Esplanade closure begins February 1st

The ‘Bike Peace Music Festival’ is coming to Cascade Locks

Posted by on July 2nd, 2015 at 2:24 pm

What could be better than a weekend “celebrating peace and good health” while riding bikes, camping, and listening to live music in a festival atmosphere in the Columbia River Gorge? And to top it all off, the organizers are encouraging everyone to get their by bike.

The first annual Bike Peace Music Festival is set for July 17th and 18th in Cascade Locks. 200 campsites have been reserved on Thunder Island exclusively for people who bike to the event with their own camping gear.

“This encourages festival attendees to abandon the car and ride to the festival,” says the event’s organizer Marcus Nobel, “Imagine that getting to the festival is part of the festival.”

Nobel is the son of Claes Nobel and a descendent of Alfred Nobel of Nobel Peace Prize fame. He’s president of United Earth, a non-profit partner of the United Nations Environmental Program that “recognizes and promotes environmental leadership and humanitarian excellence worldwide.” United Earth’s main program (and the beneficiary of proceeds from the Bike Peace Music Fest) is the Nobel Peace Curriculum, a set of teachings Nobel and his colleagues are looking to see taught in middle schools, high schools, and colleges.


In addition to promoting the values of his non-profit, Nobel is riding the Gorge’s bicycle tourism boom. “There’s a $21 million dollar pipeline of bicycle recreation that runs through the Gorge. This will double in a few years when the last remaining 10 miles [of the Historic Columbia River Highway] into Hood River are completed.”

Marcus Nobel

As the Bike Peace Music Fest blossoms (plans for next year are already in the works), Nobel sees it as a way to export the Portland region’s bike culture to a larger audience — and do something even more profound: Show people that it’s possible to promote peace through bicycle culture and human-powered transportation.

“These days peace has a lot of Baggage. Ideology, religion, and politics can be polarizing even on an issue as unifying as peace,” says Nobel. “Science and technology will not solve the problem of war. Politics by its nature is divisive. But the bike has no ideology. And peace is a very big tent. Everyone is welcome!”

Weekend passes for this event are $75 per person and include two nights of camping and tickets to all the concerts (slated to perform so far are Casey Neill and the Norway Rats, Franco Paletta & The Stingers, Johanna Warren and others). Day passes are also available. Check out for more info.

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  • Pete July 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    What’s the bike parking situation like? Secure? (I’d love to check it out for a day but don’t have with me the bike I’d normally feel comfortable U-locking in public ;). Looks fun, thanks!

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    • Joseph E July 3, 2015 at 12:02 am

      I wouldn’t be too worried. Rural areas of Oregon, like Cascade Locks, are much lower risk for bike theft. If you lock your bike at all it will probably be more securely protected than the majority of bikes at the festival.

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      • Pete July 3, 2015 at 6:00 pm

        Yeah, not gonna risk it. I lived in the gorge for long enough to know the risk is higher than the ‘local vibe’ would have people perceive.

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    • Marcus Nobel July 3, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Pete;
      Thunder Island is a gate secured location and you can leave your bike at your camp site if your camping, or at the bike coral if you are day tripping and just wanted to ride a few miles of the new Gorge Bike Path.

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      • Pete July 6, 2015 at 11:26 am

        Very cool, thanks Marcus! No bike path from my direction (yet!).

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        • Marcus July 7, 2015 at 11:45 am

          Hi Pete! Yes I-84 and the Columbia River mean that there is only an East-West Corridor…and only the Ride in from Troutdale avoids I-84. But I would recommend bringing your bike. The bike path from Cascade Locks into Eagle Creek and Multnomash Falls is awesome…Ancient growth and waterfalls and a few moderate climbs make this a family friendly ride.

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    • Marcus July 7, 2015 at 11:48 am

      There will be a secured bike corral.

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  • Casey July 4, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    So, why does the logo look like someone is biking into a peace festival with a lit piece of dynamite strapped to their body? I mean, I get it, its a guitar, but it seems like whoever designed this was making a pretty hilarious joke about the concept.

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    • Marcus July 7, 2015 at 11:41 am

      I’ve also heard machine gun… I think it’s clearly a guitar at higher resolution, but thumbnails do get a bit fuzzy. If your a graphic designer please send me some alternative logos. Thanks


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  • Nina July 5, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Great idea … combining Music, Biking and Peace. I’ll be there 🙂

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    • Marcus July 7, 2015 at 11:47 am

      I look forward to seeing you there! If you are camping…please remember it’s limited to only 200 people. So the early bird gets the worm.

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