It all started with a simple question. Who knew a seemingly innocuous query could lead to all of this? It only took a short conversation and we were well on our way.
“Do you have any interest in putting on a small backyard music festival at my house in Bend?” asked original 4 Peaks partner Eric Walton.
I quickly let my mind wander to the future, said, “yes,” and a small scale music festival was born. However, the vision only stayed small for about a month, until three more music-loving partners jumped on board. Each had dreams – mirroring my own – of creating a larger festival on a local property that would rival any festival venue. Soon, we couldn’t contain ourselves. We knew the 4 Peaks Music Festival was exactly what Bend, Oregon needed for its economy, music scene, arts scene, and families. And, it was what we needed.
Before we knew it, we had 40 acres, fifteen bands, two stages, tents, food vendors, craft vendors, a kids area, hula hoops and a huge parking area with RV’s, tent cities, as well as miles of smiles to go with it all. We named it the 4 Peaks Music Festival after the towering Cascade Mountain views surround the Tumalo property. Summer Solstice weekend seemed appropriate for the get together.
The first couple of years we managed to weather the economic storm that gripped the nation. Festivals began closing throughout the world. All of my original partners left town to pursue other careers. We took one year off to regroup, and I ended up taking over the entire festival. I decided to keep the festival going, albeit on a smaller scale, until the economy picked up again. By 2012, the festival grew back to its mass gathering status. Families and festivarians flocked back from across the region, the Western United States, and even Canada and New York, to attend 4 Peaks. It was in that year that it was truly evident that this town thrives, in part, because of a music festival of this nature.
4 Peaks has been a continually evolving festival and as we grow, we strive to keep the festival experience as intimate and friendly as possibly. Our festival strives to bring great national, regional and local acts to Central Oregon and create a community of artists and attendees that will last throughout the years. We have hosted such bands as Railroad Earth, Jackie Greene, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Robben Ford, The Jeff Austin Band, Poor Man’s Whiskey, Dumpstaphunk, Carolyn Wonderland, Greensky Bluegrass, March Fourth Marching Band, The Mother Hips, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, and Fruition. The list of talented musicians to grace our stage goes on, and will keep growing with each year.
The 4 Peaks Music Festival was born as a musical vision of four friends. We had the desire to bring great music and a festival vibe to Bend, Oregon. It is our small staff and volunteer army that pursue this labor of love. Our festival strives to bring great national, regional and local acts to Central Oregon and create a community of artists and attendees that will last throughout the years. The stage is set for another intimate musical experience for you and your friends. I see you here!