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Jun-18-2010 22:25printcomments

Vortex 2: Festival of Life, Peace for Prosperity (and Rock Music!)


Vortex rock festival
Summer 2010 is the fortieth anniversary of the Vortex 1 Rock Festival.



There’s something going on… and you may just want to be a part of it. In Oregon, the land of grassroots organizations and hippies old and new, a festival is being organized to rock the world in more ways than one. An idealistic endeavor perhaps, but it has been done before. Once. Your parents may remember, they may have even attended... mine did.

Forty years ago, Oregon was the first (and only) state to boast a “state sanctioned pot party”, called Vortex 1. At the time, in August of 1970, the underlying motive by the supportive state government was to distract young people who had been protesting the Vietnam War so they would not interfere with the American Legion's national conference in downtown Portland.

Those five days at McIver Park attracted up to 100,000 outgoing, free-thinking, music loving, sometimes naked people, and Portland, 30 miles away, encountered no disturbances whatsoever.

Fast forward to today. A group of enthusiastic, determined, peace-loving activists have taken it upon themselves to commemorate Vortex 1's fortieth anniversary by reproducing it—with a few twists.

Should it come to fruition, Vortex 2 will celebrate art, music and diversity with a side benefit of gathering signatures on petitions including the re-legalization of marijuana and other current issues.

Organizers are endeavoring to locate the festival in the same exact place as the first Vortex; festival-goers hope to enjoy their days along the scenic Clackamas River, at McIver State Park.

Vortex 2 will be a great venue for performers. Organizers have secured access to Fleetwood Mac’s old road gear, the stage, PA system, and lights, which is sufficient for up to 30,000.

Warner Bros Records is said to be considering sending a large act, though nothing is confirmed at this time. Some of the bands mentioned are Tom Petty, Neil Young, Green Day and White Stripes but again, no promises have been made.

Bands are all welcome to play, and organizations to present their ideas. Musical guests already on the list intending to play include dozens of individuals and bands from the Northwest and beyond.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

40 years ago, organizers had a limited period of time in which to create Vortex 1. This year, there has been considerably less time for planning. However, today’s technology is helping make up the difference.

The Vortex 2 website has been “Grand Central Station” for coordination of the event. Easy access to information at your fingertips has changed everything about how an event can come together. With 400,000,000 people on Facebook alone, “word of mouth” has a reach far beyond anything ever imagined by our predecessors. The web page forums are where people can discuss all facets of the festival.

Like the first Vortex festival, Vortex 2 is a totally all-volunteer effort with organizers looking to the community for help in what will no doubt be a historic event. Already on board is a professional group that manages security, parking, and operations for many other festivals.

Vortex 2 is expect to be a lesson in sustainability and biodegradable living like the first one, whereas festival-goers will need to understand what that means--bring some supplies!

Organizers have a mission, they call it: “Manifesting Magical Realism”. It starts with attracting a lot of people with like-minded goals and ideals committed to being together, where they will entertain and sustain themselves through individual talent and communally shared resources. They plan to create solutions on a large scale through open dialog that will be useful in evolving the human species in a positive manner, making the most of life itself, promoting thoughtful realizations about what you would like to do while you are alive, what it would take, and the encouragement to do it. All this, while enjoying “the most ridiculous Rock Festival known to mankind”.

Walking in the steps of Vortex 1 is an inspiring journey. 40 years later, the chance to do something similar, to celebrate creation and produce something of substance, something that can remain in our historical memory for years, even decades once more, is an awesome vision.

Unlike the festival of forty years ago, the Oregon state government is not behind the organizing body this time, though Governor Ted Kulongoski has been invited to attend.

“Vortex is not something you merely come to, Vortex is something you are,” said Nathan Fisher, Vortex committee member. “We are inviting each of you from everywhere who are interested in participating in such an effort, to bring the best each of you has to share with your brothers and sisters.”

Vortex 2 is called a festival of life, appealing to those who have had enough of the wars waged in their name across the oceans, enough of the drug war that has claimed 20,000+ since 2006, enough of the oil that poisons the ecosystems we depend on, enough of the imprisonment that fuels this economy, enough of the consumption that destroys our planet, and enough of the intolerance that drives us apart.

Taking A Stand Together For Freedom

Vortex 2 is also a bad-law free zone, of sorts. Petitions will be available to make voices heard, change laws, and enact other goals of like-minded people.

Once cannabis legalization is realized, then another main goal will be the focus and the festival could be a perpetual event- maybe until every band in the world has played once, organizers say, or, perhaps just until the Gulf is cleaned up.

Well then, there’s a lot of music ahead.

The Vortex was very "Oregon", an opportunity to come together in a statement to the world, "this is how to live together". It would be fun to do it again.



For lots more information, go to these websites:
Vortex 2: Peace for Prosperity
VORTEX 1 (Wiki)
Vortex 1 Documentary (OPB)
Oregon Cannabis Tax Act: OCTA 2010
Civil Liberties
Public Safety


Bonnie King has been with since August '04, when she became Publisher. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers. View articles written by Bonnie King

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Rachel June 23, 2010 12:34 pm (Pacific time)

is the parks department allowed to prevent a group from peaceably assembling and signing petitions? Isn't this a free speech issue? Can we get a legal ruling?

vortex fan June 24, 2010 1:11 pm (Pacific time)

Okay, there is nothing going on at McIver this weekend. We're finding somewhere else... nobody worry, everything is fine

Bonnie King, June 24, 2010 11:24 am (Pacific time)

Milo McIver Park is trying to work with the Vortex committee. Please be patient folks, and show your best peace-loving selves. Things really do have to be done the right way-- to be fair to every one. As soon as a DATE and a LOCATION are confirmed, it will be announced. And it will be for sure! Thanks.

