On June 13, a construction executive confirmed to WW that the events promoter Live Nation intends to open a music venue on the Central Eastside.
That news promises to shake up Portland’s music scene. That’s in part because Live Nation, a Beverly Hills-based entertainment giant, contracts with recording artists to run their tours. In cities where the company also operates a venue, it can simply book the artist there—cutting other independent venues out of the market.
Leonard Barrett, the principal of Beam Development, tells WW the 3,000-capacity venue on Southeast Water Avenue will fill a current hole in the Portland music scene.
“Just through talking to folks in the industry, we’ve been hearing for at least the last decade that a ballroom-style venue in this size represents a bit of a missing middle for venues in Portland,” Barrett says. “You’ve got the Schnitzer and the Keller of this size, but obviously they’re fixed seating.”
If the Central Eastside plans come to fruition, Live Nation artists will be playing a venue with greater capacity than any other indoor concert hall in Portland outside of the two Rose Quarter arenas. And it will dwarf the other venues with open floor plans as opposed to fixed seats.
Here’s how the new ballroom would compare with what currently exists.
Proposed Live Nation Venue
Southeast Water Avenue and Main Street
222 SW Clay St.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
1037 SW Broadway
8 NW 6th Ave.
1332 W Burnside St.
1300 SE Stark St.
128 NE Russell St.
3017 SE Milwaukie Ave.
1001 SE Morrison St.
Bold italics denote a ballroom-style venue.