Veronica Rose

Follow the Mercury music team on Twitter (@PMercMusic) and Instagram (@portlandmercury) for Pickathon coverage and more helpful tips.

Pickathon kicks off tonight at Pendarvis Farm, and the forecast is sweltering—according to my weather app, Happy Valley's predicted to hit 103 degrees at 5pm.

My top priority this year is maintaining an acceptable body temperature (perhaps it's yours as well). Here's what you should know about beating the damn heat: Indoor venues (Galaxy Barn and Lucky Barn) will be air-conditioned. Outdoor venues will be partially shaded, and there'll be multiple misting stations. Commit yourself to nonstop hydration, because water is free—just remember to bring a vessel for it.

For those with Thursday Early Entry tickets, gates open today at noon and close at 8pm (Fri-Sun they'll be open 9am-11pm). If you're camping, I suggest arriving as early as possible to secure a spot in the woods. If you're driving (you'll need a parking pass), it usually takes about a half hour to get to Happy Valley from downtown Portland. You can also bike or take the EcoShuttle from Clackamas Town Center.

Weekend tickets are still available, but if you're unable to make it out to the Farm this year, I highly recommend checking out their live stream, which will start broadcasting sets tomorrow (here's the schedule):

To learn more about the festival, check out our interview with co-founder Zale Schoenborn. For planning your schedule, remember that every act plays at least twice, so it's not the end of the world if you miss something. Also be sure to consult our top Pickathon picks—I'm particularly excited to bask in the presence of Charles Bradley and unleash my strangest dance moves to the music of A-Wa.

And if you need some reading material, the Mercury has lots of articles in our archive—some recent, and some from years back—about bands playing the festival:

Big Thief—"Big Thief’s Masterpiece Finds the Right Alchemy" by Ben Salmon, July 6, 2016

Charles Bradley—"The "Screaming Eagle of Soul" Still Loves You" by Anna McClain, May 18, 2016

Dungen—"Found in Translation with Dungen" by Mark Lore, October 21, 2015

Hiss Golden Messenger—"Child Is Father of the Man" by Santi Elijah Holley, November 5, 2014

Jay Som—"Jay Som's Victory Moon Rising" by Ciara Dolan, July 6, 2016

Lucy Dacus—"Lucy Dacus Tells It Like It Is" by Ryan J. Prado, August 3, 2016

Mic Capes—"St. Johns Storyteller: Mic Capes' Razor Tongue" by Ciara Dolan, February 10, 2016

Pinegrove—"Pinegrove's Rootsy Guitar-Emo" by Ben Salmon, March 23, 2016

Sunflower Bean—"Get Far Out with Sunflower Bean" by William Kennedy, March 30, 2016

Tank and the Bangas—"Tank and the Bangas Radiate the Spirit of New Orleans" by Emilly Prado, May 10, 2017

Ty Segall—“Platform Boots on the Beach” by Dave Segal, July 28, 2011

Ty Segall—“Endless Scummer” by Ethan Jayne, July 1, 2010

Wolf People—"A Series of Tests" by Ned Lannamann, July 29, 2015

Xenia Rubinos—"Xenia Rubinos Was Born to Sing" by Jenni Moore, September 14, 2016

Y La Bamba—"Y La Bamba’s Luz Elena Mendoza Overcomes Darkness Through Art" by Emilly Prado, August 24, 2016