Illustration by Tim Root

HEY CHEAPSKATE! MusicfestNW is for you, too. Every year—alongside all the official concerts and events—there coexists a healthy menu of free shows and parties that require neither wristband nor cash money to attend. Here's the scoop on all of the goings on!


KEXP Free Shows at Doug Fir

Each Musicfest, the folks from KEXP trundle down from Seattle to set up shop in the Doug Fir basement for a series of free, daytime shows. Take a look at the bands they've got scheduled, and if you'll be stuck at work, never fear—all these performances will be broadcast live on 830 E Burnside, free, all ages

10:30 am—Chvrches
12:30 pm—The Baseball Project
2:30 pm—!!!
4:30 pm—Austra

10:30 am—The Shivas
12:30 pm—Washed Out
2:30 pm—Beat Connection
4:30 pm—The Love Language

noon—Titus Andronicus
1:30 pm—The Dodos
3 pm—The Thermals
4:30 pm—Sonny and the Sunsets


Hott Summer Nights

On Thursday afternoon, Marmoset Music is hosting the king of MFNW parties. The lineup of bands is enough to draw, but they'll also have free booze, Bunk sandwiches, and a 3D photo booth. All you need to attend is any MFNW wristband or RSVP on Marmoset's site at You'll need to be 21 to get in, but if you're not, we have it on good authority that you'll be able to see all the action from the parking lot through the chain-link fence. Marmoset, 2105 SE 7th, Thurs Sept 5, 2-9 pm, free, 21+

2-4 pm—Party with Sonny and the Sunsets, Wild Ones, and Jake Bellows of Neva Dinova
4 pm—The Family Crest
4:30 pm—Shy Girls
5 pm—John Vanderslice
5:30 pm—The Love Language
6 pm—Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats
6:30 pm—Radiation City
7 pm—Daniel Blue of Motopony
7:30 pm—Surfer Blood
8:15 pm—Kathy and Hutch DJ set



OPB and Mississippi Studios join up again for their annual MFNW party, with a serious amount of good music, food, and free drinks. Check out who's playing: Radiation City, Magic Mouth, Aan, the Parson Red Heads, and Tiburones, the collaboration of Luz Elena Mendoza from Y La Bamba and Nick Delffs of Death Songs and the Shaky Hands. It's RSVP-only, so email your full name to or RSVP on the event's Facebook page ( Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, Sat Sept 7, noon-5 pm, free, 21+


CD Baby Day Party

The independent music distributor hosts their first-ever MFNW party at Bunk Bar with a lineup of solid local bands. Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water, Sat Sept 7, noon-5 pm, free, 21+

1 pm—Thanks
2 pm—And And And
3 pm—Aan
4 pm—Wild Ones


Poler/Base Camp Block Party

Poler Stuff and Base Camp Brewing are hosting a block party in inner Southeast, with beer specials, a cornhole tourney, and DJs, all to benefit Friends of Outdoor School. 930 SE Oak, Sat Sept 7, noon-5 pm, free, all ages


East End Matinee

Heavy-music fans probably won't get a full dose of what they need from MFNW, so it's good news that East End is hosting a free matinee show guaranteed to make your ears ring. Drunk Dad, Big Black Cloud, Towers, and Rabbits with DJ Party Dogg will all be on hand to make your week a lot louder. East End, 203 SE Grand, Sat Sept 7, 3-7 pm, free, 21+


MFNW Day Party

On Saturday afternoon, Burnside Distribution, Mighty Bison Booking, and Nature/Nurture Artist Management will come together for a free day party at Rontoms, with two stages and lots of good bands. Rontoms, 600 E Burnside, Sat Sept 7, 2-7 pm, free, 21+

2 pm—Hook & Anchor
2:30 pm—1939 Ensemble
3 pm—Star Anna
3:30 pm—Vikesh Kapoor
4 pm— Sara Jackson-Holman
4:30 pm—Shy Girls DJ set
5 pm—Alialujah Choir
5:30 pm—Crushed Out
6 pm—The Parson Red Heads