Pickathon announces new additions to an already stacked lineup, bringing a true American musical legend, Phil Lesh, into the fold. A founding member of the Grateful Dead, Lesh not only influenced multiple generations of artists, but created and defined a new American songbook, at once inspired by the roots of the music that came before and open to psychedelic new horizons. Lesh will be performing two days at Pickathon as Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band. Also announced is a very special set from The Richard Swift Hex Band, featuring an all-star list of collaborators backed by a dream band led by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado, Dr. Dog’s Eric Slick, and members of Pure Bathing Culture, in addition to many special guests.
Aside from this year’s headliners, like Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Khruangbin, Mandolin Orange, and Tyler Childers, Pickathon operates also as a discovery engine. Festival director Zale Schoenborn and Pickathon co-producer Terry Groves know full well that many of the bands booked at the festival have only a small draw in the surrounding area of Portland, Oregon, but Pickathon’s predicated on the need for new inspiration, new sounds, and new ideas in music and culture. Each year, Pickathon reaches out to a wide collection of tastemakers in many genres, asking each to recommend the bands that they feel are the most innovative and most contemporary. This philosophy of booking has proven itself time and again, first with bringing on artists early in their career right before they break (like Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, Shakey Graves, Lake Street Dive, The Avett Brothers, The War & Treaty, Kevin Morby, Future Islands, Leon Bridges, Daniel Norgren, DakhaBrakha, Billy Strings, and Courtney Barnett), and then with the inspiration shared between like-minded artists across genres. It’s commonplace to see artists wandering backstage between sets, soaking up new ideas from new bands that they’re also discovering, and pushing their booking agents to come back to Pickathon as much as possible, looking for this inspiration