Portland Music Month has come and gone, but there's actually one more music event left on the slate—and it's a real blowout. January's ice storm caused the cancellation of several PMM shows, including the two out of three nights of Portland's Folk Festival at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom. 

In what can only be described as a February Fakeout miracle, the fest's organizers Scott Gilmore and Sarah Vitort have rescheduled almost everyone from the canceled nights for a dual-stage Sunday lineup of folk and Americana music, using both the Crystal Ballroom and its downstairs bar Lola's Room to host more than 15 separate groups.

"There's been a lot of emails, a lot of texts," Gilmore told the Mercury, as he described re-booking the annual event. "I'm impressed by the flexibility and willingness of all parties, especially McMenamins—they've been nothing short of stellar."

The only performer who couldn't join the redo is Justin Farren. But the catchy California-based ALO came back, and most of the bill was built around local acts.

While the overall genre of the fest is Americana, Gilmore says he thinks Pacific Northwest Americana has acquired its own particular tone. "With artists like Shook Twins and Glitterfox, I believe we have a certain type of Pacific Northwest Americana that is really starting to thrive," he said. "We have the storytelling, but there's also a kind of perseverance—of getting through these gloomy seasons. We've got a little bit of the rain in our Americana music."

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Gilmore told the Mercury that the idea for the fest began as a way for he and Vitort—who make up Americana duo Fox and Bones—to see their friends. "We hosted the first year to get 'em all together," he recalled. The first Portland's Folk Festival unfolded as a single magical night in 2018 at McMenamins White Eagle Saloon. The vibe was so nice they planned another one the following year.

Recapturing that feeling was a big reason to try to reschedule this year's festival, as was "keeping musicians paid and playing during these months. January and February can be a tough time for musicians as well," Gilmore explained. 

Folk Fest has turned into an umbrella for many causes—the $2 donation to Music Portland's Echo Fund that comes out of every ticket is just the beginning. The fest is holding a winter apparel drive (gloves and socks preferred) for All Good NW, a homeless services provider that operates a number of the city's Safe Rest Villages. Gilmore said that All Good NW will also receive the festival's proceeds. "I researched different local charities," he explained, "and I think you know that here in Portland we've had a crisis of families and individuals who are dealing with temporary houselessness. Particularly in these cold times, All Good NW has been setting up warming shelters to keep people off the streets in potentially life threatening conditions."

Portland's Folk Festival 2024 gives it another go at the Crystal Ballroom and Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside, $35, tickets here, all ages