Portland Queer Music Fest

Ambitious but likeable and down to earth, Samuel Thomas embodies the Portland music geek perfectly. And he has been in a couple noise bands. But Thomas is more of a behind the scenes guy, spearheading the Portland Free Music Project, which aims to wikify the entirety of Portland’s musical history, and Genderf***ing Takeover, a party that embraces a wide array of drag and gender variance within clubs, bars and scenes that could use more queer exposure. But what is taking center stage in his life right now is the Portland Queer Music Fest.

Now in its second year, the goal remains to bring LGBTQ music to a wide range of people, although this year will feature two headliners in addition to a slew of smaller acts. Initially Thomas wanted to focus on local acts but last year saw an avalanche of talent apply from around the world so opened up the process. This year it also opened the floodgates, with more than 80 applicants that had to be whittled down to 24.

Over the course of one Sunday, July 22, these two dozen bands will go nonstop from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. in back to back venues, one of which is all ages. You better pack a lunch because as one group tears down at Backspace the other will be ready to go at the Someday and vice versa.


Backspace provided a spot where those under 21 could at least see half of the bands, and both venues had stages and sound systems appropriate to the fest.

Thomas gushed over Magic Mouth. “I got my dream local. I got Magic Mouth so I’m really happy.” Thomas said he wouldn’t turn down Holcombe Waller or The Gossip, though they are more “national” acts.

But Portland is good at combining the big and the small in shows and festivals that feel epic yet intimate. The Portland Queer Music Fest should be no different.

Alley Hector

About Alley Hector

Alley Hector is proud to be a Q, a PDXer and Just Out's Editor-in-Chief.


  1. [...] Portland Queer Music Festival – 24 bands, 2 venues, 1 day, too much awesome to count. About Alley HectorAlley Hector is proud to be a Q, a PDXer and Just Out's Editor-in-Chief.Mail | [...]

  2. [...] Thomas, the man behind SALT Presents and the Portland Queer Music Festival (our July cover), has announced plans to open a new bar that will incorporate live music with a [...]

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