Best Things To Do

These Are the Top 32 Events Happening in Portland This Week: Oct 12–17, 2021

Built Festival, 15 Years of LAIKA, Boo Bomb VII, and More
October 11, 2021
Head down to Powell's City of Books on Saturday to snag their limited edition beer collab with Ex Novo. (Powell's Books)

This week is absolutely jam-packed with loads of noteworthy events (including a few show and exhibit openings), and luckily for you, we’ve rounded up all the best ones so you can spend less time deciding what to do and more time actually doing all the things! Check out everything from the Built Festival to the 15 Years of LAIKA exhibit to Boo Bomb VII, and for even more ideas, take a glance at our guide to fall festivities.


Jump to: Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day


TUESDAY

MUSIC

100 Gecs - 10,000 Gecs Tour
The unhinged hyperpop of 100 gecs, one of the internet's favorite bands, has been praised as propelling the genre forward. They've grown exponentially, from their acclaimed 2019 debut 1000 gecs to the recently announced forthcoming album 10000 gecs.
Wonder Ballroom, Eliot

READINGS & TALKS

Jonathan Franzen in Conversation With Maria Semple
Crossroads, Jonathan Franzen's first novel in his new "magnum opus trilogy" A Key to All Mythologies, tells the story of a multi-generational Midwestern family across three generations, “mirroring the preoccupations and dilemmas of the United States from the Vietnam War to the 2020s.” The acclaimed novelist and essayist will be joined in conversation by fellow author Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette).
Virtual

WEDNESDAY

FILM

The Ring and The Ring Two
Part of their #OregonMade Film Series, the Hollywood Theatre presents the first double feature they've ever programmed with the horror classics The Ring and The Ring Two. It's big news to us that a) this is the first double feature the Hollywood has ever done?! and b) these nightmare inducing flicks were at least partially shot here. This screening seems mandatory for anybody who fancies themselves a horror fan.
Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District

MUSIC

Machine Gun Kelly: Tickets to My Downfall Tour
Rapper, singer-songwriter, and actor Machine Gun Kelly's latest studio album and accompanying tour may reference his downfall, but his recent trajectory only points upward. Shedding his rap beginnings, MGK's entrance into a pop punk phase has been bolstered by his collaboration with Travis Barker.
Edgefield, Troutdale

THURSDAY

COMEDY

Vir Das: Manic Man World Tour
Vir Das may not be a household name in the States, but the Bollywood star is India's biggest English-speaking stand-up comedian—the first from the South Asian country to have a Netflix special. In fact, he has four and was also hailed by Variety as a "Top 10 Comic to Watch." Get a taste for his charismatic brand of comedy in his latest special, a lockdown show titled Outside In, before heading to the Portland stop of his brand new world tour. 
Revolution Hall, Buckman

 

PODCAST

Live Wire presents: Tom Scharpling, Mohanad Elshieky, Kaveh Akbar, and more!
This edition of the locally recorded radio variety show features Jack-of-all-trades funnyman Tom Scharpling, known for voicing Greg Universe on the Cartoon Network animated series Steven Universe and as a writer/executive producer for the Emmy Award-winning show Monk. The show will also include guests Mohanad Elshieky (Mercury Undisputable Genius of Comedy), Pushcart Prize-winning poet Kaveh Akbar, and Portland-based indie rock band MAITA, who was named Portland’s Best New Band of 2020 by Willamette Week.
Alberta Rose Theatre, Alberta Arts District

READINGS & TALKS

2021/22 Portland Arts & Lectures: Daniel James Brown
Daniel James Brown formerly taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford before pivoting into writing narrative nonfiction full time, bringing "compelling historical events to life as vividly and accurately as I can." His latest book, Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II, profiles the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a special Japanese American Army unit that overcame brutal odds in Europe while their families were simultaneously confined in U.S. internment camps.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks

Cecily Wong in Conversation With Liz Crain
Discover gastronomic wonders the world over, along with accompanying side dishes about history, science, art, and culture. This food-centric collection from the team behind Atlas Obscura contains of over 500 entries that span all seven continents and all 50 states. Portland-based coauthor Cecily Wong will be joined by local author Liz Crain (Food Lover's Guide to Portland) to reveal tantalizing tidbits about the book's creation. 
Virtual

FRIDAY

FESTIVALS

Built Festival 2021 presented by Travel Oregon
Typically a week-long event series centered around Oregon’s consumer product ecosystem, this year's Built Festival has been pared down to a half-day version of their main event, bringing together local luminaries for fireside chats. Build community and learn from industry leaders such as A Kids Company About's Jelani Memory, Mimi's Fresh Tees founder Kamelah Adams, Salt & Straw CEO Kim Malek, Dutch Bros. president/CEO Joth Ricci, and many more. 
The Redd on Salmon, Buckman

