PERSON

Bridge City Soul Add to a List
Muse Media Collective presents this live concert doubling as a soft opening for Botanist's rooftop garden, with support from DJ Tenface and Luis Ocasio from KMHD.

La Rhonda Steele Add to a List
A special performance from local legend La Rhonda Steele, serving up a set full of blues, soul, passion, and fire.

LIVESTREAMED - LOCAL

Cocktail Making w/ McMenamins Add to a List
You might not be able to get yourself a stiff drink at McMenamins as easily as you used to, but that doesn't mean those McMenamins drinks can't still be drunk up: Cocktail specialist Ashley hosts a weekly series of Facebook Live-streams teaching you how to make the perfect mixed drinks you've always wanted to try at the bar.

Sneaker Week Add to a List
Sneaker Week PDX promises not only to scratch the itch of committed sneaker heads, but also to buff that itch with a tasteful nubuck. And since a lot of the sneaker-shopping adventures that heads have been getting in lately are internet-based, Sneaker Week's transition from in-person to virtual festival should be as smooth as a fresh-out-the-box pair. The event features talks, workshops, films, and opportunties to build and strengthen the community.

LIVESTREAMED - NATIONAL

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead Add to a List
Like a Smashing Pumpkins that never disgraced themselves, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead are still bringing that full-on fantasy orchestral rock to which we all imagine epic D&D campaigns or simply pump our fists. Their two most successful albums remain 1999’s Madonna and 2002’s Source Tags & Codes. Did Source Tags DESERVE that perfect Pitchfork 10? Who knows? Did it FEEL like it did at the time? Hell yes. More than 20 years later, Trail of Dead is still messing around with prog, punk chords, gravely singing, and their band’s mystical mythos. Proceeds from each ticket help support Mississippi Studios. SUZETTE SMITH

Best Coast Add to a List
Best Coast has a decade-deep catalogue of songs that include catchy, Beach Boys-inspired surf rock bops, and also moody, Beach Boys-inspired depressing surf rock anthems. They'll be celebrating the 10th birthday of their best album, Crazy For You, with special guests Mark Hoppus, Hayley Williams, and Lauren Mayberry.

The Holdup Add to a List
San Jose-hailing singer/songwriter Mike Garmany (AKA The Holdup) is known for his blend of hip-hop, pop, and reggae, and if this livestream is any indication, he's calling it a day. Be there when he bids the stage its fond farewell.

Jim Brickman Add to a List
The highly-acclaimed performer brings "The Jim Brickman Xperience" to the internet, an "xperience" consisting of a live virtual concert, and if you're willing to go all in, an exclusive Zoom room, a gift box from Jim, and an After Show party with Mr. Brickman himself.

Moon Taxi Add to a List
The Nashville-hailing quintet share this 10th anniversary stream of their barn-burning performance at Exit/In, with proceeds benefiting NIVA (National Independent Venue Association)

Sylis Ander Add to a List
A special performance from indie-pop musician and storyteller Sylis Ander, featuring songs from his debut LP Dear Paige.

Vote Ready Live Add to a List
HeadCount presents this livestreamed concert aimed at increasing voter registration numbers, and increasing them early, since the current president seems to have gone all in on suppressing the vote as his only real campaign strategy. Performers include The War on Drugs, Kyp Malone & Jaleel Bunton of TV on the Radio, Tarriona "Tank" Ball, Kevin Morby, Waxahatchee, Robin Pecknold, and more.

FRIDAY–SATURDAY

IN-PERSON

Stop Killing Us Add to a List
A new art exhibition at HOLDING Contemporary focused on Black Portland, Black Portlanders, and the works of Don't Shoot PDX. Works include photos, acrylics, looped documentaries about Oregon's racist history, and memorabilia from Portland's history of protest.

LIVESTREAMED - LOCAL

Beaverton Virtual Night Market 2020 Add to a List
The city of Beaverton is turning its summer night market into "an interactive, live-streamed, cultural sharing experience." Watch live and prerecorded family-friendly community performances online, or purchase a craft kit (available for curbside pickup or national shipping) to bring a piece of the market home. 

FRIDAY–SUNDAY

IN-PERSON

Black Girl Magic Add to a List
The PDX Black Youth Movement presents this celebration of Black Girl Magic with a full marketplace, speakers uplifting and educating the audience, and live performances from local artists. Masks are required to attend.

Shane Torres Add to a List
Whenever former Portland comic Shane Torres pops back into town, it’s a cause for celebration. A true comedian’s comedian, Shane’s stand-up is both wickedly sharp and sharply emotional, and he’s a true pro at crowd work and hilarious off-the-cuff improvisation. He’s also not afraid of taking on nearly any topic, dancing to the edge of losing the crowd, and then pulling them back at the last possible second. Beginning comics: Watch this guy. ’Cuz this is how one does it.

