Summer has almost officially arrived in Portland. Hip, hip hooray to that because we’ve been waiting since last summer for outdoor fun, plenty of sunshine and fantastic live music. The following epic options for live music run June through September, so find that picnic blanket and cooler STAT. Your summer calendar is about to be filled with sweet music to calm those savage little beasts.
Concerts in the Park 2014
Portland Parks and Rec, we salute you. With a live show every night of the week, in a local park near you, and absolutely free, there is simply always somewhere to boogie on down. Offering rock, folk, funk, or fusion – the toes are tapping with something for every musical craving. On a Monday find your jam in Sellwood Park. On a Wednesday it’s Willamette Park and on a Friday it’s Fernhill Park. All the other nights in between it is on like Donkey Kong at area green spaces as well. The week of July 7th kicks off the action and shows start at 6:30 p.m. Some parks offer parking lots and others are surrounded by easy street parking.
Sellwood Riverfront Park (SE Spokane & Oaks Pkwy.)
Willamette Park (SW Macadam & Nebraska)
Fernhill Park (NE 37th, north of Ainsworth)
Sundown at Ecotrust
Happening on Thursdays in July, these four shows are not-to-be-missed. It’s a bonanza of fun for the family with healthy food(Laughing Planet, Hot Lips and more) drinks (sangria y cervezas por favor), kid-friendly music, eco-friendly vendors focusing on themes of Energy, Food, Water and Forestry and easily accessible bathrooms. Score! 5:30 p.m. start every Thursday in July. The first show is on July 10th. Street parking in the Pearl can be tricky, but it is possible with patience, persistence and prayers.
Ecotrust Parking Lot (721 NW 9th between Irving and Johnson)
Kruger Farm’s Farm Tunes
Farmer Don can’t wait to see ya. He’s the host with the most Thursdays nights all summer – starting June 19(!) from 6:30-9:30 p.m. At a mere $10 per car, you and the kidlets can rock a hayride, check out the farm animals, purchase or bring food and pull up some field for an evening of shakin’ your groove things. We love the Johnny Cash cover band Get Rhythm and the alt country twangs of Jawbone Flats. Parking is included with admission but leave your doggies at home.
17100 NW Sauvie Island Rd.
Portland Festival Symphony
One of our fave concerts every summer, the Festival Symphony truly delights the grown and still growing. These free concerts are on Saturdays and Sundays – starting July 26 and shift around to a different local Portland park for each performance. 6:00 p.m. start and it’s free. Go. Go. Go. Street parking abounds.
Music on Main Street
At 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, the block between the Schnitz and Antoinette Hatfield Hall becomes an outdoor venue bar none. For free, lads and lasses, you can revel in the merriment that is BIllie and the Holidays (July 9) or the Vagabond Opera (July 30) to name but two. Other weeks there’s Cuban, soul, African drumming and some of the gals from Dirty Martini in a new iteration. Bask in the glory that is this super-fly, urban, pedestrian-safe zone and get your dance on. We recommend taking the Max/bus, going early to find street parking along the South Park Blocks or hitting the garage parking. Smart Parks are close by at 4th and Alder and inside the Fox Tower building.
Downtown Portland, SW Main Street between SW Broadway and SW Park
Plaza Palooza at the Oregon Convention Center
Hello? It’s the eastside calling. Thursdays from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. you can sit or stand while free tunes kick off your weekend. Roots, reggae, r&b, soul, funk…need we say more? Running from July 10-August 28th, they’ve got one heck of a lineup. Do you remember the band, NU SHOOZ? Yup. For reals. The Max stops right in front of the Convention Center so take it and enjoy the ride.
777 NE MLK (Across from the Oregon Convention Center)
What’s your favorite, can’t-miss summer concert? Let us know in the Comments below!
– Liz Overson
Thank you for the photos Kruger Farm, Oregon Convention Center, Ecotrust and Portland Festival Symphony Facebook pages, chuck currie.blogspot.com and Liz Overson.