I love cultural events, especially live music.
I’d go to concerts a lot, except that they seem to all be held at alcohol-centered venues, such as wineries and bars. For various reasons, my friends and I are teetotal and would rather not hang out in bars. Are there other places where we can hear good music?
I don’t mean to complain, but SCENE seems to focus quite a bit on alcohol. Where can my nondrinking friends and I have some fun in this town? Is Yakima just too boozy for us?
Thanks for any help you can give us.
Sober in the Lower Valley
I’m not unsympathetic. You’re right: A whole lot of the arts and entertainment scene in the Valley revolves around the wine and beer industries, and a lot of venues need to sell drinks during performances to make it work economically. So that means at least a little bit of alcohol at most grown-up events.
I wish I had a more satisfying answer for you. But there are ways to limit your exposure to alcohol while still seeing a good show. It’s true that a lot of the live music in the Yakima Valley is at wineries, bars or beer-centered festivals, but there’s also a lot of music in regular concert venues. You can see the Broadway musical “Come From Away” on Oct. 5 or 6, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 13 or Oct. 27 and the Soweto Gospel Choir on Oct. 18. And that’s just October at The Capitol Theatre. The Seasons Performance Hall will have Caspar Babypants on Oct. 13 and Pedro the Lion on Nov. 17 with a few tribute-band concerts sprinkled between them.
In the Lower Valley, there’s Brewminatti in Prosser with a full slate of fall concerts; Perham Hall at the Old Warehouse in Zillah, which will host the very worthwhile Parker Millsap on Oct. 27; and the Lower Valley Live! concert series in Sunnyside, Prosser and Grandview, which resumes Oct. 24.
While some of those shows will be at venues that sell alcohol, drinking won’t be the primary focus as it is when there’s live music at bars and wineries.
As for our SCENE section (for which I’m the lead writer) and its frequent focus on alcohol, I can’t dispute that. A lot of it has to do with us covering what’s going on (and a lot of what’s going on being booze-centered). I try to also highlight community events without a drinking component, and I’ll take your letter as a reminder that I can probably do a better job of it.
Hope that helps.