How We Serve Music Venues and Festivals

We Serve Music Venues

Some 300 spots in the Portland metro area regularly host live music—that’s nearly twice the number boasted by Austin. Our many small venues allow performers to evolve new sounds alongside fans, growing together as well as our reputation for innovation and inventiveness. 

Without a coordinated effort, every venue and festival stands alone against corporate chain venues, new residential infill, zoning changes and skyrocketing rents. Without collected economic impact data, no venue can effectively fight the forces that oppose us.

Whether you manage, work for or contract with a venue, we need to know who you are - you are part of the music ecosystem story.  Please complete your NEW MusicPortland Profile - 3 minutes and confidential

Completing a MusicPortland Profile makes you a Community Member 

The completed profile makes you a Community Member of MusicPortland that provides access, updates and free stuff.  Please encourage any other venue employees or peers at other venues to create a profile. If you are willing to send a message to your employees, the musicians you book and the production sub contractors you engage, let me know and I am happy to provide you with some content to help your pitch.

MusicPortland working for live music presenters...

MusicPortland Policy Council (MPC)

MusicPortland just completed nomination and election of the city’s first ever, policy and regulatory advisory group to City Council and all departments. Sponsored by Commissioners Fish, Eudaly and Hardesty (yeah, a majority of City Council) to review and make recommendations to optimize all policy and regulations that impact local music. We seek the input of all local venues in our work, so keep an eye out and be responsive when we ask. some of the venue impactful things we have already targeted are...

  • Agent of Change - the MPC is  is working with international experts on implementation of “Agent of Change” requirements in building codes to guarantee that developers of adjacent properties to venues pay for all sound mitigation and include disclosure of music venue environment in rental/sales agreements.
  • Permitting and Licensing - Working with all departments (fire, police, CCL, BDS, OLCC, etc.) to streamline, improve and centralize all venue and event policy, licensing and enforcement to make it more transparent, intuitive, consistent and accountable. 
  • Safe Venue Program - evolving new, venue informed protocols, systems and support to enhance your existing security team to make audience experiences more inclusive, respectful and safe for everyone while indemnifying venues against litigation.
  • Identify new tax bases for support of music, to underwrite a free city wide music festival that introduces new fans to new venues and sounds.  We would also like to explore how insulate venues from possible monopolistic behaviors from corporate venues. 

“Portland Music Means Business” report 

Through confidential profiles and anonymous economic study questions, MusicPortland is creating the first validated data about our local industry. This data and published report (with funding from City of Portland and Prosper who are both eager to receive it) will be a game-changer in that we can leverage it to be recognized as an industry and receive advantages provided to other recognized industries (like tax abatements provided to arts performance spaces, liquor tax credits fas has been done in other states for music venues and more). Independent music in Portland drives tourism, lifestyle and corporate moves to the city, but it currently enjoys none of the advantages given the arts or other businesses that do less. Only collective industry data can change that -

Please have each member of your team (employees, managers, owners, contractors) complete the updated MusicPortland Profile. Even if you have done a profile for us before, please update in this new form. It takes less than 2 minutes and WILL deliver the venue benefits I list and many others. If you are willing to promote this survey ask to your list of local performers, let me know and I can provide some verbiage and graphics - it gets them free and heavily discounts stuff and supports their future in Portland.

Musician Loading Zones

Through the coordinated efforts of MusicPortland and the Musicians Union we worked to enact the city's first musician loading zone program at music venues.  There are currently 16 venues supported by new Loading Zones and we are starting an expansion to increase the number.  We manage the promotion to local musicians and production support, provide a document and printable tag for venues to share with touring musicians, manage the registration and feedback sites and distribute Permits to local musicians (900+ to date). This negotiation took five months longer than it might have because we would not accept the city’s impulse to make it the responsibility of the Venues to permit all local performers. That's what it means to have advocates that are really fighting to make things better for you.

Venue Defense

MusicPortland’s mobilization of the music community (at multiple rallies, speaking at City Council Meetings and letter writing campaigns) contributed very significantly to the roll back of the city’s ill-conceived URM Mandate (it is entirely repealed, but the city has not announced it yet - let me know if you want more details). This mandate (if enforced) would have doomed 36 Music venues in Portland. MusicPortland spent hundreds of hours coordinating the fight, speaking at city hall and working with the media.  Fighting the battle for Portland!

In the works

Plus, everything we are doing with TravelPortland to boost music venue profiles to prospective visitors, working with a group on a Portland music history book and self-guided tour, and coordinating a free, multi-venue music festival (likely 2021)

How you can get involved...

Portland's independent venues have been devoted supporters of local performers for many years. It is appreciated greatly. I hope that you will support MusicPortland's efforts to make sure the the whole ecosystem (and your venues within it) can stay viable as our city grows explosively. MusicPortland provides the coordination, strategy and effort that musicians and music businesses cannot do themselves. For two years the staff that has worked without pay, but we cannot continue our successful efforts without financial support from those we are fighting for. We need Contributing Members to allow us to compensate our Executive Director and to hire a small staff.  With your paid membership, we can hire some help to dramatically accelerate our success for the entire music ecosystem in Portland.

Contributing Membership is on a sliding scale. Please Select the highest level that aligns with your means and your support/acknowledgement of the MusicPortland mission.

If you  own or manage a venue or festival, or are a venue employee who wants to support, please consider becoming a Contributing Member.  This work cannot continue without industry support.

Become a MusicPortland Contributing Member 

MusicPortland dues are 100% tax deductible!


Photo above by Jason Quigley