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Music at Montague draws big crowds in inaugural year in new Wilsonville amphitheater

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: ANDREW KILSTROM - Villebois residents watch the Brian Odell Band in action.Between performances from local bands Tin Silver, Nate Botsford Band, Nu Wavers, The Jessie Leigh Band, Whiskey Darlings and Brian Odell Band, it's safe to say that the first year of Music at Montague in Villebois was a success.

Throw in the large crowds, good food and plentiful partnerships with local sponsors and Music at Montague founder Brad Salyers says he's happy with how everything turned out. A Villebois resident, Salyers teamed up with Edge Family Fitness's Carlos Salazar. Salyers says his goal from the start was to create a family-friendly event that was free for the Villebois community, and that simultaneously promoted local bands while shining a spotlight on Wilsonville charities.SPOKESMAN PHOTO: ANDREW KILSTROM - The Brian Odell Band performs at Music at Montague Tuesday, Aug. 22.

"Villebois has a lot of events in this community, and a lot of them are very similar in their concepts and style," Salyers says. "Events like the farmers market and the Brewfest have great food and drink, and they have good live music, but the music isn't the emphasis. I wanted this to be different in that the music would be the main focus. The three main things I wanted was to create awareness in the community for local bands, local businesses and local charities."SPOKESMAN PHOTO: ANDREW KILSTROM - The Villebois neighborhood enjoys live music and a good time Tuesday, Aug. 22.

The seed for Music at Montague was planted when the 1-year-old park was first being built. When Salyers saw it was going to include an amphitheater, he knew it was the perfect location for a "music in the park" type of event. He says he wanted to provide something that the Villebois neighborhood could call its own and enjoy for years to come, but was somewhat surprised at how popular Music at Montague was from the onset.

Totaling six concerts from July 18- Aug. 29, the event routinely saw crowds in the hundreds. Salyers says he received good feedback from both neighbors and bands, and already has a list of music groups who want to play next year's concert series.SPOKESMAN PHOTO: ANDREW KILSTROM - Brian Odell belts it out at Music at Montagues second-to-last concert of the summer Tuesday, Aug. 22.

"I would say we had a little over 300 people for that first concert but it's been pretty steady since then; I'd guess 400-500 people most nights," he says. "We're hoping it will grow to even more than that next year and with a community like Villebois, I think this is something that will be able to sustain itself over time."

Salyers says acquiring the necessary OLLC liquor licensing permits and getting other logistical ducks in a row with the local homeowners association were the biggest obstacles, but that it's been mostly smooth sailing during the back-end of the concert series. He's continued to add interested sponsors throughout the year — Waterstone Realty Group, RoHillCo, Pacific Residential Mortgage chief among them — and hopes to get more local charities and nonprofits involved next year.

"A big difference next year is that we want the food to be sold by a charity or nonprofit, like Little League or a group like that, so that proceeds can go to them," Salyers says. "They can grill up hamburgers or hotdogs or whatever and that way people feel good about where their money is going. I think our setup was good this year, but as much as we can help out local charities and shine the spotlight on them the better."SPOKESMAN PHOTO: ANDREW KILSTROM - Residents take a moment to appreciate good weather and better music Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Music at Montague experienced something of a hiatus in the middle of its series due to high temperatures and the excessive smoke that traveled from Canada and Central Oregon, but all in all Salyers is happy with the event's first year. Now the goal is to take any further feedback from concert-goers and plan for an even better iteration in year two. More information on Music at Montague can be found at their Facebook page, at goo.gl/p8yh5d.

"Our goal is to create a family-friendly event that's free for the community and makes lasting memories," he says. "It was so great to see kids interacting with the bands and people just having a good time."

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