Les Schwab Amphitheater has announced that beginning with Sunday's Michael Franti concert, that they will be restricting access to the East bank of the Deschutes (across from the venue) from the footbridge across the river on the south to Hot Pond Loop on the north. The area has been a popular place to poach concerts playing at the Amphitheater for over a decade.
It seems that the Amphitheater has gained a reputation for being insecure when crowds across the river sometimes total half of the paying ticketed crowd in the venue.
In July, the Source questioned the consequences of the abundance of free music in Bend and the effects of the saturation of nightly free concerts (read the article here). The closure—while sure to be unpopular with Bendites used to lounging river front within earshot of the show—is one example of how a stigma of free music is effecting ticketed concerts and venues.
Stay tuned to the Source for updates on the effectiveness and enforcement of the closure.