Limited Edition Event Posters Celebrate 36 Years Of Portland Blues

The Waterfront Blues Festival is a cherished Portland tradition that has become one of the world’s premier celebrations of blues, soul, funk, and R&B. Through its 35+ year history, the festival has garnered international attention—drawing tens of thousands of attendees each year—and raised over ten million dollars for community organizations

Premier Press has proudly supported the festival since the early 2000s with high-quality prints that capture the event’s raw excitement and admiration for blues culture, including posters, coloring books, and postcards. In 2023, we were honored to partner with Gary Houston, a talented local artist and friend of Premier, to create limited-edition festival posters that join a long line of treasured keepsakes (check out his poster designs from 2013 and earlier.).

Preserving The Blues Spirit with Limited Edition Attendee Posters

2033 Waterfront Blues Festival poster
2023 Waterfront Blues Festival Poster

Blues music has served as a means of resilience and empowerment for generations and it continues to captivate audiences with its timeless appeal. Gary’s scratchboard illustrations honor the rich cultural and historical significance of blues while reflecting the experiences of African Americans and their journey through adversity.

years of blues festival posters
Collection of Festival Posters
Artist Gary Houston

Premier’s dedication to quality and precision in printing makes us the perfect partner to bring Gary’s work to life each year and preserve its intricate detail—providing festivalgoers with a unique souvenir that keeps their event memories alive forever. 

A History of Uplifting Portland

Since its founding in 1988, the Waterfront Blues Festival has rallied our community to raise money for local organizations and help the fight to end hunger. The Oregon Food Bank owned and operated the festival through 2018, and the organization received a portion of the proceeds as a beneficiary.

Entry to the festival was a can of food until 2016. In its first year the festival collected more than 650 pounds of canned food. Over the years it has collected more than 800 tons. 

The festival is hosted on the banks of the Willamette River—near the Pearl District, for those familiar—where Premier was located for over 40 years. In catching up with Gary, we couldn’t help but reflect on the close-knit community’s tradition of helping each other out. Waterfront Blues is just one example of this camaraderie, and we look forward to being part of the tradition for years to come. 

Project ID: 225663

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