Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer Music Outdoors! Mostly free!

Though many of the words are recycled from past years this the 2015 version about the many, many summer music options we are so, so lucky to have ...

Something I truly love about Portland in the summer is that there's music in the parks, plazas, and other outdoor venues all over town and the surrounding communities. It's about to pick up a full head of steam as we head into July (given the weather this spring, it seems like it should have already started!).

First, here are two excellent resource links that detail more than I have time for. They have schedules and links to the sites of many festivals, concerts, etc., etc ... keep them handy!

Portland Monthly's Guide to 2015 Summer Concerts and Festivals

PDX Pipeline's Ultimate 2015 Portland Summer Events Calendar: Festivals, Concerts, Movies, Street Fairs & More

As I've said before (ad nauseum), when it comes to live music outdoors in summer, we really do have an amazing number of choices, so there's no excuse for not catching some great music throughout the summer.

I'd like to note some of the free music out and about in the region ... and, as nothing is really free, remember most of it is paid for by the generous sponsorship of local businesses (who you should thank and support), and in many cases your generous contributions at the shows.

Portland Parks and Recreation's Summer Free for All: Concerts in the Parks:  Over a dozen city parks, including Washington Park, will have evening concerts throughout the summer. These concerts kickoff on Monday, July 6 at Sellwood Riverfront Park with Chervona (and Ural Thomas & The Pain the following Monday!). I've had a ton of fun being one of the organizers of this particular park series. These are community events that are a blast. So, find your local park (or venture further!), grab a picnic dinner (or patronize the food vendor/sponsors), bring a blanket or chairs, and enjoy. Nothing better on a summer's eve! Also note that there is music before each of the scheduled Movies in the Park - another 50 nights to catch music (and a film) for free in a Portland park this summer.

For all of you who are downtown in Portland for your work week (or if you just like slacking downtown), there a some fine musical opportunities ...

Music on Main is a great Wednesday series that begins July 8 on Main Street between the Schnitz and the Performing Arts Center. As usual, it has a fine lineups of bands this summer.

Pioneer Square has another year of Noon Tunes - every Tuesday and Thursday at noon.

In its 5th year is the Sundown@Ecotrust Concerts (721 NW 9th) - on the Pearl's First Thursdays in July, August, and September at 5:30 pm.

On the eastside for a 4th year is Plaza Palooza in the Oregon Convention Center Plaza on Thursday evenings at 5:30 pm, July 23 to August 13.

Then there are street fairs - for instance, Mississippi Street Fair (Saturday, July 11), the Alberta Street Fair (Saturday, August 8), and the Hawthorne Street Fair (Sunday, Aug 16) ...

There's the annual Cathedral Park Jazz Festival - three days of great music ... free in St John's - July 17-19.

But Portland isn't the only city in the area that has an abundance of free music ... check out these summer concert schedules:

Milwaukie has noon concerts on Wednesdays in Scott Park, across from the Ledding Library.

Lake Oswego hosts sixteen concerts spread among Millennium Plaza Park, Foothills Park, and Westlake Park through the summer - Wednesday nights and Sunday nights.

Marylhurst University in West Linn has it's free Summer on the Green series of music and theater performances through July and August.

West Linn also has a Thursday night series at Tanner Creek Park beginning on July 23.

Hillsboro has music every Tuesday night at the Hillsboro Marketplace starting at 5:30 pm.

Tualatin spreads music around a number of parks on Thursdays.

Vancouver has a Thursday evening and a Wednesday noon series downtown in Esther Short Park.

There are also a ton of ticketed outdoor music shows that bring top acts to the region all summer. A few of the highlights for me are:

Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn -  already underway and with a solid lineup that includes Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss, Death Cab For Cutie and Built To Spill, Lyle Lovett, The Decemberists and Calexico, ... and a lot more.
Oregon Zoo Concerts - my don't-miss shows are on July 25 with Mavis Staples, Patty Griffin, and Amy Helm ... and July 31 - Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell.

And you can always take a trip to Kruger's Farm on Sauvie Island for the Thursday night concerts ... and they charge by the carload, so pile in and head to Sauvie ...

Summer festivals:
The Quiet Music Festival of Portland
Waterfront Blues Festival
Northwest String Summit
Project Pabst
Wildwood Music Festival
Sisters Folk Festival

I'll bet someone could go to live music outdoors every day between July 1 and Labor Day! No, it isn't going to be me ... but I'll do my share ... and I'm sure you'll do yours!

See ya out and about .... and, have a great summer!

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