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What makes this Bend’s best concert season ever?

Portugal. The Man Les Schwab

Updated June 2, 2022

Maybe it’s sunset’s glow glinting off the river. It could be the caress of a cool breeze. Or maybe it’s how grass tickles your toes as a melody skims your ears and shimmies straight to your soul.

It’s all those things that make Bend’s outdoor concert season a thing of magic. But what makes 2022 more special than ever? Here’s the answer, along with key things to know about the upcoming concert season at Hayden Homes Amphitheater.

What’s new?

View of the stage at Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend, OR

A magical setting for getting your groove on.

First things first: There’s a new name. Hayden Homes Amphitheater is the new moniker for what once was the Les Schwab Amphitheater. Different name, same great venue.

Actually, scratch that.

Much more has changed for the better. Remember when they announced a record-breaking 26 shows for the 2021 season? In 2022, we’ll have 51 shows. You read that right. FIFTY-ONE. Nearly twice as many as the previous record. 

And what variety! From country to standup comedy to ‘90s grunge to gods of rock, there’s a little of everything in the 2022 lineup.

Also new: A little more space for everyone to spread out. There’s a new entrance that’s closer to the river and back toward the treeline. More space means more ADA pathways for folks in wheelchairs. There’s also space for special VIP performances (and anyone who caught one last year from Brandi Carlile or Luke Bryan knows how cool this is!)

While the space got bigger, the venue capacity stayed the same (capped at 8,000) so you’ll have plenty of room to swing your groove thing.

All right, let me rip the Band-Aid off fast with news that’s a tiny bit of a bummer: You can’t bring your own chairs. The process of measuring and searching them proves too time-consuming for security staff already dedicated to slightly more pressing concerns like…yanno…security. While I’m disappointed I can’t drag my Costco chair through the gates, I’ll deal if it means no one’s dragging in a weapon.

The good news is you can bring in those legless, flat-bottomed stadium cushions lots of us have for football games. Crazy Creek makes some excellent ones that are pretty darn comfortable. For most shows except the ones that are sold out, there’s also the option to bring towels or yoga mats. Another safe bet is renting chairs inside for $10, so there are plenty of ways to keep your butt off the grass. Good? Okay, let’s get to more happy news.

Who’s coming?

You’ll find a complete list on the Bend Concerts website, and I offer the following knowing it’ll be outdated if another announcement slips through or something else sells out. But here’s the lineup as of June 1, 2022:

Rebelution playing in Bend, Oregon

Rebelution will return to Bend this summer.

  • June 7: ZZ Top
  • June 10: Sarah McLachlan with Indigo Girls
  • June 14: HAIM
  • June 15: Barenaked Ladies, Gin Blossoms, and Toad the Wet Sprocket
  • June 21: Norah Jones
  • June 22: Tenacious D
  • June 24: Chris Isaak with Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
  • June 25: Weird Al Yankovic
  • June 26: Dirty Heads with special guests SOJA, Tribal Seeds, and Artikal Sound System
  • June 27: Bob Dylan
  • July 3: Ween
  • July 7: Kruangbin
  • July 8: Jason Mraz and Raining Jain
  • July 9: Slightly Stoopid
  • July 15: Nate Bargatze (standup comedy)
  • July 16: Goo Goo Dolls with special guest Blue October
  • July 19: Kenny Chesney
  • July 20: Kenny Chesney
  • July 21: The Black Crowes
  • July 22: Dispatch and O.A.R.
  • July 23: Johan Pardi
  • July 24: Rise Against with The Used
  • July 28: Darius Rucker
  • July 30: Dark Star Orchestra
  • August 2: Alanis Morissette with special guest Garbage
  • August 3: Train with Jewel and Blues Traveler
  • August 4: Amos Lee
  • August 8: Jim Gaffigan (standup comedy)
  • August 9: The Chicks with Patty Griffin
  • August 10: The Chicks with Patty Griffin
  • August 11: Rebelution with special guests Steel Pulse and DENM
  • August 12: My Morning Jacket
  • August 13: Mt. Joy
  • August 18: Atmosphere and Iration
  • August 19: Thomas Rhett
  • August 22: Bonnie Raitt with special guest Mavis Staples
  • August 25: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
  • August 26: Maren Morris
  • August 27: Tedeschi Trucks Band with Los Lobos and Gabe Dixon
  • August 31: Alice in Chains
  • September 1: Sammy Hagar and The Circle with special guest George Thorogood
  • September 3: Incubus with special guests Sublime with Rome and The Aquadolls
  • September 6: Ziggy Marley with a live tribute to his father
  • September 9: Nine Inch Nails
  • September 14: Flume
  • September 18: Flogging Molly and The Interrupters
  • September 20: Wilco
  • September 23: LANY
  • September 25: Jack Johnson
  • September 26: Odesza with special guests Sylvan Esso and Elderbrook
  • October 2: Rüfüs Du Sol

I just got carpal tunnel typing that! 

With the caveat that this could change the instant I hit “post,” here’s what’s already sold out: Jack Johnson, Odesza, Tenacious D, Nine Inch Nails, and the first night of The Chicks. 

Almost sold out (and might be soon if you don’t buy tickets quickly): the second night of The Chicks, Alanis Morisette, and both Kenny Chesney shows.

