An encore we’re cheering for at Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend, Oregon.
As the curtain is about to close on 2022 we step out on the stage one more time to relish in all this year brought us, and taught us. Last year proved what this community is capable of, and reminded us of the magic that is created when we connect with each other through live music. For those few hours, we are one, and we’re supporting an art form that has been at the heart of communities like ours for ages.
We have a lot to celebrate, and we’ll get to that, but first we raise a glass to the life and legacy of our fearless founder, visionary and friend, William “Bill” Smith. Bill Smith, an avid outdoorsman and community builder who loved a good pun, passed away in his sleep on Friday, Nov. 18. He was 81 years old.
Bill and Trish Smith with Clint Black Aug. 2010
Billy, as he was affectionately called by those closest to him, will be remembered by friends and family for his love of animals, flowers, poetry, music, education and humor. He adored “old-time country music”, bluegrass, gospel, and Elvis. He was particularly fond of the poems of Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, and the wit of The Far Side.
Bill believed building a beautiful district with a music venue where the community could gather improved the quality of life in Bend. He knew that part of the magic of Bend is that we're friendly to each other and take the time to smile at one another.
A celebration of life for Bill will be held at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater on May 23 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Bill and Trish, his wife of 52 years, have long supported higher education. Those wishing to donate in his memory are encouraged to look at the Central Oregon Community College Foundation, which since 1955 has provided scholarships for students to attend COCC.
New construction. Prior to the launch of the 2022 Les Schwab Tires Concert Series we saw the completion of Phase II construction. This brought enhanced accessibility including paved travel pathways throughout the entire venue and equivalent seating for all abilities. In addition, we re-graded the infield to a lesser slope, added wireless hotspots to improve point-of-sale connectivity, re-sized and repositioned the sound mix, added walk-through metal detectors and constructed a permanent entry monument. The multi-phase project is still in the works and additional improvements to the venue design and customer experience will be noted in the coming seasons.
Photo: Nate Wyeth
Partnership. Together, in partnership with Live Nation, we hosted 52 concerts featuring award-winning artists like The Chicks, Nine Inch Nails, Kenny Chesney, ZZ Top, Mavis Staples and Jack Johnson. Not to mention the debut of stand-up comedy with Nate Bargatze and Jim Gaffigan, as well as electronic dance music sets from Flume, ODESZA and Rüfüs du Sol – genres that had yet to be showcased on our stage. More than 200,000 fans passed through our gates to sing along with their favorite artist, and often times, 8,000 of their closest friends. Artists who surprised us, and names we recommend adding to your “Artists To Listen To” playlist include; Khruangbin, Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Yves Tumor, HAIM, Danielle Ponder, Joy Oladokun, JD McPherson, The Interrupters and Sylvan Esso, to name a few!
None of this was possible without the more than 800 staff and crew who worked long hours to ensure we were safe, healthy and highly entertained. Plus, check out this BIG NEWS from our Green Team – our champions of sustainability. We could type a long-winded story, but we’ll just leave these stats here for your viewing pleasure:
Good Eats. Special shout out to the local food vendors who kept us fueled so we could dance into the sunset – Alley Dogz, Bigfoot BBQ, Dump City Dumplings, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Greek Street Gyros, Island Noodles, The Pizza Cart, and TOTS!!
Posts you loved the most:
No Shoes Nation at Kenny Chesney July 19
ODESZA Sept. 26 photo by Daniel Stark
Robert Plant visiting The Bend Store downtown Aug. 25
Tenacious D June 22
Jack Black of Tenacious D photo by Gwen Shoemaker
ZZ Top season opener June 7
Three shows have already been announced, and we’ve got a lot more on the way. We look forward to rocking out with you in 2023!