(Photo courtesy of Les Schwab Amphitheater)
In early April, the Les Schwab Amphitheater announced the addition of two more live music acts to its summer lineup, making 2018 the largest season ever for the concert series with 16 total shows. Not only are there more acts coming than ever before, but the number of musical genres varies greatly with new acts such as Portugal. The Man, Primus and Jethro Tull hitting the stage as well as returning loyal Bend fans, Michael Franti, Dave Matthews Band and Pixies. This season will bring a broad spectrum of music to reach fans far and wide.
While there are many behind-the-scenes goings on when it comes to bringing a concert to a specific venue, one thing is for sure: artists love coming to Bend. Brent Joseph, assistant venue manager for the Les Schwab Amphitheater and Old Mill District, said, “We are very excited about this year’s lineup! I attribute the growth to the fact that artists are learning about the wonder that is Bend, like to perform here and want to return to our paradise. They are also spreading the word to other folks in the industry on the intimate concert setting as well as the amazing activities and landscapes that Bend has to offer.”
Brent is right if quotes from the artists who have performed here are any indication. In a recent interview with Dean Ween on DangerousMinds.net, he talked about a show in Bend, saying, “We were in Bend, Oregon—believe it or not, that’s a huge market for us. It’s right on a river, beautiful, an outdoor amphitheater. It holds an endless amount of people, it’s just one of those places you go, it’s just limitless. We’ve been going there for years.” The show he references took place at the Les Schwab Amphitheater in Oregon on July 1, 2017.
Michael Franti and Spearhead comes nearly every summer to Bend, and their June 19, 2018 concert date was just announced. As quoted in The Source Weekly, Franti said of Bend residents, “It’s just an incredibly great community of people who are, what I call, soulrockers. People who live from their heart, who have compassion for all and who have a tenacious enthusiasm for music, and for people, and for the planet. I really see that in the Bend community.”
While more concerts may still be on the way, here’s the summer lineup so far. A complete, updated list can be found at www.bendconcerts.com.
June 19 – Michael Franti & Spearhead
June 23 – PRIMUS and MASTODON
July 6 – Steve Martin and Martin Short
July 24 – Jackson Browne
July 25 – Sheryl Crow
July 26 – The Decemberists
August 4 – Willie Nelson & Allison Kraus
August 5 – Pixies
August 9 – Amos Lee
August 21 – Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton
August 25 – Brandi Carlile
August 28 – Dave Matthews Band
August 31 – Portugal. The Man
This lineup means more than just great live music in what is arguably the most beautiful outdoor venue in the region, it also brings a positive impact to the community as a whole. A 2015 research study found that the events and concerts in the Les Schwab Amphitheater impact the Central Oregon economy by bringing a huge amount of revenue to the region—estimated at around $20 million (and that was three years ago!). Concert-related spending in the study included money spent on things like dining, shopping, lodging, recreation, groceries, gas stations and a variety of other services.
So get ready Central Oregon! There’s a summer of fantastic music on the way, right on the banks of our Deschutes River.