 While you can buy tickets online, here’s a tip: Hayden Homes Amphitheater remains one of the few Live Nation venues with a local box office. That’s something folks in the Old Mill District made sure of when partnering with Live Nation. They wanted to be sure there’s an on-site box office where folks can not only buy tickets in person, but save a few bucks on service charges. You can also skip the service charge by buying tickets in person at the Old Mill’s Ticket Mill office way in advance of your show.

Oh, and here’s my other favorite thing about this season: Comedy! Both Jim Gaffigan and Nate Bargatze are known for clean, family-friendly humor in their standup comedy shows. And Weird Al Yankovic is bringing it back for the second time with his kooky brand of musical humor. If you like to laugh, save space in your summer calendar for those shows.

Foreigner in Bend, OR

A stage big enough for big acts.

Have you seen the new stage?

With COVID raging the summer of 2021, some folks sat out the last concert season. If you’re among them, you might’ve missed seeing the venue’s biggest change. 

The new stage is 62 feet high and added an additional 1,840 feet in total stage footprint. Why does it matter? In past years, bigger acts would pass on performing at Les Schwab when they learned the venue couldn’t accommodate their rigging (think lights and speakers). But the new stage brought us up to snuff with larger venues, launching Bend from the minors to the big leagues.

The new stage has a minimalist design that pays homage to Bend’s sawmill history. There’s also a new fully ADA-compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act) pathway from the ADA gate that spans the entire venue.

You’ll also see new seating areas that weren’t there before 2021, including cabanas and a raised deck near the river. Check their website for pricing and details, including how to score mini-season passes for special seating areas.

Luke Bryan, in 2021, in Bend, Oregon

Luke Bryan in 2021

Lots of tickets left!

Like I mentioned above, sold out shows include Jack Johnson, Odesza, Tenacious D, Nine Inch Nails, and the first night of The Chicks. Nearly sold out are the second night of The Chicks, Alanis Morisette, and both Kenny Chesney shows. 

But for everything else, you’ll still find tickets as of June 1, 2022. That means there’s still time to snag seats for Norah Jones, HAIM, The Black Crowes, Darius Rucker, and many more acts journeying to Bend this summer.

And here’s another bit of good news for those sold out shows: If you’re patient and you watch the site closely, you can still grab tickets through Ticketmaster’s Verified Resale Program. Yes, you’ll end up paying a little more than if you’d been lucky enough to snag seats when they first went on sale, but you won’t face the risks you’d take buying from a scalper. These are legit tickets that come with a guarantee.

Top tips for having the best Bend concert experience

In case you hadn’t guessed by now, I go to a lot of Bend concerts. I start stalking concert announcements on January 1, and I set my family’s vacation plans around the Hayden Homes Amphitheater schedule. Below are some of the best tips I can offer for maximizing your Bend concert experience:

  • Read the rules carefully for each individual concert. Some have special rules, and some shows have unusual setups. For example, the Bob Dylan concert allows no phones and requires that you put yours in a special locked pouch. The Weird Al show is reserved seating only––no general admission. You’ll find lots of little quirks like this in the lineup, so it’s important to know what to expect for the shows you’re attending.
  • Get yourself a small, see-through tote bag. Aside from the chair rule I’ve touched on already, the ban on backpacks and purses is another fairly new rule. You can bring a see-through bag that meets a size restriction of 12” by 6” by 12”, and it must have only one compartment. I grumbled a bit when this rule went into effect last year, but I was pleased to discover it wasn’t a big deal. Bonus: The plastic tote I bought on Amazon for ten bucks made it much easier to find my glasses and reusable water bottle during the show.You can also have a non-clear clutch bag that’s no bigger than 4.5” by 6.5”, so that’s another option if you don’t want your tampons rolling around for all the world to see.
  • Take note of what’s not allowed at any show at all. This includes weapons of any kind or anything considered threatening by the general public. Smokeables of any sort–legal or illegal–are also not permitted. No alcohol or drugs, and no outside food or beverage. Pets are also not permitted, except service animals. They’re also asking that you leave behind any wagons, golf umbrellas, Aeroloungers, Frisbees, hula hoops, confetti, streamers, balloons, projectiles, Silistring, and wolverines. I might’ve made up that last one, but it’s a good rule of thumb to leave vicious animals and surly spouses at home.
  • Don’t buy from scalpers. Seriously, that’s a good way to lose your hard-earned cash to a scammer.
  • No poaching the show from the sidewalk or river outside the venue. It’s private property, not to mention our pristine Deschutes River takes a beating when folks try to anchor there. Be kind to the touring artists who took hard hits from the pandemic and pony up the ticket fee to see them.
  • Watch the weather. High desert temps can fluctuate wildly, especially with some of those shows later in the season. You might arrive to bright sunshine at the start of the concert and find yourself freezing by sundown. Bring an extra layer or two, and don’t forget sunglasses.
  • Be nice. You’re in Bend. This goes without saying whether you’re attending a concert or hiking the River Trail. For tips on understanding concert etiquette in Bend, check this blog post for details like when and where it’s cool to get up and dance. Keep in mind a few things have changed since then, including the fact that we’ve all become a bit feral. Be kind, be patient, and be happy we can go shake our groove things together again.

See you at the shows!

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