South Tahoe summer outdoor concerts add to music scene
Outdoor musical performances are synonymous with summer — dancing, snacks, and even an adult beverage or two. In South Lake Tahoe, locals and visitors now enjoy a variety of open-air venues, including concerts at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Hotel & Casino, MontBleu Tahoe, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, and Harveys Lake Tahoe.
According to Diane Verwoest, of Tahoe Paradise Park Improvement District’s events committee, outdoor music events have put soul back into the South Shore over the last four years. She recalled a vibrant local music scene in the 1970s before it fell off the map.
“We had places with nothing but big dance halls, but then it got lost for a while,” Verwoest said.
The fun kicked off again when casino hotels began hosting outdoor music. Plus, people began exploring places like Tahoe Paradise Park located in Meyers.
“These events brought people out to the park, so they can discover a whole new area,” Verwoest said.
On Course Events coordinates many gatherings in partnership with local businesses, organizations and governments. Venues include Live at Lakeview Concert at Lakeview Commons on Highway 50, 10th Tee Summer Music Series at Lake Tahoe Golf Course, and Music in the Park at Tahoe Paradise Park in Meyers. Live at Lakeview started four summers ago in partnership with the City of South Lake Tahoe.
The city recently renewed the partnership for another five years.
“South Lake Tahoe has an incredible community culture of people who enjoy gathering together in this beautiful place we all love to work and play in,” Leslie Schultz with On Course Events said in an email.
Schultz added that concerts provide a perfect combination of setting and music for families.
Each venue has its own distinct feel as well. Live at Lakeview features the sun, beach and water; Lake Tahoe Golf Course offers a backdrop against the Twin Peaks and Mount Tallac; and Tahoe Paradise Park sits tucked away near the Truckee River.
A VARIETY OF MUSICAL STYLES REPRESENTED
Open-air performances aren’t just a lure for locals and visitors seeking entertainment. Musicians, spanning many genres, travel to the area from across the Pacific Coast.
Events have “given local bands an opportunity to open for larger acts than they are used to, often forming new relationships that lead to out-of-town gigs for them as well,” Schultz noted.
Seth Hall and Chad Lawrence, of South Lake Tahoe band 4 Piece Puzzle, agreed that outdoor venues provide a different atmosphere, whether it’s the beach, the golf course or the park.
“When you look out and see the community coming to support music in general, that’s great,” Lawrence said.
4 Piece Puzzle opened Live at Lakeview for the Portland-based Scott Pemberton Trio on Aug. 20.
Amber Rose, a South Lake Tahoe native who moved back to the area two years ago, said outdoor music events definitely add value for families and single parents.
“You get to gather with the community and have local bands,” Rose said.
Hall said he loves the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino music scene, but Live at Lakeview offers a different dynamic.
“My 10-year-old daughter doesn’t get to see me play that much,” Hall said. “But here, my family gets to party, dance, and have fun.”