Music Festival

Portland Musicians Team Up with Moby and Norah Jones for Bedstock

The online music festival for sick kids returns, and it’s “bigger and bedder” than ever.

By Fiona McCann November 29, 2016

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MyMusicRx music specialist Phil Nelson performing with Anna Lee and her cousins. 

Image: MyMusicRx

What kind of festival brings local musicians—including Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba, Kyle Morton of Typhoon, Kyle Craft, Red Fang, Radiation City, and MarchFourth—together with Moby, Norah Jones, Panic! at the Disco, Tegan and Sara, and Jack Johnson? Bedstock, that’s what, the annual online music festival featuring a host of artists playing songs from their beds for ill kids confined to theirs for the holidays.

This year, Bedstock's third official iteration, more than 50 artists introduce their bed-bound tunes on Giving Tuesday, November 29, to help fund and raise awareness for Portland-based MyMusicRx, which offers myriad music programs and projects to hospitalized kids and teens across the country. 

According to Typhoon’s Kyle Morton, getting involved in Bedstock was an easy decision. "It’s pretty hard not to sympathize with their cause,” he says. Morton had a kidney transplant when he was 16, and remembers how hard it was to deal with medical issues and hospital visits when his friends were busy being regular teenagers—playing baseball and chasing girls as opposed to undergoing dialysis. “It can be really isolating being stuck in a bed when you’re supposed to be out with your friends,” he says. Bedstock is a way of reminding those kids that they’re not forgotten. “Music can be really meaningful especially for someone who is suffering, because I think it can speak to you in a way that normal language can’t,” he says.

Morton recorded his Bedstock video in his own bedroom, on his phone. “I actually used our yucca plant as a tripod and shot it on my phone by myself in the bedroom," he says. "It’s pretty lo-fi.”

He's joined on the Bedstock bill by Luz Elena Mendoza, singer for Portland's Y La Bamba. She, too, was happy to be involved. "We should always celebrate life with the gifts that we have been given and exchange time and space with your neighbor in need," she says. "We are all in it together."

If  music doesn't do it, there's also a writers stage, with locals Patrick Rothfuss, Lydia Yuknavitch, Colin Meloy, and more reading from beloved children's classics from Sendak to Seuss.  

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