McMenamins bringing concerts to Grand Lodge in Forest Grove

Summer is coming up around the corner, and there's a new place to get outside and enjoy live music.
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 7:34 AM PDT
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FOREST GROVE, Ore. (KPTV) - Summer is coming up around the corner, and there’s a new place to get outside and enjoy live music. McMenamins is expanding and bringing concerts to the westside.

“The next time you come, the stage will be up, the roof will be up, it will look very rock and roll,” said Jimi Biron, Director of Music Programming for McMenamins.

It’s the start of something new in Forest Grove. McMenamins now expanding their music scene with Grand Lodge Concerts in the Grove.

“We really wanted to provide a nice venue for people on the westside and out toward the coast,” Biron said.

Biron said having a venue on the westside has been a long time coming. Just next to the 100-year-old Grand Lodge building is a unique space for music.

“There was a gap between the Crystal and Edgefield, which is now 7,000. So this fills that sweet spot, it’s right inbetween. Artists that are maybe a little too small for Edgefield, but too big for Crystal, they’ll fit perfectly out here in Forest Grove,” Biron said.

The new venue seats up to 3,000 people.

Behind the scenes, there’s another first - a woman who is running the show.

“We have Jasmine who is our dedicated production manager. She’s the boss, she runs the whole show out there,” said Biron.

“I was really excited to open up a venue. I’ve had a hand in it, but never been head of doing it, myself,” said Jasmine Amaxopulos. “So it’s been a bit of a learning curve, but it’s been super exciting.”

When starting out in music, both Biron and Amaxopulos said having a woman call the shots on set was unheard of.

“I’d say it’s a pretty male-dominated industry since the beginning and women weren’t really given a seat at the table a lot, but you’re start to see women come in and, you know, they’re kicking butt,” Amaxopulos said. “People are starting to recognize that and put them in more positions of power, which is cool.”

This summer, she and the rest of her crew will be bringing 11 concerts to the Lodge.

Meanwhile, Edgefield on the eastside has their biggest line up ever with more than 40 shows. Many postponed from the last two years due to the pandemic.

“We’re really seeing a lot of enthusiasm, not just from the bands, but also the customers,” said Biron. “You can tell. There’s an energy, they’re really excitement to get out.”

It’s looking to be McMenamins busiest summer throwing concerts yet, and they say they’re ready to rock and roll.

“Your blood, sweat and tears go into this thing to make it happen, and when you look out at the crowd and you see all of these people really happy and dancing and excited to be here, it’s what makes the job worth it,” Amaxopulos said.

Last year, Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn expanded their space. They can now seat 7,000 people for concerts.

Concerts at Grand Lodge will begin on June 16. For a full line up of concerts at Grand Lodge or Edgefield, click here.