Thursday, June 30, 2016

The 2016 summer outdoor music around Portland post!

Reuse, recycle ... as a big believer in both, this is the 2016 version of my annual post about the many, many summer outdoor music options we are 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. Does summer get any better than this?

First, here's an excellent resource link that details more than I have time to list.

PDX Pipeline's Ultimate 2016 Portland Summer Events Calendar: Festivals, Concerts, Movies, Street Fairs and 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 first 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 Tuesday, July 5. I've had a ton of fun being one of the organizers of Sellwood Riverfront Park series. We have a great lineup that includes Edna Vasquez, Karen Lovely, Pete Krebs, Keegan Smith, and Quarterflash! 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, like:

Music on Main is a great Wednesday series that begins July 6 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 at noon - July 5 to August 30.

Then there are street fairs - for instance, Mississippi Street Fair (Saturday, July 9), the Alberta Street Fair (Saturday, August 13), and the Hawthorne Street Fair (Sunday, Aug 28) ...

There's the annual Cathedral Park Jazz Festival - three days of great music ... free in St John's - July 15-17.

The Doug Fir Lounge hosts free Pickin' On Sundays starting July 10 through August 21 at 3 pm. And I know this is only one example of the restaurants, bars, and backyards that have bands playing outside!

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. There will also be evening concerts in Ardenwald Park.

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 21.

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 and a new Sunday series at the Columbia Tech Center.

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, The Avett Brothers, Jackson Browne, Michael Franti, Band of Horses, Father John Misty, Steve Miller, Bonnie Raitt ... and a lot more. Some shows are already sold out!

Oregon Zoo Concerts - also a fine lineup this year with Case/Lang/Viers and Lyle Lovett doing shows over the July 4th weekend. Also, UB40, B-52s, Flogging Molly, Ziggy Marley, Pink Martini, and more.

Plus, how about the oh so Portland shows like the Caravan Campfires - Songs n' S'mores! series.

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

Sampler of summer festivals:
Waterfront Blues Festival - July 4th weekend with an excellent lineup!
Northwest String Summit
Wildwood Music Festival
MusicFestNW/Project Pabst (two festivals are now one)

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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