Modern Issues Scrutinized Accordingly: Corvallis can and should benefit from local talent


Lily Middleton, Photographer

Local band Minor Anomaly performed at Bombs Away Café the night of Oct. 22, 2021. Bombs Away is located at 2527 NW Monroe Ave. in Corvallis, Ore.

Sam Misa, Columnist

Editor’s Note: This column does not represent the opinion of The Daily Barometer. This column reflects the personal opinions of the writer.

While Corvallis, Ore. may not have any formal venues to host big name musical talents like Eugene, Ore. has with McDonald Theatre, the city can and should invest in music.

What I am talking about are all the grassroots sources of musical talent which can be found both on and off the Oregon State University campus; from KBVR-TV’s Locals Live to house shows hosted locally. Corvallis has a lot to offer.

Something that can be infinitely more beneficial both to residents and the city itself is simpler than many of us may think. 

Corvallis should be investing in organized festivals for local musical talent that can continue to make the city more attractive to prospective students of OSU. While festivals may not work in the winter, Oregon summers are perfect with warm weather and blue skies.

We already are able to see similar benefits of music in places such as Bombs Away Cafe, located at 2527 NW Monroe Ave. According to the owner of the Corvallis restaurant, Jeffrey Sawyer, featuring local music has been good for business.

“I’m all for grassroots-style events,” Sawyer said. “Most of the talent we have on stage and everyone who operates our shows are local. Hosting big name acts would take the ‘local’ part out of the music scene around here.”

In the month of March alone, the business has 21 live performances scheduled. That’s about four to five nights out of the week, and Sawyer said Bombs Away Cafe is always looking to add more. Live performances are mutually beneficial; it’s the entire reason why movie theaters exist.

If we take this concept and expand it to a larger scale, Corvallis could see an increased interest in local tourism, and more people spending time in the city means more people spending their money on local businesses. 

A member of the production team for KBVR-TV, Cole Keady, is in agreement with this sentiment as well. KBVR-TV, which is part of Orange Media Network alongside The Daily Barometer, is OSU’s TV station and produces weekly episodes of “Locals Live,” which brings local talent from both Corvallis and Eugene to make music videos with them.

“I always think there’s room for improvement especially in the case of OSU in hosting, like musical events and that sort of thing,” Keady said. “I think that would be cool to kind of bolster that a little bit and in the area.”

Keady also said it makes sense that Corvallis lacks a venue to host big name talents, as Eugene is both larger and close enough that OSU students regularly go there to see their favorite artists.

Corvallis has a great opportunity to make this situation work for them, in that they can have their cake and eat it too, in a sense. Lots of problems, including traffic and noise pollution, come with hosting concerts year round that Corvallis residents don’t have to worry about, and yet they don’t have to go far to access those concerts. 

While Corvallis may not have the capacity or infrastructure to host concerts, live music and more importantly, local music, can and should be available within the city’s limits. Whether it be festivals or just small outdoor musical events, the city should be supporting local music.

There are plenty of problems, like an inability to shelter houseless people, that Corvallis has to deal with before they should focus on this situation, but when the time comes, it’s clear which route they should take. 

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