The Development Director of Portland Visitor’s Map, Brit Forbes, had the privilege of being one of the official photographers for the 31st annual Waterfront Blues Festival for his fourth year in a row. This great event rocks Portland every year around the 4th of July, all for a great cause!

The festival began in 1987 as the Rose City Blues Festival – a concert to support our local homeless population, sponsored by the Cascade Blues Association. Performers included John Lee Hooker, the Paul deLay Band, Curtis Salgado, Norman Sylvester Blues Band, and Lloyd Jones Struggle.

The countdown to the annual Blues Festival began in 1988 when Oregon Food Share, predecessor to Oregon Food Bank, became producer and beneficiary. That year, the festival raised $7,500 and 650 pounds of food.

In 1991, the festival was renamed the Waterfront Blues Festival.

During the past 30 years, the festival has steadily grown and is now recognized as one of the world’s premier blues festivals. Since 1988, the festival has raised more than $10 million and over 1,000 tons of food to benefit the Oregon Food Bank.

Here are some of the great images that Brit was able to capture during the festival. This includes some local artists such as LaRhonda Steele & the Steele Family Band, Curtis Salgado and Dirty Revival. Feel the music at