Outdoor Skating at Oaks Park Add to a List
In addition to their drive-in movie nights Add to a List , the Rose City Rollers are spicing up your socially distanced summer with open-air skating nights. Bring your own gear or rent some of theirs.

Take Out Jazz Add to a List
The Montavilla Jazz Festival has found a way to stay spreading the good word of great local jazz with this weekend-long event: Order up some wine or beer, and a local jazz artist will deliver it to you nice and cold, and then play a 15-20 set in front of your door while you enjoy the drinks.

LIVESTREAMED - LOCAL

Virtual Hood and Portland to Coast Festival Add to a List
The annual relay race for long-distance runners of all persuasions is still happening for 2020, and because it's happening virtually, it's possible this could end up being the biggest Hood to Coast ever. The race itself is now spread out over two weeks, and teams can stay connected via the Hood to Coast app as each runner completes their leg of the race while safely distanced. There'll also be a scavenger hunt, and interviews with Hood to Coast notables.

LIVESTREAMED - NATIONAL

59th Annual Philadephia Folk Festival Add to a List
While COVID has closed off many opportunities to enjoy live music the way we used to do, it's also opened up a ton of opportunities to enjoy experiences we likely would have never gotten around to seeing in ye olden times (of 2019). The Philadelphia Folk Festival (now in its 59th year) is a pretty big deal, but not a lot of Portlanders usually have it on their radar. But for 2020, now you can bring that fest to your TV with a couple clicks, and that means enjoying live music from Los Lobos, Allen Stone, Shakey Graves, Ben Gibbard, Rhiannon Giddens, Ivan Neville, and many, many more. It's not just live music, either: The Philadelphia Folksong Society is planning on adding campfire open mics, zoomable campsites, a craft show, and all the things that make going to a fest feel like going to a fest.

Metaverse Add to a List
A new online comic-con experience from the organization behind Star Wars Celebration, Emerald City Comic-Con, Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, and more. Think of it as a dry run for the New York Comic-Con, which is also going virtual this coming October. Or listen to ReedPop explain it themselves, like so: "You’ll encounter one-of-a-kind interactive experiences with your favorite celebs and creators, discover new releases, explore a rich exhibitor marketplace, get access to sweet merchandise, and connect with other fans from across the globe to celebrate all things pop culture." 

SATURDAY

IN-PERSON

Sonny Hess & Lady Kat Add to a List
Local blues legend Sonny Hess and her backing band head down to the Blue Diamond for a bit of Saturday night rocking.

LIVESTREAMED - LOCAL

India Festival 2020 Add to a List
For over 25 years, the annual India Festival has been a showcase for young, local artists to share their talent, their heritage, and their history, and now that showcase is on a citywide stage, as the festival goes virtual with dances, musical performances, and more. Proceeds will help support local community businesses.

Lesbian Fest Add to a List
A global online event featuring special guests Karen Williams, Melissa Ferrick, Alix Olson, Pamela Means, Nedra Johson, Mimi Gonzalez, and Melanie Demore, offering opportunities to indulge in comedy performances, online speed dating, BIPOC networking, and more. Proceeds benefit Southerners on New Ground, We Want the Land Coalition Inc., and Don't Shoot PDX.

Portland All-Ages Shoebox Derby Add to a List
This year, instead of heading to the top of Mount Tabor, Soapbox fans are being invited to tune into the livestream and watch Portland's finest shoebox racers go hurtling down the 136-foot replica track. Starting at a 15-foot elevation these 10-inch cars will vie for the awards of best art, fastest, best engineered and crowd favorite chosen by viewers to find the best little racers on this virtual volcano, with race-day food and drink specials available for pickup and delivery from local restaurants.

Willamette Valley Chamber Music Festival Add to a List
Streaming live from the lush green hills of Oregon Wine Country comes this virtual edition of the Willamette Valley Chamber Music festival, starring composers Daniel Bernard Roumain, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Jessie Montgomery in residence for this, the WVCM's fifth season.

LIVESTREAMED - NATIONAL

(De)Tour Add to a List
A big festival gala-type livestream event raising money for MusiCares and the National Indpendent Venue Association. There's been a few of these in 2020, but this one is taking big swings with the lineup, including Ringo Starr, Slash, Cheap Trick, Darryl McDaniels, Donita Sparks, Billy Gibbons and more. Presented by Morrison Hotel Gallery.

Biffy Clyro Add to a List
The Scottish rock trio out of Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire bring their blend of alt rock and pop to this special livestream performance of their new LP, A Celebration of Endings, with hits from their discography getting run through during soundcheck, too.

