There’s a song by local faves, The Helio Sequence, “Everyone Knows Everyone,” which riffs on the commonly-heard refrain about Portland’s size and the insularity of its locals. While it’s hard to cover any ground in Portland without seeing people you recognize, its also easy to get lonely sometimes when your closest friends are out of town and can’t make it out to events with you, leaving you feeling like everyone else knows everyone else. Just attending the last few nights of TBA, however, has reminded me about the best aspects of Portland’s tight-knit, some people might say incestual social circles.
Though this is only the second TBA I’ve been able to attend (and last year I only had one glorious, frenetic weekend) everywhere I go I keep bumping into friends from last year, from past jobs, from other PICA events, and from the broader art world. Whether it meant seeing a former volunteer buddy at TBA central or I running into a woman who I sat across from last year at the Ripe dinner, who’d never been to a PICA event and got so excited about it all that she bought a full pass for this year, I keep leaving events glad that I came alone and free to reconnect with other festival-goers. And each night, I end up with a few more good conversations had and a few more festival plans to meet up with old friends at the next show.
posted by patrick leonard