When Pickathon was founded nearly two decades ago, it was primarily an Americana and bluegrass music venture. It was also incredibly small — only about 100 people attended the inaugural event. But in the intervening years, the festival has grown exponentially in both size and scope. The event now spans over three days, welcomes thousands of concertgoers, and showcases artists from a multitude of genres.

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Pickathon Woods Stage

Each month, opbmusic and NPR Music will premiere a new video recorded at the Woods Stage at Pickathon.

Even though the festival has changed drastically, at its core (and best) Pickathon is an intimate jam session that blurs the boundaries between artist and audience. This performance from Pickathon 2017 personified that experience and hearkened back to its roots. With just a banjo and bass player, Canadian folk musician Kaia Kater took the Woods Stage and played this beautiful and utterly disarming cover of the Gillian Welch song “Everything Is Free.”

Every month this year, opbmusic and NPR Music will present another song recorded live at the Pickathon Woods Stage. These videos are hand-picked by opbmusic to showcase some of the festival’s most exciting performances. Look for the next premiere in late March.

Pickathon turns 20 years old this year and returns on Aug. 3-5 at Pendarvis Farm just outside Portland, Oregon, with a lineup that features Broken Social Scene, Shakey Graves, Jamila Woods, and Built To Spill.

The Pickathon Woods Series was made possible by support from Klean Kanteen.