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Get bluegrass, roots fix at annual summit at Horning's Hideout



COURTESY: NWSS - Cool lighting is part of Northwest String Summit, July 14-17 at Horning's Hideout in North Plains.Skye McDonald, co-owner and promoter of the Northwest String Summit, advises festival-goers to forget the technological grid and dig the acoustic vibes.

“When you descend down into Horning’s Hideout, you kind of have to surrender to the flow,” he says, noting most attendees lose cell phone service in the forested private park, located northwest of Portland at 21277 N.W. Brunswick Canyon Road, North Plains. “You can’t just show up there for a few hours and leave.”

Indeed, as anyone who has attended the bluegrass-centric, but musically varied festival knows, the String Summit turns the bucolic setting into a magical land where young hipsters, old hippies and hundreds of children dance, chat and party the whole time as peacocks roam the grounds.

The mostly acoustic acts draw on such styles as gospel, soul, rock, blues, old-timey jazz and other styles to flavor their bluegrass servings. Between attendees, staff and volunteers, McDonald says the summit is expected to draw as many as 7,000 folks from Thursday through Sunday, July 14-17.

This year’s 15th anniversary event features a number of the festival’s previous headliners, including Yonder Mountain String Band, the event’s official host band, as well as Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, the Infamous Stringdusters with Nicki Bluhm, and Railroad Earth.

Tickets are still available, and you can learn more at www.stringsummit.com.

COURTESY: HEATHER HAMBOR - The Jon Stickley Trio is one of many notable acts at the Northwest String Summit, the annual event at Horning's Hideout in North Plains, July 14-17.Such Portland-based acts as MarchFourth!, Fruition, Bigfoot Mojo, Robin Jackson and the Shook Twins will play the festival, along with Grammy-nominated Della Mae, Colorado’s Gipsy Moon, The Brothers Comatose, Larry Keel and the Jon Stickley Trio, as well as Annalisa Tornfelt & The Tornfelt Sisters.

McDonald said this year’s festival has a number of new or expanded features, including the following:

• An expanded kids and family area, covering 2,500 square feet, with activities that include face painting, costumes, arts and crafts, games and numerous other attractions. “This is literally a festival within the festival,” McDonald says.

• Portland’s Joy Now Arts Project’s Youth Brigade will perform and parade Saturday, July 16, first in the kids area at 1 p.m., then with MarchFourth! at 2 p.m. The young marchers and the band will then parade back to the kids area at 3 p.m.

• Zane Kesey, son of the late author and Merry Prankster Ken Kesey, will bring the Furthur Bus to the festival once again, and the roof of the psychedelic vehicle doubles as a stage. Kesey also will lead a performance narration along with the Pranksters of his father’s children’s book “Little Tricker the Squirrel meets Big Double the Bear.”

• Yonder Mountain String Band will perform the 1977 Pink Floyd album “Animals” in its entirety, from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Saturday on the Main Stage.

In addition to the Main Stage, the Furthur Bus, the Cascadia Stage and the Kinfolk Revival Tent, the festival will feature a new stage this year called the Troubadour. Among the performances taking place there are ones by groups in the Summit’s band competition, which this year includes The Hollerbodies from Portland.

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