Portland is a series of circles. Circles come in varying sizes and each represent a different scene. We have craft beer and cannabis, DIY makers and sellers, local purveyors of comedy and theater, and, of course, myriad circles of musical offerings.
Individuals bounce around inside circles and communities rally around these circles. But something incredible happens when the edges of these circles start to blur. When set-in-stone barriers become more like a porous atmosphere, that’s when, like drops of water, circles join and we create a larger pool.
In the three years since we started Vortex, we’ve seen hip-hop artists take the stages of traditional bastions of indie rock. We’ve seen new orgs supporting all-ages access to live music rise. We’ve seen numerous content creators—writers, videographers, podcasters, photographers—record labels and show promoters take an inclusive approach, bringing a diversity of genres to the stage and masses. And we want to see more of this come to fruition and continue to grow.
To make the #PDXmusic party the strongest that it can possibly be, we need to see disparate communities come together, rally around new causes, and support them—especially with our dollars. Different circles and scenes must look to socialize more, collaborate more.
In the Vortex circle, we’re always looking to introduce our community to new artists, businesses and movements. It’s encouraging that Portland feels more open and connected than it ever has, but we need to keep pushing the envelope. Support new jazz clubs as traditional outposts fade away. Welcome new folks—transplants and tourists—to the table. Encourage the proliferation of your community but see if you can crossover into the circle that borders yours, musically or otherwise.
Look for opportunities to bring scenes together, and support the acts, events and businesses that you want to see succeed. If we all take an active approach, we can increase the size of individual circles as well as the larger ecosystem.
All you need to do is jump in the pool—the water’s fine.
Chris Young Editor-In-Chief