It’s not enough to create public street plazas and then just hope people will flock to them. Activating the spaces is a key park of making them attractive to more people — and vibrant, popular plazas are a common theme in every great city around the world. The Portland Bureau of Transportation understands this and they’ve partnered with the nonprofit trade association MusicPortland to bring live music to three street plazas all month long.
You might have heard the soothing sounds of some of the bands during a recent Bike Happy Hour since the Rainbow Road plaza on Southeast Ankeny is one of the lucky locations PBOT chose for this program.
“The goal is to create music when our plazas are most utilized,” PBOT’s Dylan Rivera shared with BikePortland. “With that in mind, music is happening during the Wednesday Bike Happy Hour at Rainbow Road, lunchtime at the Cart Blocks, and during the Montavilla Farmers Market.”
Here are the details:
Every Wednesday Live Music on Rainbow Road: Come to Ankeny Rainbow Road Plaza at SE Ankeny Street and SE 28th Avenue for a night of, food, bakery goods, and beverages while listening to professional musicians liven up the plaza. Starting at 4:30 p.m. and running until 6:30 p.m. Come enjoy the nice weather while it lasts!
Every Thursday Live Music at Cart Blocks- Grab a tasty bite to eat at one of Cart Blocks Plaza’s amazing food carts and enjoy local music hosted by Music Portland and located at SW Park Avenue and SW Ankeny Street. The event starts at 12 p.m. and ends at 2 p.m.
Sept. 18 Living Room Session at Pride Plaza- Come join other Portlanders for an afternoon of live music sponsored by Music Portland at Pride Plaza on Harvey Milk Street and 12th Avenue from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. featuring performances by Dune Laila and Jermaine.
Every Thursday Montavilla Farmer Market- Sponsored by Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA), this market is located at SE Stark Street and SE 79th Avenue. The event opens at 4 p.m. and closes at 7 p.m. September is the last month this event will run, take this opportunity to pick up seasonal produce and more from local farmers.
PBOT says this small-scale pilot has been a success and they plan to seek additional funding for a larger-scale music program in 2024. Learn more about PBOT’s street plaza program here.