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In planned summer of fun, Blues Festival and Gay Pride will find a home in former shipyard as Zidell family makes the most of its fallow real estate.

COURTESY: FULLER  EVENTS - Socially distanced outdoor entertainment will come to The Lot at Zidell Yards this summer on the south waterfront, including the relaoated Waterfront Blues Festival and Pride, as well as movies and more live music.

Now known as the Lot at Zidell Yards, the former barge building space on South Waterfront is relaunching itself as an outdoor performance venue.

Recent performances there, taking advantage of the need for social distancing, include a drive-in premiere of the Oscar-nominated movie Minari and a drag show by Darcelle. The Waterfront Blues Festival there will take the form of two four-hour shows per day this summer.

Located at 3030 S. Moody Ave., The Lot at Zidell Yards will feature a full stage, a large format LED screen, a site-specific sound system and an on-site food and beverage program. Seating will be in socially distanced pods. The challenge will be finding a big enough screen for movies and overcoming traffic noise from the Ross Island Bridge and nearby I-5 freeway.

The Zidell family had big plans to develop the space until those projects fell apart in June 2018 over a dispute about how much the taxpayer should fund local infrastructure such as roads, transit, parks and sewers.

PAMPLN MEDIA: FILE PHOTO - The former Zidell Yards will host outdoor entertainment in 2021.

In a media statement, organizers promised live entertainment there from May through September 2021.

"We believe that our city's musicians, artists, cultural institutions and creatives not only make up the rich and colorful fabric of Portland, but are also essential components to the economic health of our city," said Christina Fuller, co-owner and partner, Fuller Events.

"The Lot will provide opportunities to put our artists and our event production and hospitality professionals back to work and give our audience the opportunity to celebrate and reconnect."

The Zidell family that owns the Zidell Yards now operates a property development company, ZRZ Realty Company. ZRZ's Charlene Zidell said in a statement, "In alignment with The Lot team's vision, we believe in the restorative power of live performances and gathering together, in the safest way possible. As longtime supporters of the Portland arts community, we're proud to host The Lot on ZRZ Realty property."

PHOTO BY JAIME VALDEZ - Jay and Diane Zidell watch the Zidell Marine 277, the last  barge made at Zidell Marine and Harley Marine Services, float on the Willamette River. Today the Zidell family is Real Estate development.

The Lot will feature daily programming throughout the summer, including live music, movies, charity fundraisers, wellness classes and more.

The summer calendar includes:

The Waterfront Blues Festival: The 2021 Waterfront Blues Fest "Upriver" comes to The Lot over July 4th weekend, July 2-5.

The Hollywood Theatre: Hollywood Theatre and The Lot at Zidell Yards present a series of film and music May through June.

Pride NW: Celebrate Portland Pride at The Lot, with Pride Northwest and QDoc Film Festival, featuring live entertainment, happens in June.

Summer Music Festival: Presented by The Lot, highlighting local and regional musicians and celebrating the diverse music community of Portland will take place in August.

The Lot has partnerships with both Pride NW of the LGBTQ+ community and the Waterfront Blues Festival. The Lot organizers promise it will be "a place for families and audiences of all ages, with fun and engaging programming for everyone to enjoy."

Safety measures include wide thoroughfares with clearly marked traffic lanes, limited seating capacity, touchless ticket scanning, mask-wearing guidelines for all attendees, staff and performers, stringent cleaning and sanitizing protocols and ample restrooms with attendants and cleaning procedures.

Tyler Fuller, founder and partner, Fuller Events, said: "We're committed to working with key stakeholders to rebuild events in Portland, kickstart cultural activities and reinvigorate our city's spirit."

Joseph Gallivan
Reporter, The Business Tribune
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