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2013 Waterfront Blues Festival a sensational success

July 12, 2013
Robert Plant

Festival fans donate record-breaking $1.3 million to fight hunger

Perfect festival weather, a high-powered lineup, committed sponsors, enthusiastic volunteers and generous blues fans helped make the 2013 Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival a sensational success.

The Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, presented by First Tech Federal Credit Union, raised a record-breaking $1,315,000 through donations at the gate as well as purchases of special passes and DME blues cruise tickets, exceeding the festival’s $1 million goal.

In addition, blues fans contributed 78,198 pounds of food, and the Oregon Potters Association raised close to $16,000 for Oregon Food Bank through sale of pottery at its Empty Bowls booth.

As in past years, entry to the festival for the first three days, July 4, 5 and 6, remained a suggested donation of $10 and two cans of food. But, this year, for the first time, entry to Sensational Sunday, July 7, required a festival pass.

“We thank the community for its steadfast strong support of the festival as it has evolved over 26 years,” said Susannah Morgan, CEO, Oregon Food Bank.

“People have asked me what impressed me about the festival,” said Morgan, who attended the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival for her first time. “I knew the blues fest was a fundraiser, and thus, a gift from the community. What I hadn’t realized was that the blues festival is also a gift from Oregon Food Bank to the community.

“Tens of thousands of our neighbors, from near and far, had a great time. The festival showcased hundreds of musicians. And the festival attracts so many long-term fans and volunteers that it almost feels like a family reunion,” she noted.

The annual Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival is owned and operated by Oregon Food Bank. The festival is OFB’s largest fundraising event. One-hundred percent of entry donations and revenue from passes help Oregon Food Bank fight hunger throughout Oregon and Clark County, Wash.

“The festival is on a scope I’ve never before experienced,” Morgan said. “Very, very few nonprofits would be able to even attempt it. With the help of the entire community, we pulled it together with pizzazz.”

The Waterfront Blues Festival attracted more than 100,000 people from as far away as New Zealand, the Netherlands, Brazil and Japan.

Blues fans thrilled to four days of more than 120 stellar acts, including Robert Plant presents the Sensational Space Shifters, Taj Mahal, Mavis Staples, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, John Hiatt & the Combo, North Mississippi Allstars, Eric Burdon & the Animals, Joe Louis Walker, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Hot 8 Brass Band, Allen Stone, Tad Robinson, Soul Vaccination with special guest Chester Thompson, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, Nikki Hill and more.

More than 2,000 volunteers and generous festival sponsors help make the festival possible.

Photos by festival photographer, Joe Cantrell.

Festival sponsors
The 2013 Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival is presented by First Tech Federal Credit Union.
Major sponsors: FedEx, KIA Motors, iQ Credit Union, Deschutes Brewery, The Oregonian and 101.9 KINK. Supporting sponsors: Health Net, Capital One, Schwindt & Co., NW Natural, The Boeing Co., Portland Community College,, Smart Park, EcoShuttle, Jack Daniel’s, Earth2o, Snapple, Chateau St. Michelle, Frito Lay, Pepsi, Mission Foods, Miller Lite, Dave’s Killer Bread, Dreyer’s, Larabar, Cascadian Farms, KBOO, Oregon Music News, Regal Cinemas, Caring Ambassadors, Prime Pay, Sunbelt Rentals, Clay Street Table, Music Millennium, Cascade Blues Association, Winthrop Music Association, Cascade Zydeco, Delta Music Experience, RiverPlace Hotel, Hotel Fifty, Marriott Hotel, Portland North Harbor Collection by Marriott, University Place Hotel, Oregon State Fair, Made in Oregon, Karolyn H. March attorney, Mobile Magic, Verizon, Curtis Trailers, Soul Sisters Productions, and Creative Safety Supply.

About Oregon Food Bank
Oregon Food Bank believes no one should be hungry. With sufficient public will and support of the entire community, we believe it is possible to eliminate hunger and its root causes.
Since 1982, Oregon Food Bank has been leading the fight against hunger in Oregon and Clark County, Wash., by collecting and distributing food through a network of four OFB branches and 16 independent regional food banks.

The OFB Network helps nearly one in five households fend off hunger. OFB also leads statewide efforts to increase resources for hungry families and to eliminate the root causes of hunger through advocacy, nutrition education, garden education and helping communities strengthen local food systems.

2013 Waterfront Blues Festival 2013 Waterfront Blues Festival 

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