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 2017 lineup was especially impressive, with performances by legendary rock queen Pat Bennatar, Rick Springfield, Natalie Merchant, local favorite Pink Martini, and a David Bowie tribute by singer and multi-instrumentalist Seu Jorge.
2018 promises to be equally as epic with legend Ziggy Marley, 80’s icons the Indigo Girls and the Violent Femmes, as well as pop darlings Belle and Sebastian. This year will also feature the much-anticipated collaboration of blues music royalty Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’.
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).