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Five Portland Venues

Five unconventional venues that host Portland’s massive music scene

Portland’s influx of musicians is an adored attribute about the city. From the iconic house party to more traditional venues, Portland remains to keep their music scene fresh with an unconventional take on industry standards. Highlighted below are five interesting venues that host some of Portland’s best acts.

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The Woods

Portland’s newest venue is located in a classy up-and-coming southeast neighborhood known as Sellwood. The Woods intends to keep its line-up mostly acoustic and melodic, a suitable genre considering its decorous surroundings and the fact it was formerly a funeral home. Bands can play either in the main chapel area, which is where bodies were shown, or the basement, which was used for embalming and cold storage. While this knowledge could add a creepy air to the proceedings, The Woods is quickly becoming one of the hottest places to play in Portland.

The Artistery

The Artistery‘s all-ages shows are a great way to revisit those bittersweet teen years. Particularly since The Artistery is an actual basement, in an actual house, in southeast Portland. Don’t be fooled by the exterior, their line-up is as talented as any full-blown music hall, including performances by local favorites White Fang and Explode into Colors.


The Gorge Amphitheater

Surely one of the most spectacular venues in one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the country, The Gorge Amphitheater seats over 25,000 people and overlooks the mighty Columbia River. Such a magnificent setting inspires truly magical performances. The Gorge has seen acts such as Neil Young, Van Halen, Phish and Ben Harper and Pearl Jam’s iconic box set Live at the Gorge was recorded there. Every year The Gorge hosts the Sasquatch Music Festival, which hosts established as well as emerging bands such as Vampire Weekend and Portland’s own Nurses.

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The Old Church

The Old Church is a uniquely Portland venue. While it is an actual old church available for all the intended purposes, they also rent out the space for distinctly secular events. The building’s soaring ceilings and stained-glass windows offer a hushed and reverent air to everything from weekly Sunday jazz to local bands.

White Eagle Saloon

Portland now bears little resemblance to the rough and tough Wild West town that it used to be, but White Eagle Saloon, located in Portland’s grittier Northeast quadrant, is a great place to lift a pint in nostalgia for those days when drunken sailors were shanghaied onto waiting ships and rouged ladies of the night hollered from upstairs balconies. The saloon features nightly live music of the folk and fiddle variety, as well as a resident ghost that likes to lock unwitting female guests in the ladies restroom.


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