The new trend in live music is the summer festival. Forged in the success of Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Outside Lands SF, it seems that every major city around the country is moving to throw a bunch of bands together to play 45-minute sets while men walk around sunburned and shirtless, and women in sundresses eat vaguely-sexually-suggestive frozen treats. While the summer festival is here to stay, Project Pabst — a three-day festival on the last weekend of September (26th-28th), held in Portland Oregon — is doing something different. No, seriously. This music festival is a big deal. First off, late September in Portland isn’t really prime summer festival weather: instead of skin and popsicles, expect rain, mud, and the smell of wet wool. Kidding aside, there’s something about Project Pabst. In the early years of this millennium, Pabst saw an amazing resurgence in popularity. Some might see it as just a brand that took advantage of the Global Financial Crisis, when the masses still wanted a decent beer after their long day of not having a job, and just kept drinking it out of habit. But Pabst is more than that. Against all odds Pabst has maintained its popularity in the City of Portland, which is a community that takes pride in its unique stance towards fermented grain mixed with water and hops (that’s what beer is made out of). There are 76 breweries in the Portland Metro Area and yet most of its inhabitants will still always have a couple of PBR cans in the back of their fridges. Why? That brings us back to Project Pabst. Pabst has a taken on a new marketing approach: it sponsors live music and events rather than paying for large media blitzes. You don’t see Pabst running ads in between episodes of The Big Bang Theory and there’s certainly no PBR Fiesta Bowl. But you do see the brand’s logo in the corners of posters of local acts around the country. This beer company that technically doesn’t own a brewery (Miller makes it and bottles it with their labeling) is putting on an amazing festival in the City That Loves Designer Beer. And they’re doing it for cheap. Really cheap: tickets are $65. ($65? Are you kidding me?! Why haven’t you got a ticket yet. Here’s the link again: go and get a ticket. I’ll wait.) Pabst isn’t doing this because they have to ensure their market share or gain a larger piece of the pie. They’re doing it because they want to. They believe that their money is better spent on bringing GZA to Portland to perform his sophomore Liquid Swords from start to finish. They believe that people will respect their brand more if they get to rock out to Shabazz Palaces. You know why Modest Mouse, Violent Femmes, Tears For Fears and The Thermals are playing in Portland in September? Because Pabst asked them to. Pabst, and Portlanders, (and URB readers) like good music, and they like it when their money goes to the right place. Project Pabst sets a precedent for the future. See you in the pit.