Posts Tagged ‘Deschutes County fair’

Who’s playing the 2013 Deschutes County Fair?

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Cheap Trick!

Cheap Trick!

From today’s paper:

July 31 — Cheap Trick
(kings of power-pop!)

Aug. 1 — Kip Moore
(country, younger edition)

Aug. 2 — Aaron Tippin
(country, older edition)

Aug. 3 — Kansas
(classic rock, my wayward son)

Tickets will be free and available all over Central Oregon, but you must pay admission to the fair to go to the show. Find more info at, and of course we’ll have more in GO! Magazine as the fair gets closer.

Did Hot Chelle Rae draw the biggest concert crowd in Central Oregon history?

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

I mentioned this in passing during my review of the concert, but it bears repeating: Teen-heartthrob pop-rock band Hot Chelle Rae played the Deschutes County Fair on Aug. 3 and drew an estimated crowd of 11,400 people, breaking the all-time attendance record at the fairgrounds’ event center.

Given that the event center is, as far as I know, the largest venue in Central Oregon that holds concerts, it seems reasonable to extrapolate the above into an assumption that I think is (a) kind of shocking, and (b) fun to know, at least:

In terms of crowd size, Hot Chelle Rae played the biggest show in the history of Central Oregon two Saturdays ago.

Hot Chelle Rae's Ryan Follese, left, and Nash Overstreet perform at the Deschutes County Fair in Redmond.

Now, I wasn’t quite satisfied with that assumption, so I did a little bit of research and asking around to try to give it a little more context.

First, I wrote fair officials to find out how they got to that number. Fair & Expo Center Director Dan Despotopulos wrote back and said that for concerts, the building has 4,000 permanent seats and 4,500 chairs on the floor, plus standing room. Neither the VIP nor the general admission sections on the floor looked full, but that’s because everyone sitting in those sections moved up as far as they could — in VIP’s case, up against the stage; in GA’s case, up against the back of VIP. According to the fair’s marketing coordinator, Ross Rogers, officials let in extra people because they knew the folks on the floor would never return to their seats. (I can confirm that they didn’t. I spent the second half of the concert in the back row on the floor, surrounded by hundreds of empty chairs.)

For the record, the fair distributed 14,000 tickets to the show, which were free and available at area McDonald’s. To get into the concert, you had to pay fair admission and show your free ticket.

The fair uses a formula to estimate crowds that Despotopulous called “more of an art than a science” — it involves the number of people that can fit in each concrete square on the arena’s floor — but that at least gets us close to an attendance number. He also provided the top five crowds in the history of the fair’s concert series:

1. Hot Chelle Rae (2012), 11,400
2. Styx (’10), 11,200
3. REO Speedwagon (’11), 11,000
4. Joan Jett (’11), 10,600
5. (tie) Alice Cooper (’08) / Peter Frampton (’09) / Chris Young (’12), 10,200

For comparison’s sake, here are the five biggest crowds in the 10-year history of Central Oregon’s next largest venue (that I know of), the ~8,000-capacity Les Schwab Amphitheater, per a story I did earlier this year. (If this kind of stuff interests you and you haven’t seen this graphic, click right now.)

1. Jack Johnson (’05), 8,005
2. Jack Johnson (’04), 7,970
3. Pixies (’04), 6,517
4. Ben Harper and Jack Johnson (’03), 6,485
5. Willie Nelson (’03), 6,399

Almost satisfied, I also asked a few local concert promoters who’ve been in the business and in the region for years — Bret Grier of Random Presents and Cameron Clark of C3 Events — to see if they could remember anything bigger than 11,400. Neither could. If you know those guys and what they do, you know that’s pretty solid.

So now, I turn to you: On Aug. 3, did Hot Chelle Rae draw more people to a concert than any artist ever has in Central Oregon?

For all I know, 20,000 people gathered in a field in east of Redmond in 1982 to see Madonna or something. So if you can remember anything at all that might compete, please leave a comment. I’d love to know about it!

A small portion of the estimated 11,400 people who saw Hot Chelle Rae play in Redmond on Aug. 4.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, July 27th, 2012

As always, there’s lots of live music to hear in Central Oregon this week. Here are a bunch of stories that aren’t about a Portland music festival that’s still more than a week away:

— The iconic blues-jam band Hot Tuna comes to the Tower Theatre next week. Here’s our interview with legendary guitarist Jorma Kaukonen.

