Free concerts by local bands added to Salem’s First Fridays

The Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater is lit for the first time on Tuesday, July 27, 2021. The venue will host a monthly show by a local band on Friday evenings through September (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

The city of Salem is kicking off a new, free concert series May 6 as part of Salem’s First Friday Art Walk.

From 8 to 9 p.m. on the first Friday of each month through September, a local band will perform at the the Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater, which opened last summer in Riverfront Park.

Since this is our first performance season in the new venue, we are hoping to use these free concerts to test the Amphitheaters setup and acoustics. We reached out to a wide variety of acts in the hopes of testing a range of scenarios and were thankful to have so many bands interested in participating,” said Trevor Smith, spokesman for the city’s parks department, in an email.

Smith said the parks department wanted to pair the concerts with the existing First Friday Art Walk, where many downtown businesses offer special pop-up events, live music and other attractions intended to lure people downtown.

The May 6 concert will feature Salem band Pachanga, followed by Rich McCloud in June, Wild Ire in July, The Ferengis in August and Showtigers in September, according to a city Facebook post.

Smith said parks department staff are working to line up larger events for the amphitheater, including national and international acts, but many of the early events will be local.

-Rachel Alexander