Last year after Horning's Hideout was closed to all but one concert a year, and the NWWR moved to a new setting on a large farm 5 miles from Woodburn, OR. Not too far from Eugene or Portland, the NWWR had all the potential of being a great small festival. Big name acts like Anthony B., KRS-ONE, Barrington Levy, Junior Reid, as well as local favorites Luminous Fog, and Bay area favorites Luna Angel and Wisdom.
A gentle not-too-steep slope made for a user friendly amphitheater (I can't stand steep hills). This was an extremely hot weekend - 100+. Just existing was lots of work - definitely not the time for medicinal brownies. I attended Saturday. Once the sun went down, I watched Luminous Fog play a short set. Then Anthony B. got the place rocking. Mika Holtzinger, performance painter, was on stage creating beautiful artwork to go along with the music. Wisdom had a long set until about 12:30AM. Then, it was time for KRS-ONE. But Johnny the Po-Po showed up in the bubblegum and shut down the music.
And now for the part II:
OK, I've never been to a festival where the main stage had a headliner come on at 1AM. Evidently the sheriff had been there the night before with noise complaints - I can't see why you'd do it. Even the rave kids I know go around to all the neighbors and give everyone 50 or 100 bucks, tell neighbors you will be having a party and making noise and to go have a good night out - it's an old trick but a good one.
Fortunately KRS-ONE agreed to stay till Sunday to play a set rather than being like f-u pay me. Pretty righteous and way above the call of duty.
Speaking of duty (or doody) the port-a-pots were pretty out of hand by Sat - needed service badly - with toilet paper strewn all over in front of them. Also, there was apparently not enough trash pickup as cans and bags were in big piles overflowing. Infrastructure is not a just a picture of a festival - at a camping event this stuff is critical to health and safety.
Also, Oregon Liquor Control is a big drag. I would far rather see a festival not try to sell 14oz cups of beer for 4 bucks and not searching vehicles looking for beer. Putting that much focus on alcohol, particularly at a reggae event seems very out of place and very much not worth the effort. In short, good music and stage - if you don't want to end up as Hornings Part II, you need better planning for noise management, more infrastructure support and no beer tent!