On Stage in Eugene
Eugene has a vibrant arts culture, with local companies sharing their talents on stage nightly and national acts stopping by on a regular basis. Whether you love opera, ballet, theater, or live music—and we’re talking everything from classical and musicals to rock, blues, hip-hop, and indie— there’s always something going on.
The Hult Center for the Performing Arts offers more than 700 shows per year, with seven resident companies and many guests from around the world. Enjoy works performed by Eugene’s nationally recognized symphony orchestra, the concert choir, one of two ballet companies, or an opera company. Each summer the university presents the Oregon Bach Festival, three weeks of concerts that include not just Bach but a diverse selection of performances and artists from around the world.
The Shedd Institute hosts a variety of shows both at the Hult Center and in its own concert hall in downtown Eugene. The selection is amazing, with everything from rock to jazz to bluegrass, and there’s not a bad seat in the house.
Downtown Eugene offers a variety venues for live music by nationally touring acts and local bands alike. Favorites include the McDonald Theatre (Elvis Costello and Silversun Pickups are among the recent headliners), WOW Hall (a tour stop for such acts as Dinosaur Jr., Macklemore, and Wiz Kahlifa), and smaller venues like Hi-Fi Music Hall and the Jazz Station. Right on campus, you can see big names like Def Leppard, Kiss, and James Taylor at Matthew Knight Arena, or catch student music performances at Beall Concert Hall, and plays and dance performances at Robinson Theatre, Hope Theatre, and Pocket Playhouse.
Like music on the lawn? Head to Cuthbert Amphitheater for outdoor summer concerts and enjoy old-school favorites like Bob Dylan and Lyle Lovett interspersed with the likes of rapper-rave band Die Antwoord and emo greats Dashboard Confessional.
Theater flourishes in Eugene, too, with a great selection of venues and companies from which to choose. The Oregon Contemporary Theatre offers a bold assortment of new plays that include comedy, drama, and musicals. The Very Little Theatre offers all-volunteer, community-based theater, and Actors Cabaret is the place to go for dinner theater.
And let’s not forget the summer event that takes our entertainment scene to a whole new level: the Oregon Country Fair. For three days in July, a beautiful patch of woods in nearby Veneta transforms into a magical land filled with musicians, magicians, jesters, and jugglers as well as a fine selection of crafts and homemade food—and plenty of tomfoolery.
As you can see, for a city that’s not so big, Eugene is no slouch when it comes to live entertainment.
Cascades Raptor Center
The largest collection of native raptors (as in birds) in the Pacific Northwest
10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Unique gifts, jewelry, ceramics, music, and food
Weekends, November 19–December 24,
Lane Events Center, West 13th Avenue and Jefferson Street
10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Mount Pisgah Arboretum
209 acres of quintessential Oregon greenery
Pacific Tree Climbing Institute
Climb a tree—a really old tree
Saturday Market and Farmers Market
Artisans, organic produce, and more
April 2–November 12
East 8th Avenue and Oak Street
10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Take a moderate climb up this butte to be rewarded with a stunning 360-degree view of the valley
World-renowned rhododendron garden and a native plant garden
To find out what’s going on in Eugene right now, check out eugeneweekly.com.