Pay It Forward

Vortex Music Magazine

We started this magazine because we were inspired by our creative community, and in turn, we have reflexively inspired. Join us on October 24 for free beer and snacks at the Cravedog happy hour followed by dancing at the Goodfoot with Samuel Eisen-Meyers & The Joyful Noise. Then connect with your #PDXmusic community at MusicPortland's First Monday meetups or Gear Fest at Polaris Hall on November 10.

A scene from Vortex I at McIver State Park in August 1970: Photo by Glenn Davis—click to see more and read the history of the festA scene from Vortex I at McIver State Park in August 1970: Photo by Glenn Davis—click to see more and read the history of the festThe origins of this magazine were seeded by Portland’s rich musical history.

From the ’70s, we get our name. Vortex I: A Biodegradable Festival of Life was the only state-sponsored rock fest in American history. With the Vietnam War raging across the sea and President Richard Nixon scheduled to appear in town, Vortex I was a clever tactic implemented by then Governor Tom McCall and some hippies to keep the peace. It sought to avoid violent clashes between right-wingers and anti-war protestors, channeling that energy into a positive, creative place.

From the ’80s and the ’90s, we get our blueprint. Local rags Two Louies and The Rocket worked tirelessly to establish a tradition of local music journalism that built community and supported the region’s artistic ecosystem.

We started this magazine because we were inspired by our creative community—and the belief that there’s so much incredible talent here that simply deserves a wider audience—and in turn, we have reflexively inspired.

Back in 2016 alongside promoter J-Fell Presents, Vortex began hosting quarterly educational panels on booking, licensing, touring, social media and much more. This informational forum—good for learning new skills, discovering resources and networking with the Portland music community—has now effectively become an integral part of MusicPortland’s monthly First Monday meetups, an impressive gathering of local musical minds and industry pros plus speakers sharing their insight and expertise.

Find out more about the incredible local instrument and gear builders who will be at MusicPortland Gear Fest at Polaris Hall on Sunday, November 10: Photo by Sam GehrkeFind out more about the incredible local instrument and gear builders who will be at MusicPortland Gear Fest at Polaris Hall on Sunday, November 10: Photo by Sam GehrkeA year ago, we sought out all the Portland-made instruments and gear we could find for our Maker Issue, highlighting the innovative, world-renowned manufacturers who are developing and building elite musical products in our own backyard. A photo shoot was clearly not an adequate experience for all of our area’s players because this fall we’re proud to present the inaugural MusicPortland GearFest—the physical embodiment of the stories you saw on these pages. But better because this time it’s hands-on.

And this summer, it’ll all come full circle. Fifty years after those 100,000 hippies descended upon Estacada’s Milo McIver State Park, a group of influential organizers are set to stage Vortex2020 in August on the very same grounds as the original festival—but with a fresh statement of our community’s values: unity, kindness, historic awareness and stewardship of our precious public lands.

CLICK HERE to join the Vortex Access Party—you'll get a copy of the mag delivered to your door each quarter! Cover illustration by Dylan Marcus McConnell of Tiny Little HammersCLICK HERE to join the Vortex Access Party—you'll get a copy of the mag delivered to your door each quarter! Cover illustration by Dylan Marcus McConnell of Tiny Little HammersThis is what inspires us. We hope it inspires you too.

And if it does, now is the time to turn that inspiration into action so the fertile grounds we cherish now can continue for decades to come. Pay it forward and participate. Your actions today may just be inspiration for future generations.

Chris Young Editor-In-Chief

Come hang with us as we celebrate the release of our new issue Exploring the Experimental in Portland Music on Thursday, October 24! We'll start at the Cravedog happy hour from 4 to 7pm and then head over to the Goodfoot for Samuel Eisen-Meyers & The Joyful Noise's live album release party.

Plus, don't miss the next First Monday meetup at the White Eagle on Monday, November 4 or MusicPortland Gear Fest at Polaris Hall on Sunday, November 10. And mark your cal for August 22 and 23 because Vortex2020 is coming!

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