Every year, Portland’s alternative rock station 94.7 KNRK puts on “December to Remember,” a week-long music festival that takes place in some of Portland’s biggest music venues. You can pretty much guarantee a killer lineup filled with bands that are dominating mainstream and alternative radio stations. This year the lineup included The Killers, The Shins, The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men, M83, Passion Pit, FUN…and the list goes on. See what I mean by killer lineup?

The 2012 edition of December to Remember was bigger and better than ever, stretching from December 2-10, with seven shows at the Crystal Ballroom, one show at the Roseland Theater, and one show at the Rose Garden. I was lucky enough to see two of the shows this year (almost all sold out in less than one day). Both shows I saw were at the Crystal Ballroom, a McMenamins property. If you’ve never experienced the Crystal Ballroom, it should be on your Oregon bucket list.

The Crystal Ballroom is a wonderful space; spacious and beautifully decorated, featuring paintings by local artists.  I should also mention that the Crystal Ballroom has a unique floor called a “floating dance floor” or “spring floor.” The Crystal Ballroom’s spring floor is made of woven wooden battens so when people start to jump up and down you feel as if you’re on a trampoline with everyone in the room. It’s quite the surreal concert experience!

While McMenamins does bring in nationally renowned bands to play at the Crystal Ballroom, they also hire a number of regional and local musicians to play at their brew pubs, which are liberally scattered throughout western Oregon and Washington (if you’re traveling through the state, you will most likely cross paths with a McMenamins property). Some of my very favorite properties include Edgefield (where they have summer concerts on the lawn), The Kennedy School and Old St. Francis School.

Even if you missed this year’s December to Remember, don’t fret because you will have many more live music opportunities in Oregon throughout the year. Thanks to 94.7, The Crystal Ballroom and Portland’s amazing music scene, I certainly did have a December to remember.

About the Author: Allison Keeney

Allison Keeney is a music fanatic. Born and raised in Oregon, Allison grew up in a music-loving family where The Beatles, Elvis Costello and The Rolling Stones were frequently played. She now lives in SW Portland, which is just a hop, skip and jump from some of Portland’s best music hot spots. She currently works in the Global Sales department at Travel Oregon where she’s the coordinator for the European, domestic/Canada and Oceania markets.

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  1. Matt M says…

    I have always enjoyed the Portland music scene. I was curious if there are any new and rising bands coming out of Oregon right now? Any that may have played these events? Being from San Diego I don’t get up there as much as I want to but hearing good bands from the region keep the memories rolling. Wonderful story! What are prices typically for tickets if I would like to go next year?
    Matt M

    Written on January 4th, 2013 / Flag this Comment
  2. Allison Keeney says…

    Hi Matt!! Yes, there are lots of amazing local bands coming out of Oregon right now. Since I live in Portland most of the local bands I see are from here. A couple of my favorites include; Radiation City, Blouse, and Holiday Friends (from Astoria). I’ve seen all of them play at local Portland venues in the last few months. As for next year’s December to Remember, tickets go on sale in early October and range anywhere from $25-$65 and they go quick! There’s also MusicfestNW in September, which is Portland’s biggest and most successful music festival and has begun to be dubbed the SXSW of the west coast. Let me know if you have any other questions. – Allison K.

    Written on January 7th, 2013 / Flag this Comment
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