Hood River Valley Harvest Fest
Head to the gorge town's scenic waterfront for their 39th annual harvest fest, which will celebrate the region's fall bounty. Offering local produce like pears, apples, pumpkins, and goods ranging from pies to smoked salmon and chocolate-covered cherries, this old-fashioned festival is the perfect opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping. Adults will delight in wine, cider, and beer tastings while little ones will be delighted by bouncy houses, face painting, and more fun activities.
Hood River Waterfront

MUSIC

Boo Bomb VII
Portland's "number one radio station for hip hop and throwbacks" JAM’N 107.5 presents their annual Boo Bomb VII concert with a scary good lineup of The Game, E-40, Fat Joe, Too Short, Baby Bash, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Luniz.
Moda Center, Lloyd Center

Portugal. The Man
Even though they *technically* haven’t released a new album since their 2017 hit Woodstock, we feel it still: the pull towards this band’s catchy pop-rock tunes. Transplants from Alaska, PTM has been readily adopted as Portland’s own. They’ve made it easy to love them with their infectious hooks, commitment to activism and philanthropy, and fierce support of the Blazers.
McMenamins Edgefield, Troutdale

SATURDAY

FOOD & DRINK

City of Books IPA Release
Powell's Books is teaming up with the brewery Ex Novo to release an exclusive, limited-edition beer called City of Books IPA, with a can featuring art of the Powell's storefront. Today, you'll be able to get your hands on a four-pack at Powell's flagship store on West Burnside, but the beer is expected to sell out quickly, so show up early. Limited quantities will also be available at Ex Novo's North Portland and Beaverton locations while supplies last. Ten percent of all proceeds will be donated to Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), a nonprofit that helps bookstore workers and comic retailers with unforeseen emergency financial needs.
Powell's City of Books, Pearl District

GEEK

Oddities & Curiosities Expo 2021
Find one-of-a-kind conversation starting pieces for your home at this expo that brings together vendors and dealers from all over the country. You'll discover oddities of all sorts here, including taxidermy and preserved specimens, original artwork, horror pieces, antiques, quack medical devices, clothing and jewelry, skulls and bones, funeral collectibles, and more.
Oregon Convention Center, Lloyd District

MUSIC

EYELIDS, The Yes Masters
Current and former members of indie rock royalty The Decemberists, Guided By Voices, and Camper Van Beethoven come together to make "lopsided rock." Catch them on their The RE-Accidental Falls Tour with Seattle-based punk band The Yes Masters.
Mississippi Studios, Mississippi

INDIGENOUS with Purusa
Native American Music Award-winning blues band Indigenous consists of Nakota Nation members who were born and raised on South Dakota's Yankton Sioux Reservation, with frontman Mato Nanji dedicating their work to indigenous youth. They've toured with the likes of Santana and B.B. King, and will appear tonight with Portland rock band Purusa.
Star Theater, Old Town-Chinatown

SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Alyssa Edwards: Memoirs of a Traveling Queen
This autobiographical show will shine a spotlight on tongue poppin’ drag legend Alyssa Edwards as you’ve never seen her. Expect costume changes, wigs aplenty, and stunning choreography while the dancing queen divulges stories from her childhood, her appearances on Drag Race, and beyond.
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn

MUSIC

Portland Black Music Expo
Founders Tony Ozier and David “O.G.ONE” Jackson launched the annual Portland Black Music Expo in 2020 to bring Pacific Northwest-based Black artists and their talents to the forefront, educate the community on the Black experience through workshops, and provide resources for personal and professional development. This year, the expo features a daytime concert with the lineup of Ronnie Wright, LaRhonda Steele, Arietta Ward, and Tahirah Memory.
Holocene, Buckman 

MULTI-DAY

FILM

Portland Film Festival
The Portland Film Festival will once again be streaming this year, with over 300 titles to keep your eyes glued to the screen in themed blocks such as Black voices, indigenous voices, LGBTQIA+ voices, veterans’ voices, and voices of mental health.
Virtual

5th Annual Portland Dance Film Fest
Bringing the beauty and joy of movement to the screen, this year's hybrid Portland Dance Film Festival will include online and in-person screenings of 31 PDFF picks and five documentaries curated from nine different countries, featuring Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance.
Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy (Friday-Sunday)

