This summer, live, local music on Whidbey Island is thriving.
Along with Coupeville’s Waterfront Wednesdays, an outdoor busker concert series will grace Oak Harbor every Friday from 5 to 6 p.m. on the corner of Dock Street and Pioneer Way until Aug. 26.
Buskers on the Corner was put together by the Oak Harbor Main Street Association.
“Our mission is to revitalize historic downtown and draw people here to help the business survive and so this is one way in which we hope to do that,” Executive Director Margaret Livermore said.
Sponsors pay for the musicians to play. They also have tip jars. The sponsors this summer include Penn Cove Brewing Company and Lotus Tea Bar. Marketing Director Teresa Besaw said that local businesses were eager to sponsor the series.
“Then all the musicians fell into place too,” Besaw said. “So it really worked out.”
All of the musicians responded to an online application to play.
Livermore said it was Besaw’s idea to use the new pop-up plaza, which has a small stage, seating and murals, for live music. The pop-up plaza is on private property, but the association got permission from the landlord to set up a gathering place there.
“Everything in there is sponsored,” Livermore said.
The murals were funded with a grant from the Department of Commerce, the pergolas and tables were sponsored by local business owners, and Home Depot sponsored the stage. The first Sasquatch Walk last year raised money to revamp the corner as well. The stage was just completed this May.
“It’s a great little spot for things to happen,” Livermore said.
The music brings people to the area on Friday nights. Livermore said she has seen groups of people who watched the music grab something to eat for dinner at one of the nearby restaurants.
Organizers hope Buskers on the Corner will continue in future years and possibly beyond just the summer months.
The Oak Harbor Main Street Association encourages people to bring their own lawn chairs as there are only four tables in front of the stage. The full lineup for this summer can be viewed at Oak Harbor Main Street Association’s Facebook page under “events.”