Last week, WW obtained the latest study by Prosper Portland of a proposed concert ballroom on the Central Eastside (“They Live,” Sept. 6). Normally, such a proposal would be cheered by Portland music lovers (except the ones who own existing venues). But this one would be operated by Live Nation, the Saudi-backed conglomerate that has tanked with the U.S. Department of Justice over its ticketing practices and efforts to blackball venues that don’t use Ticketmaster. Rockers were divided. Here’s what they had to say:
Iain, via Twitter: “I get the dislike of Live Nation, but I think a new venue of this size would be good for Portland. There aren’t a lot venues here that can accommodate 4,000 people; the Roseland, mentioned in the article, has a capacity of 1,410.”
Esqueda, via Reddit: “On the one hand, a new 4,000-seat Live Nation venue wouldn’t displace many existing venues since that’s kind of a vacuum in the performing arts space in the city. Keller and Schnitzer might lose a few for seated events, but standing room shows would have a new home. Moda and Veterans already exclusively ticket through Ticketmaster, so the wolf is already in the hen house.
“On the other hand, Prosper Portland is involved, so they’ll probably piss everyone off and nothing will actually happen, so we don’t really have to worry about Saudi Live Nation money building a cash siphon in the city.”
Zef Wagner, via Twitter: “I think it’s weird that Doug Fir is moving to the Central Eastside, and this Live Nation venue is trying to open in the Central Eastside, both near extremely loud railroad crossings. They’re going to have to do a ridiculous amount of soundproofing.”
Scotty Ray, via wweek.com: “We have our own version of Bend’s amphitheater—it’s called Edgefield. The only time bands skip Portland for Bend is when they were just here and they’re hitting up other cities. Live Nation is a predatory monopoly that needs to be broken into a million pieces and shot into the sun.”
jumpier, via wweek.com: “I have lived in Portland for 30 years and I am tired of having bands pass us by. Outdoor amphitheaters offer a very different experience than indoor shows can offer. The indoor venues are too small to be considered by the bands that this size of place will attract. If you are worried about the Saudi taint then just know that they will love it if you drive to a distant amphitheater. If you are worried about the corporate evildoers, then I’ll bet you can catch a great tiny violin set at Mississippi Studios.”
Michael V, via wweek.com: “I just went to Hayden Amphitheater and it sucked. It was super expensive and entirely too ‘regulated’ to have any relaxing going on. Just from that experience, I would vote no for this corporate venue. Why not subsidize a local over an international scam corporation that is in constant strife with the Justice Department?”
StarandFlurry, in response: “I’ve been to six concerts at Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend this year and have no idea what you mean by ‘too regulated.’ It’s a great venue, never seen a fight, seen a few over served people, which they try to keep to a minimum for everyone’s pleasure and safety. Virtually no lines at alcohol stations. Options for chair rentals but not required. Freedom to roam. They had a few early problems with getting people into the venue in a timely manner, but that seems to have been solved. Overall, a great experience. I think this would be huge win for PDX. The concerts end at 10 pm in Bend due to sound regulations. PDX could add that as well.”
Unsocialsocialist, via Reddit: “Greetings from Austin! They will 100% gobble up your entire scene. They effectively own our largest park now (Zilker).”
Medievel Knevel, via Twitter: “Bring back La Luna!”
A story in last week’s edition about public defense policy (“Meet Your Lawyer,” Sept. 6) incorrectly said the county was implementing changes to arraignments this fall. In fact, while the program has been piloted, Multnomah County Circuit Court has not agreed to launch it this fall. The story also misattributed a quote describing the sheriff’s support for the plan to Grant Hartley, director of Metropolitan Public Defenders. It was in fact a quote by Deputy John Plock of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. WW regrets the errors.
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