FOOD & DRINK

Portland Oktoberfest
Say "Prost!" to Oktoberfest season with a selection over 16 German-style beers on tap from the Civic Taproom, plus a keepsake glass mug.
Pine Street Market, Old Town-Chinatown (Saturday-Sunday)

Dine the Couve 2021
All month long, you can take advantage of super-cheap "3 for $20" specials and "3 for $30" from over 30 participating Clark County restaurants, including Locust Cider & Brewing, Slow Fox Chili, Rally Pizza, and Mt. Tabor Brewing. If you redeem five different offers during the promotion, you'll be entered to win a $100 gift certificate to the participating restaurant of your choice.
Various locations, Vancouver (Monday-Sunday)

PERFORMANCE

Oregon Ballet Theatre: Face to Face
This super limited engagement by Oregon Ballet Theatre will pack three ballets that "bring us face-to-face with human nature" into one program: Ben Stevenson's intimate look at love Three Preludes, George Balanchine's iconic and plotless The Four Temperaments, and Jennifer Archibald's otherworldly SculptedClouds.
Keller Auditorium, Downtown (Friday-Saturday)

Frida... A Self Portrait
Brazilian playwright and actress Vanessa Severo takes on double duty as the writer and performer of this intimate portrait of iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. "Infused with music, movement, and Kahlo's words," the one-woman show bears witness to the artist's extraordinary life on the eve of her death. 
The Armory, Pearl District (Wednesday-Sunday)

HALLOWEEN

Villains & Vixens: Musical Cabaret
This spooktacular musical cabaret will run through a program entirely composed of parody songs sung by all the fictional villains everyone loves to hate, like Beetlejuice, Maleficent, Cruella, Captain Hook, Ursula, and more from films like Star Wars, It, The Shining, and Jaws. As The Lion King's Scar sings: "Beee Prepaaared!"
Samaritan Odd Fellows Lodge, Milwaukie (Friday-Sunday)

The Cinema of Horrors: Drive-In
Frightening creatures will deliver fair foods and frights as you watch some of most bone-chilling blockbusters ever made. Bring a brave crew and keep your car doors locked as you watch Insidious (Thurs Oct 14), A Nightmare On Elm Street (Sat Oct 23), and Halloween on Halloween.
Clark County Fairgrounds, Ridgefield (Thursday-Sunday)

Underhill & Fearlandia Present Season Of Screams
Underhill Haunted House and Fearlandia have put their twisted talents together to present Season of Screams, a collection of three haunted attractions under one roof. Dodge chemically altered lab employees in Fears Gate, face your worst nightmare in Night Terrors, and escape the wrath of the scheming Madam Underhill in Underhill Manor.
Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Lloyd District (Friday-Saturday)

PERFORMANCE

Bluebeard
Conceived by Kailey Rhodes and Samson Syharath of Hillsboro's "resident professional theatre" Bag&Baggage, Bluebeard is an interactive outdoor theatre experience centered around the spooky union between the mysterious title character and his intended fiancée.
Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals, Hillsboro (Thursday-Saturday)

EXHIBIT

15 Years of LAIKA
Stop-motion studio LAIKA, based in Hillsboro and owned by none other than Nike co-founder Phil Knight, is celebrating its 15th anniversary with screenings (complete with filmmaker Q&As) of all five of its Oscar-nominated films, from Coraline to Missing Link. Before or after you enjoy one of the films, examine displays of meticulously made puppets and set pieces in the accompanying pop-up exhibit.
OMSI, Central Eastside (Friday-Sunday; opening)

Queen Nefertari’s Egypt
Learn about the royal life of the revered (and highly educated for the time) Queen Nefertari, wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II. Curated by the world-renowned Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy, the exhibition examines the role of women in ancient Egypt through over 220 works of art, including the Queen's elaborately decorated burial chamber, sculptures, and everyday objects.
Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks (Saturday-Sunday; opening)

FOOD & DRINK

Olympia Oyster Bar at Function
Chef Maylin Chavez resurrects the beloved Olympia Oyster Bar, slinging a seasonal, oyster-centric seafood menu at Function in collaboration with winemaker Cristina Gonzales of Gonzales Wine Company, pastry chef Palmira Obeso of Here for the Cakes, and the farmhouse brewery Wolves & People.
Function, Nob Hill (Friday-Sunday)

FESTIVALS

Milagro's 25th Original Día de Muertos Festival
Bilingual theatre Milagro presents their annual Día de Muertos festival, providing a joyous space for reunion to celebrate and honor those who have passed. Exploring the concepts of rebirth and renewal, this month-long program will include an altar, craft workshops, concerts, poetry, readings, a Día de Muertos documentary, and more.
Milagro Theatre, Buckman (Friday-Sunday)