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The new Treeline Stage at Portland's demi-legendary Pickathon music festival.

Portland State’s School of Architecture is at it again; this time, instead of the adorable “parklet” the school created in Southwest Portland, they’re using cardboard tubes. A collaboration between the PSU School of Architecture and Pickathon has led to an innovative addition to the music festival’s “Treeline Stage”: 435 giant (20 inches in diameter, 48-72 inches long!) cardboard tubes, commonly used as cores for wrapping or storing sheet steel, come together to form a massive, 25-foot-tall backdrop to the stage, and artfully grouped clusters of the same tubes form the perimeter of the audience seating area.

The students’ goal was to create a structure made entirely of industrial materials that are simply on loan from their regular use. After the festival, these tubes, and the 1,800 bolts used to connect them will go back to construction sites and be re-used, leaving no trace in a sense more broad than “take out what you brought in.” Travis Bell, Assistant PSU professor, describes the project as a “coordinated backdrop that visually and conceptually anticipates the musical performances that will unfold there.”

The venue can hold up to 1,000 audience members and will be the site of performances by Ex Hex, Grandparents, and Summer Cannibals, to name a few. So if you’re heading out to Pickathon this weekend, be sure to check out PSU’s Treeline Stage. If you're not, listen vicariously through our big full-weekend playlist.

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