The season of ubiquitous street festivals is underway in downtown Bend, and one of the biggest — the 28th Bend Summer Festival — returns Friday through Sunday with a whopping 29 music acts in all genres spread across three stages. Decisions, decisions. If you need some help, read on for a few highlights, or check out the full schedule on page 31.
• Funk-soul-electronic-jam band Elektrapod returns from its hiatus for a one-off performance Friday on the Main Stage. The band has been on a break since April while frontwoman Ze Rox (who recently dropped a solo album, “Termini”) attends a nine-month program at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Tempe, Arizona. The set will be one of only a few shows the band has slated this year, so don’t sleep on it.
• Sunday’s Main Stage lineup is billed as “Soul Sunday,” featuring sets from Portland guitarist Jimmy Russell’s Party City 2034 Gospel Soul Stew and Central Oregon blues mainstay Thomas T and The Blue Chips. That leaves stage headliner Corner Gospel Explosion as the odd indie rock band out, despite the name (not that brothers Bradley and Tyler Parsons can’t get a little soulful, too). All in all, a stage worthy of your attention.
• It’s been a long time since Bend has heard from folk-rock quartet Wilderness, but fans can catch the band’s frontman and main songwriter Jared Nelson Smith on the Locals Only Stage on Sunday. Smith has collaborated frequently with Micah Peterson, aka country-folk songwriter Second Son, over the last few years, but this is a chance to see what he’s been up to on his own.