by Dave Cunningham, Staff Writer
Black Diamond Junction
Free Oudoor Concert
August 7th 2 to 4 PM
In September of 2021, Port Ludlow Performing Arts (PLPA) tried something completely new, one of those “let’s run it up the flagpole and see who salutes” kind of projects: a free outdoor concert. Would it be a bust or a big money-loser?
Obviously not, because PLPA has just decided to do it again. On Sunday, August 7, the Black Diamond Junction band will perform from 2 to 4 p.m. on the grassy field adja- cent to Oak Bay Road, just south of Grace Christian Center … and the show is free to all.
“We did the first one because, after 18 months of Covid restrictions and multiple cancelled PLPA concerts, we wanted to let the community know we were still oper- ating,” said PLPA board member Gregg Patton. “We were hoping to jump-start a new, normal season before the end of 2021, which we did.”
The PLPA board of directors dealt with considerable trepidation when they booked two bands for the first free outdoor concert.
“As a board, we were quite out of our comfort zone,” Patton said. “We had decades of history presenting indoor, tightly managed shows, booking acts six months to more than a year in advance. There was a routine which was repeated and became very familiar, with a fairly predictable audience attending each show.
“Now we were suddenly trying something that was free, outdoors, on grass where nothing had ever been staged before—not knowing whether we would get 20 people or a thousand. We had to find a portable stage, amplify sound, get port-a-potties, hire bands, find a food vendor. It was a bit nerve-wracking.”
It turned out to be a huge success, with many hundreds of people sitting on blankets and lawn chairs on the grass, many of them discovering what Port Ludlow Performing Arts was all about for the first time. That led to new season subscribers and at least one new board member.
They danced and sang along with the bands, bought snacks from the Dusty Green Café food vendor and enjoyed being outside on a sunny day.
“It was such a fun event,” Patton said, “that we kind of got sucked into the idea of doing it again and … dare we say it? Making it an annual event.”
2022 Summer Concert
The Black Diamond Junction band hails from Port Angeles and plays rock, country, and pop favorites, so they figure to satisfy almost everyone. Key facts to remember:
- bring a blanket or folding chairs to relax when you aren’t dancing on the grass
- parking will be available at Grace Christian Center, with plenty more off Marina View Drive and Olympic Place
- it’s free!
Also please note that PLPA’s final indoor concert of the 2021-22 season will be June 11, with the Barrio Manouche band performing at 7 p.m. in the Bay Club. Those who attended their first-ever PLPA concert on April 30 still have a 2-for-1 offer, which means that they can get a free ticket for the June 11 concert. For more info, visit PLPA Website