Willamette Valley Music Festival

by Nathaniel Williams
The Willamette Valley Music Festival is held in Eugene, Oregon.

The Willamette Valley Music Festival is held in Eugene, Oregon.

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The Willamette Valley Music Festival (musicfest.uoregon.edu) is a free music festival offered each May by the University of Oregon Cultural Forum, a board of students representing the various arts programs at the University of Oregon. The musical lineup is diverse, reflecting the dynamic and broad range of taste among current college students. The festival is part of the weeklong Mallard Madness arts and cultural celebration at the university.


In 2011, the main stage for the Willamette Valley Music festival was the "fishbowl" of the EMU Amphitheater. Additional stages include the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum, the EMU Art Galleries, and a temporary Student Stage next to Willamette Hall. Concurrent to the festival is the ASUO Street Faire on 13th Street.


The musical performers represent the diversity of the student body's tastes. The festival often includes bluegrass, jazz, hip hop, indie rock, blues, folk, rocksteady, electronic, dance, doo-wop, Americana, Latin, and psychadelic. Acts have included DJ A-Trak, experimental rockers Yeasayer, and Altanta rapper Donnis. The main stage tends to include more mainstream pop acts, while the niche genres tend to be relegated to the alternate stages.


The organizer of the festival is the University of Oregon Cultural Forum. The University of Oregon Outdoor Program sponsors the Bike Music Fest stage. The main stage has been sponsored by the Associated Students of University of Oregon and the Jewish Student Union. The second stage has recently been sponsored by local radio station KLCC and the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum. Other sponsors include Ethos magazine, Eugene Weekly, and the Eugene Water and Electric Board.


The festival runs from noon to midnight, typically on a Saturday in May. Admission is free. Despite being an event oriented primarily to students, non-students are encouraged to attend. No drugs, alcohol or pets are allowed. Smoking is permitted away from the entrances of buildings. Street parking and some lots on campus should have available, free parking.

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