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. Summer concerts have ended for 2019, but check out the Oregon Zoo’s website for future concert dates.
The annual Oregon Zoo Summer Concert Series runs June–August, boasting a roster of artists as diverse as the park’s residents, which range from African bullfrogs to Visayan warty pigs. Previous lineups have included 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. More performers include the likes of legend Ziggy Marley, 80’s icons the Indigo Girls and the Violent Femmes, pop darlings Belle and Sebastian, and a collaboration between 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).