More than just a cool venue, Bing backs up its claims with some genuinely cool performers.

Calling all music lovers

The Bing Lounge and KPSU team up to offer free shows

SXSW is coming up in March. Almost right after comes Coachella in April. How many Portland State students can afford tickets to these monster festivals? It’s hard enough to scrounge up enough cash to see a band at the Roseland or Doug Fir. But there’s just nothing like seeing live music, is there?

The Bing Lounge and KPSU team up to offer free shows

SXSW is coming up in March. Almost right after comes Coachella in April. How many Portland State students can afford tickets to these monster festivals? It’s hard enough to scrounge up enough cash to see a band at the Roseland or Doug Fir. But there’s just nothing like seeing live music, is there?

More than just a cool venue, Bing backs up its claims with some genuinely cool performers.
Adam Wickham / Vanguard Staff
More than just a cool venue, Bing backs up its claims with some genuinely cool performers.

It has something to do with that unbeatable energy, people dancing around you, drinks, friends and just getting into the music. What if there were an intimate downtown venue where you could see live local bands, enjoy a few refreshing bottles of Lagunitas and eat pizza…for free?

Trick question! There is such a place, and it’s called the Bing Lounge. It’s owned by Alpha Broadcasting (the company behind Live 95.5, KINK 101.9 and KUPL 98.7), whose slogan is “putting the live and local back in radio.”

That was the idea behind partnering with KPSU. “We were interested in doing events that would appeal to students,” said Becca Pollard, promotions and technical assistant at Alpha Broadcasting. “We got in touch with KPSU, and they thought it was a great idea.”

The venue is located only a few blocks from campus at Southwest Sixth Avenue and Madison Street. Though the Bing Lounge hosts world-famous musicians from The Fray to Sarah McLachlan, the KPSU-affiliated New Music shows are free and open to all ages.

How do they do it? The free beer and pizza come from sponsors Lagunitas Brewing Company and Pizza Schmizza and all it takes to get in the door is an email to Pollard to get on the guest list. And if you can’t make it to the show, no worries: the Bing Lounge provides streaming video of live shows on the Internet at www.alphabroadcasting.com/binglive or through your smartphone via the free Ustream app.

You can even browse through videos of past performances—70 pages of them! Portland band Blast Majesty played the Bing Lounge last November. “It was fun. The people were all cool there,” Singer/guitarist Chad Majesty said.

Keegan Meyer, promotions director for KPSU, talked more about PSU’s involvement in the series. “The Bing Lounge came to KPSU asking us if we would like to help co-promote and collaborate together for these events…We agreed to do it because we thought the idea was great,” Meyer said. “It featured great bands and provided good publicity for our station. We have the on-campus residential community and the college demographic, something the Bing Lounge rarely saw in their venue until this.”

He said landing the Lagunitas sponsorship really helped the series take off and that KPSU is mainly responsible for promoting the shows and bringing the beer.

If you missed the Wampire show at the Bing Lounge on Feb. 17, don’t fret. The next New Music show features San Francisco band The Family Crest on March 30. More information can be found online. Search for the Bing Lounge on Facebook or Twitter or follow KPSU Portland on Facebook for upcoming shows. And if you’re in a local band that’s interested in playing at the Bing Lounge, you can contact Pollard for more information at [email protected]

With a simple email, broke but fun-loving PSU students can enjoy a night of music and free food and beer. And even if you can’t make it to the show, you can always watch it streaming live. It’s a pretty cool thing the Bing Lounge is doing, and it’s backed up by the music experts at PSU’s own radio station. I’ll see you all there March 30.