Chris June 24, 2010 6:50 am (Pacific time)

This is a very difficult forum to use for answering questions completely. Please email me at if you want to discuss this any further. Anyone is welcome to visit the park. If you hold an event without a permit, expect a visit from a ranger. The person trying to set up Vortex 2 did not submit a complete application for a permit. -- Chris, Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.

Cindy June 23, 2010 11:51 pm (Pacific time)

PROHIBITION does not representmy personal views and I will most likely show up with 50 of my friends who will say the same thing!

Laurel June 23, 2010 9:29 pm (Pacific time)

I thought it was advertised as thousands of people coming to sign a petition and listen to music being played on a stage, AND they actually applied. Why are you not allowing people to play? Why don't you just do the exact same thing as other times? How risky is having people sit in one place and why don't you give these people a free permit too?

Chris June 23, 2010 3:29 pm (Pacific time)

"we have hopefully rescheduled for August 28-September 3" Please note there is no event scheduled for this or any other date at McIver. Perhaps you are referring to some other site? If you mean McIver, here's my recommendation: don't mention advertise a date until you have a permit to use the park for your event. That way people won't get the wrong idea. -- Chris, Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.

vortex fan June 23, 2010 2:35 pm (Pacific time)

we have hopefully rescheduled for August 28-September 3. Sorry for the Inconvenience. In the meantime, please sign the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act petition at and express your support.

Chris June 23, 2010 1:07 pm (Pacific time)

"is the parks department allowed to prevent a group from peaceably assembling and signing petitions?" No, and that's not the issue here. This was billed as thousands of people coming for a weeklong series of concerts and other events. That takes planning to keep people safe. You can't just make it up as you go. The park is a public place. We've had several signature-gathering groups this year use parks. They come to us, and we give them a free permit that helps them understand where they can set up to avoid causing dangerous traffic congestion or damage to natural resources. We can't, and don't, deny them access to a park. We can and do cooperate with these groups. If this had just been a request to set up a table and collect petition signatures, there wouldn't be a problem.

Genkai Yokomura June 23, 2010 12:45 pm (Pacific time)

Its been proven and will continue to be proven that anti marijuana laws have more to do with racist policy than actually putting anyone in harm. study up, please.

Rachel June 23, 2010 12:27 pm (Pacific time)

is the parks department allowed to prevent a group from peaceably assembling and signing petitions? Isn't this a free speech issue? Can we can a legal ruling?

Anonymous June 23, 2010 12:08 pm (Pacific time)

We're still going. Keep your Murdockian disinformation to yourself, Salem.

Chris June 23, 2010 11:26 am (Pacific time)

Visit the park if you like; that's what it's for. While you're visiting, we expect you to follow the rules set up to protect its natural resources and to make sure everyone has an equal chance to enjoy themselves. If you'd like the full set of facts about why the event organizer failed to apply for a permit, call me at 503-986-0722 or send me an email at More than happy to fill you in. Thanks.

jonathan June 23, 2010 10:20 am (Pacific time)


bobby June 23, 2010 6:29 am (Pacific time)

why don't the parks people just give them the permits? this could be sweet! bureaucratic nonsense...

s. beckenheim June 22, 2010 11:42 am (Pacific time)

Has anybody checked with State Parks about this? I think big groups need permits.

Chris June 22, 2010 9:34 am (Pacific time)

Yes, there is no scheduled event, so please don't come to McIver in June expecting one. There are rumors out there that the event runs from June 25-28. This information is false.

Jim June 21, 2010 4:12 pm (Pacific time)

Its important to know that Vortex 2 is NOT a certain event. If you want to make sure that it comes to fruition, talk to your friends, and see if you all can contribute anything you have. This festival would essentially be creating a small city, and there are many precautions that have to be taken. Go to the facebook page and If you can contribute ANYTHING to make this a success, please share! Also, the Governor is going to need to be contacted, so if you have his ear, please bring the case to him that this is a NECESSARY ENDEAVOR!! p.s. Vortex was not created to diffuse a peace movement, it was conceived of as THE peace movement to replace an massive demonstration that threatened real violence. Vortex 2 is similarly conceived of, since the violence associated with prohibition is destroying our world, our families, our populations and our souls every day it continues.

Chris Havel June 21, 2010 1:42 pm (Pacific time)

There is no event of this type scheduled at Milo McIver State Park. Is it possible there has been some error from the source? The campground is full, reserved months in advance, and there is no permit for an event of this type on the books. Thanks. -- Chris, Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept, 503-986-0722

Vic June 19, 2010 3:10 pm (Pacific time)

Right on, gp....that was the downside of the first Vortex. I DID go...I was 14 and there were naked hippie girls there..(the river was full of em !!)..horomones overruled politics in that scenario...;) I have tried to make up for that moral lapse ever since...

Anonymous June 19, 2010 1:51 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you Bonnie for this article.. It frustrates me more than I can say, when proven facts show pharmaceutical drugs kill and harm millions, but marijuana has not shown any deaths or problems. The only thing they can come up with is "it leads to harder drugs".. the lie of the century. Thanks again for the article. I dont partake myself, but I do partake of honesty and truth.

gp June 19, 2010 4:36 am (Pacific time)

Don't forget the original Vortex was created to defuse the peace movement, don't forget that part. I among others made the choice not to go because of this political aspect. The Bullfrog I an II Festivals were not government sponsored like Vortex and much more authentic. The Dead were there.

Wanderingbear June 19, 2010 2:06 am (Pacific time)

I wish I had known about it sooner.I would have liked to have gone. I would also like to know more about it so I can add it to my website. or email

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