DON’T SMOKE THE MESSENGER: The Oregon Smoke Fest is a Marijuana Celebration––Without the Paranoia
Measure 91 legalized recreational marijuana in Oregon effective July 1, 2015, but that doesn’t mean the marijuana festival was born on the first of July; it just means they might be a little different now. In the wake of the law change, the Oregon Smoke Fest, a musical celebration of all things weed, will be going down Saturday, August 22nd in Medford––and this festival aims to bring attitudes about marijuana use to another level.
“When Measure 91 passed we knew that was kind of like a sign that things were headed in a different trend in the Northwest,” says Paul Stillats, marketing director for Oregon Smoke Fest.
Stillats says festival organizers aim to strike a different tone with this celebratory festival––a tone of openness to all marijuana users and advocates. “What we’re doing is not a new thing around here when it comes to the state of Oregon,” says Stillats. “What we’re trying to do with the Oregon Smoke Fest, now that we have a law change, is make it more inclusive for everybody––an ‘all walks of life’ type of event.”
That’s why festival organizers have pushed for a variety of musical acts to hit the stage. “We’re bringing rock, we’re bringing in hip hop, we’re bringing in R&B––also reggae; we’re not gonna leave those guys out either,” says Stillats, “Just making it something for everybody to come out and enjoy.”
The lineup includes hip hop acts like Grinchmobb (Portland), Them Bama Boys (Medford) and headliner Kurupt from Tha Dogg Pound (Philadelphia); rockers Frankie Hernandez (Ashland) and 100 Watt Mind (Ashland); DJs B-Digital and Mike Snow (Afro Man’s DJ); and many more (full artist list on the Oregon Smoke Festival Facebook page).
Festival goers can also check out the Smoker’s Cup, a local version of the High Times Cannabis Cup, and take in talks by marijuana advocates. “I like to call them motivational speakers,” says Stillats, “We have some medical marijuana patients that are going to come up and tell their story.”
No marijuana will be sold at the festival, but vendors of glassworks and other non-marijuana products––both medical and recreational––will be stationed in the beer garden accessible to those 21 and over.
“It’s kind of all mingled in together,” says Stillats, “We’re not trying to separate the two camps [recreational and medical marijuana product vendors], because I believe right now, with the way things are, the two camps are fighting for the same thing. Both are fighting for access.”
Outside of the beer garden area, the event is all ages.
The Oregon Smoke Fest 2015
12 p.m. – 10 p.m., Sat., August 22
Mr. Thom’s Resort Salon, 59 S. Stage Rd, Medford
$20 in advance, $30 at the door, $50 VIP