— Longtime local DJ Harlo (aka Jason Harlowe) is both celebrating a new CD and saying farewell to Bend tonight at the Astro Lounge. He’s moving to the Portland area.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Big Head Todd & The Monsters visit the Athletic Club of Bend, What The Festival?! brings electronic stars to White River Canyon, Parrilla Grill hosts the Moon Mountain Ramblers, Paul Thorn plays a free show at Les Schwab Amphitheater, Tango Alpha Tango comes to McMenamins, and the Northwest Best series kicks off at Liquid Lounge with The Melodramatics and Necktie Killer. Plus, all-events passes to the Sisters Folk Festival are getting ready to jump in price, so grab ’em now. Oh, and Chris Young, Uncle Kracker, former Bad Company singer Brian Howe and Hot Chelle Rae are playing shows at the Deschutes County Fair.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Between Beats Antique in February and next week’s Social Distortion show, the Midtown Ballroom has certainly hosted two big ol’ buzz-worthy shows in 2012. Viva la Midtown!

But seriously, people are stoked for this Social D concert. Like … really stoked. So I was pumped we were able to get Mike Ness to give us a call for a chat.

As Ness was making his way toward Bend for Wednesday’s show, my colleague David Jasper talked to him about fake punks, his new man cave and the late Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch:

“Punk rock was supposed to be about individuality,” (said) Ness, known for his abilities as a between-song storyteller with a biting wit. “So, you know, I think the Beastie Boys are just as punk as Social Distortion because of that (individuality). I’ve seen so many Dickies-wearing, tattooed, f—ing grease-haired generic punk guys I could just puke. There’s more to it, guys, than trying to look like everyone else, and sound (like everyone else).

“You know, that’s kind of why we chose to incorporate Americana into our style,” he said, “because by the mid-’80s, punk, like anything else, was starting to stereotype itself.”

Click here to read the whole story.

Speaking of Yauch, this week in Feedback, I tried to work out my thoughts about his death and why it hit me — and maybe you, too — a lot harder than I would’ve predicted if you’d asked me two weeks ago. Here’s an excerpt:

Listening to those four records (released over an eight-year span) now is like watching a bratty child grow into a wide-eyed and well-developed college kid. The awkward stages and annoying behavior fade away, replaced by tremendous, world-changing potential. The change is most striking in Yauch, who transformed from a scruffy, beercan-crushing lout into a political activist and spiritual leader who spit gravelly rhymes about respecting both mothers and Mother Earth.

If you’re the right age, and you look closely (the benefit of hindsight doesn’t hurt), you can see yourself growing up in Yauch’s example. I clearly remember giggling like a pre-teen at the bawdiest moments of “License to Ill.” Because, well, I was 10. I recall digging into the vintage funk/soul-sample paradise of “Paul’s Boutique” just as my own affinity for soaking up musical history was beginning to bloom.

And one of my most vivid adolescent memories is blasting “Ill Communication” in my friend Mark’s car, cruising our hometown for no good reason other than to celebrate our rapidly expanding freedom. Months later, the climax of the Beasties’ then-mega-hit “Sabotage” was the highlight of my first Lollapalooza experience.

There are a lot of kids … er, old folks like me who watched Adam Yauch mature from afar while experiencing a similar arc in their own lives.

I’ve already heard from a dozen folks who said this column rang true for them. I hope you’ll give it a read and see if it does for you.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Lindsey Buckingham comes to the Tower Theatre, Sweet Bonnie Gayle & The Rural Demons play country and gospel classics at The Horned Hand, David Nelson Band and Moonalice are gonna get Dead at the Domino Room, 4 Peaks Music Festival plans a weekend full of music and The Prairie Rockets perform tonight at Jackson’s Corner, plus Vagabond Opera, a Last Band Standing update, the lineup for the 2012 Deschutes County Fair and more.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Ready …

Set …


The inaugural Volcanic Funk Festival kicks off with a free party tonight at McMenamins before oozing over to the Century Center on Saturday and Sunday. I spoke with founder Gabe Johnson about the origins of the event.

