It’s an outdoor venue unlike any other: a grassy lawn, sloping down to a modestly-sized stage and band shell, with an elephant yard on one side and a red ape reserve on the other. For the past 35 years, musicians and fans alike have flocked to the Oregon Zoo each summer to revel in music, sunshine and friends — including those of the feathered and furry varieties.
The annual Oregon Zoo Summer Concert Series, which runs June–September, boasts a roster of artists as diverse as the park’s residents, which range from African bullfrogs to Visayan warty pigs.The 2016 lineup was especially impressive, with performances by legendary band Chicago, The B-52s, Flogging Molly, local favorite Pink Martini, Omara Portuondo and Eliades Ochoa of the Buena Vista Social Club, and Needtobreathe, among others.
Shows start at 7 p.m., with access to the concert area at 5 p.m. Concert tickets also grant zoo access for the full day, so plan to visit the animals before the show. And whether you bring a picnic (no outside beverages) or enjoy the zoo’s selection of local food, beer and wine, be sure to fill up — after all, you wouldn’t want your stomach growling louder than the Amur tigers (or the bands).