All Classical Radio James Depreist

Walnut City Music Festival puts musical spotlight on McMinnville

Organizers say this weekend’s show aims not only to feature local and regional bands, but also to draw national bands to the city’s growing music scene.

|

Last year, Travis Bonilla performed on the Home Grown Stage at the Walnut City Music Festival. He moves to the Main Stage this year, with his band Pale Imitations playing Sunday. Photo by: Chelsey Nichol, courtesy: Walnut City Music Festival
Last year, Travis Bonilla performed on the Home Grown Stage at the Walnut City Music Festival. He moves to the Main Stage this year, when his band Pale Imitations plays Sunday. Photo by: Chelsey Nichol, courtesy: Walnut City Music Festival

The summer months are coming to an exciting close, as the Walnut City Music Festival returns Labor Day weekend to McMinnville.

Celebrating its ninth year in production, after taking two gap years in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, the two-day festival promises a weekend focused on the community, and most importantly, good music. 

“We eventually want this to become a destination event that’s drawing people from all around the region,” said Ossie Bladine, festival founder. “We hope to be able to grow it in the future to get people coming from out of the area and staying the weekend here and enjoying the good music.”

This year, the festival returns to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum campus, after having previously been in the McMinnville Granary District and City Park. The organizers recommend bringing appropriate gear for the outdoor location, such as closed-toe shoes, and blankets or lawn chairs to sit on. 

“The goal when we’re trying to put together the lineup is to feature some local bands and some regional bands,” Bladine said. “But also to bring bands from around the country to play in McMinnville, because bands don’t stop here on tour ever. They do their Northwest swing – Seattle and Portland – and they’re out. One of the goals of the festival is to put a spotlight on McMinnville as a potential growing music scene.”

The festival features two performing stages: the Main Stage and the Home Grown Stage. While the main stage includes larger bands that have toured the country and  beyond, the home-grown stage focuses on the smaller talents from around the McMinnville area. 

“I think anytime you can have an event that’s focused on the local community, that’s a special opportunity,” said Ryan Hales, drummer in the four-member Ships to Roam, a band based in McMinnville. “Oftentimes you’ll have vendors and breweries that will participate, so it feels like you’re going to a house party, in a sense. You see all your friends, and people you maybe haven’t seen in a while, bands you haven’t seen in a while. It’s a nice eclectic mix of some of the home-grown sound you expect to hear in the region with some genres and sounds people aren’t used to hearing.”

Sponsor

Oregon Cultural Trust

Thrown-Out Bones -- (from left) Nick Chang, Liliana Urbain, and Sam Miller -- will play Sunday at the Walnut City Music Festival.
Rockers Thrown-Out Bones — (from left) Nick Chang, Liliana Urbain, and Sam Miller — will play Sunday at the Walnut City Music Festival.

Accommodations have been made for those wishing to camp at the festival, with options for both tent camping and RVs. The festival will host food and drink vendors from across McMinnville. Pets are not allowed, but children under the age of 12 get in free. 

Tickets are available through the festival’s website, with options for buying one day, both days, with a student discount, or for those camping. 

The festival kicks off at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, with The Manitoba Road Crew, a festival act since 2016 that has become the traditional openers. Saturday continues with Tito Padrino, Vancouver-based Lincoln’s Beard, Ships to Roam, Falcon Heart, The Hail Maries, Sego, closing with Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown from Nashville. 

Sunday opens at 12:45 p.m. with Bootleg Jam, a bluegrass band based in Oregon’s wine country. They are followed by Pale Imitations, The Resolectrics, Thrown-Out Bones, Glitterfox, Left Lane Cruiser, and the festival closes with the Jeshua Marshall Trio. 

“We were reaching out to a ton of different festivals, and then Walnut City got on my radar,” said Liliana Urbain, drummer and lead vocalist of San Francisco-based Thrown-Out Bones. “Ossie actually responded, which is very rare from festivals, and wanted to talk on the phone, which is also very rare. I got on the phone with him and he was just as excited as I was.” 

Be part of our
growing success

Join our Stronger Together Campaign and help ensure a thriving creative community. Your support powers our mission to enhance accessibility, expand content, and unify arts groups across the region.

Together we can make a difference. Give today, knowing a donation that supports our work also benefits countless other organizations. When we are stronger, our entire cultural community is stronger.

Donate Today

Photo Joe Cantrell

Gabe Braukman

Gabe Braukman is a fourth-year new media, journalism, and film student at Oregon State University. With a particular passion for game design, Gabe has always had an interest in analyzing all the media he has come across. In his free time, Gabe is often hiking, creating videos, or catching up on sleep.

SHARE:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

CMNW Summer Festival SB FIXED #1, TP, Top
Salem World Beat SB FIXED #2
Astoria Open Studios Tour
Lake Oswego Festival of Arts
NW Dance Project
OCCA Monthly
Maryhill Museum of Art
PAM 12 Month
PSU College of the Arts
Oregon Cultural Trust
Oregon ArtsWatch holder
We do this work for you.

Give to our GROW FUND.