A trip to New Orleans’ famous Jazz & Heritage Festival a few years ago provided the “spiritual inspiration” for Volcanic Funk, he said.

“I said to myself at some point in the next couple of years I have to put on an event in Bend that at least begins to scratch the surface of that vibe,” Johnson said. “Something that features funky, dirty music, basically. Swampy music. And music that’s really inspired, too.

“When you go to (some shows in the Northwest), you get a lot of that shoe-gazing, ‘I’m too cool to dance’ quality,” he continued. “Whereas New Orleans is essentially ‘Let’s party. No holds barred. No inhibitions. This is about having fun.’ I can’t get (there) as much as I’d like so we’re trying to bring some of that spirit home.”

This is looking like it’s going to be a pretty rad, rump-shakin’ time. Click here to read the whole thing, including a full schedule and more about the bands.

One other show I want to highlight this week is The David Mayfield Parade’s free Summer Sunday concert at Les Schwab Amphitheater. Mayfield’s debut album has been dominating my ears lately, and his live show is supposed to be awesome. I’ll blog more about him before the show, but in the meantime, read my story by clicking here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band brings its country-rock legacy to the Tower Theatre, local singer-songwriter Jared Delaney celebrates his new album, Sisters Art Works gets some upgrades and hosts The Whiskey Rebellion, The Guess Who and Clay Walker kick off the Deschutes County Fair, and next week brings free, outdoor shows by David Lindley and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Who’s playing the 2011 Deschutes County Fair?

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

This just in from Deschutes County: Country singer Clay Walker and classic rockers The Guess Who, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and REO Speedwagon will play free concerts at the 2011 Deschutes County Fair.

Folks who procure a concert pass (at any number of locations around Central Oregon) and pay admission to the fair can catch the following shows:

• Aug. 3 — The Guess Who (“American Woman,” “These Eyes”)

• Aug. 4 — Clay Walker (“What’s It To You,” “Live Until I Die”)

• Aug. 5 — REO Speedwagon (“Keep On Loving You,” “Can’t Fight This Feeling”)

• Aug. 6 — Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (“I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Bad Reputation”)

The shows will begin at 7 p.m. each night, with doors to the fairgrounds’ event center opening at 5:30 p.m. Admission to the fair costs $10 for adults, $6 for seniors older than 62 and children age 6-12, and free for kids 5 and younger.

Concert passes for the series, which is sponsored by Big Country RV, will be available through several local radio stations and, starting in July, at area McDonald’s restaurants.

Look for more details in The Bulletin closer to the fair, or visit the fair’s website for more info.

Who’s playing the 2010 Deschutes County fair? The answer is a little “weird” …

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

I used to think the big music bookings at the Deschutes County fair existed in a funny little bubble, unaffected by the kinds of acts that are popular at other venues. But given the two Les Schwab Amphitheater headliners we know about for 2010 — Merle Haggard and the Steve Miller Band — perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps the fair, with its focus on aging classic rockers and not-quite top-tier country acts, has its finger on the pulse of what Central Oregonians want. Perhaps the fair was ahead of its time.

Anyway, buckle up, because here are the big names playing the 2010 Deschutes County fair:

July 28: Neal McCoy
July 29: Joe Diffie
July 30: Styx (!)
July 31: “Weird Al” Yankovic (!!!)

All shows start at 7 p.m. and are free with a ticket, which you can get by listening to 99.7 FM (for McCoy/Diffie) and 98.3 FM (for Styx/Yankovic). (You also have to pay for admission to the fair.) More info here.

An aside: One of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had in this job was attending the Alice Cooper show at the fair in 2008. (Here’s my review.) The fairgrounds’ event center was rowdy, raucous and packed to the gills with more than 10,000 people cheering wildly every time Alice “choked” a woman or “stabbed” a baby, all fake and in good fun, of course. 10,000 people. That’s more than have ever attended a show at Les Schwab Amphitheater. Ever.

Who’s playing the Deschutes County fair…

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

As usual, the Deschutes County fair has two country acts and one classic rocker booked for its big agri-themed, fried-dough-smellin’ party happening July 29 through Aug. 1 at the fairgrounds in Redmond.