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Novacane performs. UO Music and Concerts hosts the 2019 Willamette Valley Music Festival at the University of Oregon on May 18, 2019. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

For years, Eugene has fostered a large music scene sprouting from numerous music venues throughout town. Anyone from big name acts like the Grateful Dead and Garth Brooks to smaller acts like Louis the Child and Mac Demarco has performed in Eugene. While Autzen Stadium has opened its doors for concerts occasionally throughout the years, the smaller venues in town bring quite a selection of musicians. Some artists are well known, others are up and comers, but no matter the genre, there is almost always some sort of action in and around Eugene. 

The building that houses WOW Hall has been around since the late 1800s, making it nearly as old as Eugene itself. It started as a church, and through decades of serving the town as a local gathering space, it became a well known building in town. After nearly being torn down in 1975, local performers, artists and concerned community members rallied together to turn it into the Community Center for the Performing Arts later dubbed as WOW Hall. The rest is history. Despite its age, WOW Hall continues to bring the community together, just as it did in its beginning, but with a new purpose as a cultural epicenter for the local music scene. 

Their list of upcoming artists is jam packed for the next few months with at least one show every week but at times reaching upwards of four or five. Eugene’s own Novacane are playing October 13. Since creating its own genre of music titled “Psych Pop,” the group earned a name for themselves in the local music scene and beyond. 

The University of Oregon Campus Radio 88.1 KWVA is hosting New York born rapper Skizzy Mars with special guest Yoshi Flower on November 2 to perform Mars’s new album Free Skizzy Mars for $18.00. With everything from EDM to rap to rock ‘n roll, the 2019/20 season at WOW Hall is going to be a big one. 

Yet another historical landmark in Eugene, the McDonald Theatre, first opened its doors in 1925 as a movie house. It was eventually converted to host the bustling stage that is still in use to this day. McDonald Theatre has become a venue for up and coming musicians to find a name for themselves and for local artists to bring their community together. 

Their event calendar is action packed for the next month or so. Rising Appalacia folk band from the south that uses influence from countries around the world, are playing on October 6. Yung Gravy a Minnesota based rapper is performing on October 12. Canadian born DJ Ekali is performing on November 1. Tickets range in price from $22.00 to $25.00. 

The venue that was once known as the HiFi Music Hall has been rebranded as the newly opened Sessions Music Hall. Sessions has its official grand opening on October 18 but, they still have quite a few shows scheduled leading up to it. Caitlin Jemma, American folk artist, is throwing her album release party on October 13 for $10.00. Maribou State, English electronic duo, are bringing their Kingdoms in Colour tour on October 13 as well for $15.00. There are quite a few other artists performing in the weeks leading up to the grand opening and scheduled in the months following, including SWMRS, the Oakland native punk rock band, on November 5 for $16.00. 

Matthew Knight Arena and Autzen Stadium on the UO campus host musicians occasionally throughout the year. While there is not anything currently on the schedule for Matthew Knight Arena or Autzen, they do host concerts every so often.

The Hult Center in downtown Eugene has concerts quite frequently throughout the year, although they are a little more expensive than most other venues throughout town. Currently on the list for the Hult Center at the end of October is the one and only Jason Mraz, who has made a name for himself for being an upbeat and positive folk artist. He performs on October 30 and tickets are anywhere between $41.50 to $114.75. Rumors are also that Fleetwood Mac, a widely known Fleetwood Mac tribute band, are coming to the Hult Center on November 18 and tickets are going for $33 to $54.50. 

No matter the price range, musical genre, or venue size, the sheer number of venues and events makes it possible for nearly anyone to get involved in the music scene in Eugene.

Arts and Culture Reporter

Grace Murray is an arts and culture reporter. She loves music, comedy television, photography and Disneyland. Send her an email if you have a local event, art show, performance, or exhibit!