PDX Pop Now, how can I express my affinity for you? You are the “Cheers” of music festivals, a bristling hub of all of the people I love, doing the cool shit they love to do.

While I hesitate to call it such, PDX Pop is a music festival merely for categorization purposes. Yet mostly absent are those darkened corners of humanity that plague the festival atmosphere: the deadened gaze of folks who took too many substances or the neon-emblazoned music tourists who plan their outfits for maximum Cross-Platform- Social-Media Exposure. Instead, the landscape is dotted with a genuine interest in local creativity, a feeling that sticks with you even as you are narrowly clipped by a hulking BikeTown rider just beyond the festival limits.

This year’s lineup provided a myriad of memorable moments. There was the visceral bombast of two-piece A Volcano that was felt despite their rejection of a stage. I’m pretty sure Sleeping Beauties made PDX Pop history as the first band to combine drunken, despicable rape imagery with a legitimate threat of injury by hurling two yukon gold potatoes full force into the crowd. Mic Capes, the young one Maze Koroma, and the weird sage Old Grape God wonderfully showcased the admittedly small but incredibly talented local hip-hop scene. And of course Wooden Indian Burial Ground melted faces, coaxing the crowd to scream “(You Gotta) Fight For Right (To Party).”

Stay golden, PDX Pop Now, and never die. Below, click through photos from last weekend’s festival by Aaron Sharpsteen, Tyler Bertram and Michael McInerney.

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