8 Track Relay & Music Festival at Portland International Raceway in Portland, OR ( July 20-21, 2013)
Portland has built up a healthy reputation for the abnormal. Adding to the Stumptown’s long list of peculiarities is a 24 hours of continuous running and live music happening known as 8 Track Relay. The inaugural event took place at Portland International Raceway, providing space ample enough to accommodate camping, water park, roller derby track, kickball field, yoga lawn, complete with giant bonfire and Fourth of July-worthy fireworks. With the aid of folks at Mississippi Studios, the festival’s musical lineup included some of Portland’s most celebrated bands, such as Menomena, Blitzen Trapper, and Quasi. Former mayor Sam Adams was originally on the bill but for an unknown reason, his presence was sorely missed. The committed relay teams were awarded 8 track cassettes along with shiny golden cups.
An ambitious endeavor offering a plethora of activities, 8 Track Relay has a potential to become a Portland tradition. The attendance was modest – probably owing much to timing – competing with popular events such as PDX Pop Now! and Portland International Beerfest. I could not endure the whole 24 hours and took a snooze at the comfort of my home. But I would definitely strive to experience every hours of the day if 8 Track Relay returns for its second year, and invite visitors to experience many facets of Portland in one convenient location.