The Oregon Symphony will not hold its annual waterfront concert this summer.(
The traditional free end-of-summer Oregon Symphony performance that draws thousands to the Portland waterfront won’t happen this year.
The symphony canceled the concert after Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler left money to pay for it out of his first city budget.
The city has historically provided $190,000 for the event, which culminates in fireworks and howitzer blasts over the Willamette River, said Assistant City Budget Director Claudio Campuzano.
Without that money, which pays two-thirds of the tab, the show won’t go on, said Oregon Symphony spokeswoman Rebekah Phillips
“It’s a citywide event, and it requires citywide support.,” Phillips said. “We’re not able to do that on our own.”
Former Mayor Charlie Hales also cancelled the special allocation for the event in 2013 but restored funding the following year after blow-black from the community. Wheeler also excluded the event from the city budget he proposed in May.
“We had to make a lot of tough budget choices,” mayoral spokeswoman Michelle Plambeck said in a text.
She suggested the symphony could apply for some of the $1 million the city has flagged for grants Portland community groups.
But applications are due August 15 and the concert usually takes place at the end of that month or early in September. The symphony does not plan to apply.
“We know (city officials) support the arts, and we hope they’ll support it again in the future,” Phillips said.
The Oregon Symphony is preparing to make its first appearance of the summer at the Oregon Zoo, where it will top off the concert by playing the 1812 Overture traditional to the waterfront concert, Phillips said.
But the zoo concert does not replace the free event. Tickets will range from $30 to $90.
“Nothing can replace the waterfront model,” Phillips said.
Portland Actors Ensemble presents an outdoor production of “Troilus and Cressida” this summer, featuring Paul Susi (standing) as Achilles, Jacob Camp as Troilus and Alexandria Casteele as Cressida. (Gary Norman)