Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Amphitheater concerts added to Salem's First Friday Art Walk

April 29, 2022 at 4:04pm

Beach Boys, Nelly part of State Fair's seven-concert lineup this summer

Wayne Petersen, director of expo center events and fair vendors, walks through the L.B. Day Amphitheater at the state fairgrounds in Salem on May 12, 2020. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Those attending the Oregon State Fair this summer will hear the live soundtrack of indelible late 1990s-2000s hits, as well as a performance from The Beach Boys.

The State Fair, slated for Aug. 26 through Sept. 5 at the state fairgrounds in Salem, announced the seven-concert lineup to be expected at the L.B. Day Amphitheater:

-Gary LeVox, lead singer of country band Rascal Flatts,  – Monday, Aug. 29

-Shaggy, Grammy Award-winning reggae artist  – Tuesday, Aug. 30

-Bethel Music, Dove Award-winning faith and worship leaders – Wednesday, Aug. 31

-TLC, pioneering R&B girl group – Thursday, Sept. 1

-Scotty McCreery, country music artist and American Idol winner – Friday, Sept. 2

-The Beach Boys, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees – Saturday, Sept. 3

-Nelly, best-selling hip hop artist  – Monday, Sept. 5

Concert tickets, fair admission, carnival rides, and fair lift tickets will be first available to Oregon State Fair e-mail subscribers during a limited-time presale starting May 5 at 10 a.m. People can sign up for the presale online through May 4, according to the announcement Friday.

Reserved concert tickets start at $40 and include free fair admission.

Ticket sales open to the general public May 6 at 10 a.m. Select prices will increase when the fair starts Aug. 26. Tickets and more information will be available on the fair's website.

Tickets for VIPPlus Suite Seats cost $100 each and include free parking, a souvenir lanyard, priority entrance, special food service, access to a VIP beverage bar and a reserved seat in the premium center section, according to the announcement. Each concert at will offer a limited number of seats free to those who bought tickets to the fair "on a first-come, first-serve basis, while space lasts."

“Celebrating the Oregon State Fair with our community is always the highlight of the year for me” CEO Kim Grewe-Powell wrote in the statement. “We have a fantastic concert lineup, new attractions, and traditional favorites this year that I know our guests will enjoy. I am grateful for the opportunity to gather together as a community to celebrate, educate and create fun memories with family and friends.”

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

April 29, 2022 at 1:33pm

Salem weekly Covid report for April 29: Hospitalizations flat, cases increase

Used masks fill a garbage can at Salem Hospital (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Covid cases are ticking up in Marion County and statewide, while hospitalizations remain low and flat both locally and regionally. Here’s our report for April 29, 2022.


Hospitalization numbers at Salem Hospital are still near their lowpoint for the entire pandemic, and the region’s numbers have remained about flat over the past week.

Salem Health stopped publishing weekly reports on Covid inpatients on March 25 as the number has continued to decline. As of Friday, April 29, the hospital had 10 inpatients with Covid, two of whom were in the ICU, and one on a ventilator. 

There were 456 of 494 licensed hospital beds in use.

Lisa Wood, Salem Health spokeswoman, said the number of hospitalized Covid patients over the past week has remained between six and 10.

The graph below shows the hospital’s trends from the start of the delta surge until March 25, when weekly reporting stopped.

(Graphic by Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

Region 2, which is Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties, had 20 people hospitalized with Covid as of April 28, compared with 21 the week prior and 14 two weeks ago.


The number of new Covid cases reported climbed statewide and in Marion and Polk Counties. This data is for the week ending April 27. 

Marion County: 51.9 new Covid cases per day on average, a rate of 104 cases per 100,000 residents.

That’s up from 35 average daily cases for the week ending April 20, and 21.1 average daily cases the week ending April 14. 

6.4% of Covid tests this week were positive.

Polk County: 12.7 new Covid cases per day on average, a rate of 106.2 cases per 100,000 residents. 

That’s up slightly from an average of 12.4 daily cases the week ending April 20 and 5.9 daily cases the week ending April 14.

4.3% of Covid tests this week were positive.

Oregon: 896 new cases per day on average, up from 648 average daily cases the week prior; 7.6% of tests positive, compared with 6.3% the week prior.


The Oregon Health Authority in early April said it would reduce the frequency of its breakthrough case reports to monthly. The next report will be published May 5.


Oregon’s mask mandate lifted on March 11 at 11:59 p.m. 

-Rachel Alexander

April 29, 2022 at 9:30am

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