Björk Add to a List
The word "icon" gets thrown around a lot, to the point where it's basically meaningless (thanks, Twitter) but there are some people for whom the term still legitimately applies, and Björk is one of those. This livestream concert features the Icelandic superstar backed by the Hamrahlið Choir and organist Bergur Þórisson. Proceeds from the show will benefit multiple women's charities worldwide, and the performance is aimed at honoring the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as those who have suffered in the Coronavirus Crisis. 

The Spill Canvas Add to a List
The Sioux Falls-hailing alt rock outfit set up shop at one of their favorite venues, the Soundbar in Orlando, to let loose with a full-band performance just for this livestream.

Galactic Add to a List
The New Orleans jam band bring their brand of funk- and jazz-infused rock music to Tipitina's in Louisiana for some home-cooked goodness bubblin' just on this livestream.

LeAnn Rimes Add to a List
Over the past two decades Rimes has veered from her country roots in favor of more traditional pop, but whichever style she adopts, her voice is always up to the task. That and her sense of adventure with each release is what has always set Rimes apart from the Faith Hills and Shania Twains. MARK LORE

Morgan James Add to a List
The Boise-hailing soul and jazz singer and Broadway star turns her attention to harnessing all her soul and power into a tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

Mr. Monday, Blood Honey Add to a List
An Instagram live concert starring two headliners specializing in "snazzy guitar work."

Sallie Ford & Kathy Foster Add to a List
Two local all-stars team up for an evening of what is sure to be energetic, powerful rock 'n' roll.

Trevor Hall Add to a List
South Carolina-hailing singer/songwriter Trevor Hall brings his acoustic mix of roots, folk, and reggae music to the Fox Theatre in Boulder, CO for this unique livestreamed concert.

The Wrecks Add to a List
Los Angeles-based indie rock quintet the Wrecks bring their melodic, guitar-fueled tunes to the Shag Chateau for some livestreamed fun.

SATURDAY–SUNDAY

LIVESTREAMED - LOCAL

Let's Celebrate Portland Jazz Add to a List
A pair of live performances streamed from the 1905's stage, starring Integer and the Ron Steen Trio.

Virtual Piano Extravaganza Add to a List
If you're missing your classical music this summer, check out Portland Piano International's two-night livestreamed concert series featuring the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo, half of which is L.A.-based and half of which is in New York. Highlights include a "Corona Meditation," musical trivia, a young pianist contest, and a montage of Portland bird photography set to the duo's new arrangement of the Fleet Foxes' "The Cascades."

SUNDAY

IN-PERSON

Depressed Cake Shop Portland Pop-up Add to a List
The Depressed Cake Shop is a one-day pop-up bakery that strives to encourage dialogue about mental health issues. The goal is simple—to sell gray-colored cakes, cookies, and other goods to raise awareness about mental health. The goodies, though dismal on the outside, are bright and colorful on the inside to symbolize hope. The event pops up in cities around the world, but proceeds from this event go to support Baby Blues Connection, which provides resources for parents and families coping with pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders.

Oregon Short Film Festival Add to a List
For its fifth year, the Oregon Short Film Festival is going outdoors, heading to the Dalles to make use of Sunshine Mill's new drive-in theater to screen over 160 short films from all over the world, spanning genres including dark comedy, fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, horror, drama, and experimental works.

LIVESTREAMED - LOCAL

Laryssa Birdseye & Vega Black Add to a List
PDX Porch Sessions' livestream series carries on with Americana and folk-pop singer/songwriter Laryssa Birdseye and R&B / pop singer Vega Black.

LIVESTREAMED - NATIONAL

Bebel Gilberto Add to a List
A late-afternoon of transformative bossa nova-inspired music from the award-winning singer.

Dmitri Matheny Add to a List
Renowned flugelhornist and composer Dmitri Matheny performs in this special livestreamed "FlugelPower Happy Hour"

The Head and the Heart Add to a List
They got their start performing on street corners for dollar bills, and there’s still a distinctive, pleasant “everyman” quality to The Head and the Heart's music. Even if you haven’t heard this band, you’d probably recognize their radio hits, like “Honeybee” and “All We Ever Knew.” They’re the kind of band you put on shuffle when you want to stare out the window and watch the rain, or just feel moody, cozy and introspective. BLAIR STENVICK

Phantoms Add to a List
The rising Los Angeles-based electronic dance music duo spearheaded by former teenage actors Kyle Kaplan and Vinnie Pergola take to Twitch for a livestream concert.

Slaid Cleaves Add to a List
A down-homey and warm livestream set courtesy of the story-driven folk from Austin-based singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves.

Steel Panther Add to a List
The Los Angeles based comedy-glam metal band known for their raunchy lyrics and exaggerated on-stage personae bring their act to this livestream extravaganza called "The Rockdown in the Lockdown" that comes complete with a "You Can't Beat the Meat and Greet" package as an add-on for the Panther's biggest fans.

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