Live Arts in Oregon Affected by COVID-19

Photo From CDC Website

Due to the increasingly fast spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), we felt it best to postpone our weekend roundups until the outbreak is better under control. Obviously, events are still happening and many people are still attending them safely, but we felt it best to not continue highlighting events when it could risk people's health and livelihoods.

Health agencies and organizations, both local and international, are recommending that everyone limit their time in public gatherings. And as much as we love when people go out and support local art, we want to be clear that our recommendation to readers is the same as these authorities’. There will still be many great artists and events to learn about on our website once life returns to normal.

At the end of this article are some helpful links if you are feeling concerned or would like to educate yourself on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep yourself and others safe.


While many live events are still going on throughout the state, Oregon is very much feeling the effects of the spreading COVID-19 pandemic. While there are currently 30 confirmed cases in the state, emergency declarations and containment efforts are taking hold all over the region.

Governor Kate Brown on Wednesday ordered that all large gatherings of 250 or more people are cancelled for four weeks to aid containment efforts -- the same step taken by Washington Governor Jay Inslee in some counties. This mandatory closure included many concerts and arts shows happening all over Oregon.

As of Thursday, Governor Brown ordered all K-12 schools be closed statewide from Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 31 as a precautionary measure to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Portland Mercury has kept a running tab of the dozens of events in the area that have been cancelled. Even the publication itself issued a statement describing how the spread of COVID-19 is hurting its own business, since the vast majority of its revenue comes from the promotion surrounding the very events that are being banned.

“The coronavirus crisis in Portland is a major threat to The Mercury’s ability to keep the city informed,” the statement said. “The... situation is threatening to eliminate this income all at once.”

Events in Salem and Eugene have similarly been affected by the statewide ban. Scheduled events at the Elsinore Theatre in Salem have been postponed or cancelled, though smaller venues like the Pentacle Theatre, which seats fewer than 200, are continuing with performances.

The Pentacle Theatre Company released a statement on March 7 saying that staff will be “following the protocols recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and Oregon Health Authority to keep our communities safe.”

The Pentacle, like many venues continuing with performances, has a ticket exchange or refund program for attendees who would rather not go out, however.

Eugene, site of Oregon’s largest university, has seen events all over campus cancelled as part of a way to encourage “social distancing.” Shows by progressive metal band Tool, which were scheduled at the Matthew Knight Arena -- where the University of Oregon basketball programs play -- have been cancelled, too.

To see what specific venues or events are doing in response to the containment measures, check their websites and social media pages directly. Curbside Press will continue with its usual weekly roundups once business returns to normal for art events in Oregon.

For recommendations by health authorities about limiting exposure and seeking testing or treatment for COVID-19, use the links below:

CDC COVID-19 Prevention Tips:

Governor Kate Brown's March 12th Announcement:

OPB's Live Updates:

OHSU's COVID-19 Resource information:

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