I've spent years covering performing arts in Portland, and I try to be cognizant of cost both in terms of how I organize my coverage (there's a reason we cover comedy more frequently than the opera) and whether the shows I do recommend are worth the ticket price. ("What price art" is a conversation for another day.)
It's easy for the press to get excited about Pickathon, because we don't have to pay to go and it's a guaranteed amazing time. But I feel completely comfortable recommending the festival to anyone, even at a relatively steep $260 for a weekend pass. It's a genuinely great festival that's managed to grow and improve without sacrificing the things that make it fun: Comfort, a beautiful setting, great lineups, and a sincere focus on ensuring that the audience has a great time.
And food. Really, really good food. Last year I ate a Bunk sandwich in the beer garden while Neko Case played, and I'm fairly certain I've never been happier in my entire life. This year, Pickathon has provided a complete menu of their remarkable expansive food offerings, because *they think of everything.* The menu alone makes every other festival ever look like absolute garbage. (Even Warped Tour.) The carts and stands who'll be there this year are Pine State Biscuits, Bunk Sandwiches, Boke Bowl, Townshend's Tea Company, Farmers Table, Spunky Monkey Coffee, KOi Fusion, Zuppa Soups, Kure Juice Bar, Bambuza, The Grove, Lauretta Jean's, Al Forno Ferruzza, Viva Vegetarian, Kuza Burger, Fifty Licks, Thai Seasons, and Eatin' Alive.
There's an equally prodigious lineup of beer and booze retailers: Hopworks Urban Brewery, Fort George Brewery, Full Sail Brewing Company, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks, House Spirits Distillery, GoodLife Brewing Company, Three Creeks Brewing Company, Ninkasi Brewing Company, and Crux Fermentation Project. Here's the full drinks menu.