Venues Researched As Potential Zimfest Sites

The following venues have been researched (from 2013 on) as potential or actual Zimfest sites; last revised April 2024 by Claire Jones. See also: Past Festivals.


  • Reed College, Portland — They are committed to Chamber Music NW Summer Festival June to July and cannot accommodate Zimfest at the same time. Dorms go offline in August so there is no summertime date possible.
  • Lewis & Clark, Portland — No acceptable concert venue, too expensive.
  • Portland State University — Urban campus with heavy summer school schedule, few acoustically isolated breakout rooms available, no good marketplace/outdoor stage site.
  • Willamette University, Salem — Only possible concert venue is a gym with noise curfew issues.
  • Pacific University, Forest Grove (Portland outskirts) — No acceptable concert venue, facilities doubtful for a group our size.
  • Linfield College, McMinnville (north of Monmouth) — Per person per day fees too expensive for Zimfest budget.
  • University of Oregon, Eugene — Had been negotiating for 2015 or 2016 but was more expensive than WOU. Re-opening negotiations is possible.
  • Oregon State University, Corvallis – Zimfest 2023 held here with all concerts outside – popular with our audiences. Availability of acoustically-isolated workshop rooms in different OSU buildings was a major problem overall, not likely to be resolved in the future.
  • Western Oregon University, Monmouth – Site of successful 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 Zimfests; they would be happy to have us back. They are affordable, Conference Services people are wonderful to work with, and the student union building provides an adequate evening concert venue. Noise curfew prevents evening concerts from being held outdoors. Equidistant from Portland and Eugene, although public transportation can be difficult.


  • Seattle University, Seattle — A definitive no; they cannot accommodate our afternoon concerts and workshop “noise” in their dense urban campus.
  • University of Washington, Seattle — Likely too expensive even if we got the sponsorship of a student group. Many rules and regulations, including prohibition against off-campus advertising of events in the Student Union (which has ballrooms acceptable as concert venues). Perhaps arrange room and board there if we found an off-campus concert venue?
  • University of Washington, Bothell (shares a campus with Cascadia CC) – Adequate on-campus housing came online in 2024, but they have no concert venue indoors or outdoors that can accommodate 300+ people.
  • Seattle Pacific University, Queen Anne, Seattle — Too small to accommodate our activities or concerts BUT could potentially provide room and board if we had activities close by (such as Seattle Center?).
  • Seattle Center – Zimfest 2002 was held here, and accommodation was negotiated at Seattle Pacific University. At that time fees were affordable because Zimfest was accepted as one of the Center’s Festal series of ethnic festivals, which may not be possible anymore. No admission can be charged for concerts inside the Armory Building, but Fisher Pavilion might work. Workshops had to be held in different facilities on the Seattle Center campus, calling for multiple negotiations and contracts. Difficult!
  • St. Martin’s College, Olympia — Not possible, too small to accommodate us.
  • University of Puget Sound, Tacoma — Per person per day fees proved to be too expensive in 2014.
  • Ft. Worden, Port Townsend — No space during 2017 because of precedence to legacy clients (Centrum) and a movie being made there. Met with event managers in spring 2018 and did site visit, determining that we would need to have concerts off-site because of 10 PM site-wide curfew (there is an acceptable hall at the nearby Fairgrounds). They informed us in September 2018 that they will not be adding any summer events in the foreseeable future, only May would be available to us.
  • Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Port Townsend – Could be a possibility, camping and showers are available and separate from the concert venue. Little space for workshops.
  • Western Washington University, Bellingham — Preferred concert hall was subject to 10 PM noise curfew in 2005, thus concert venue was a gym. Negotiations in 2024 allowed for outdoor concert space, but all venues indoor and out were subject to 10 PM noise ordinance curfew.
  • Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma — Dancing no longer allowed in the two venues we have used previously; evening concerts to be held in largest room in Univ. Center or potentially outside. After we  inquired (late 2023) as to potential availability through 2028, events scheduler stated they are unable to accommodate Zimfest due to numerous space constraints and date availability.
  • Skagit Fairgrounds, Mount Vernon – 2022 Zimfest post-COVID was successfully held here as a mostly-camping festival, with evening concerts in the historic downtown Lincoln Theatre (outdoor evening concerts were not allowed). Both the fairground buildings and Lincoln Theatre backstage facilities were limited, so a larger festival would not be possible here.
  • Whidbey Island Fairgrounds — This would be a camping festival. Possible openings in August in future years; ownership/responsibility for fairgrounds has changed to the Port since we made our request. We do have a proposal on file.
  • Bremerton — A cabin and camping festival on the forested site of 43 year-old Puget Sound Guitar Workshop. Totally booked June through August for the foreseeable future.
  • Pilgrim Firs Camp & Conference Center, Port Orchard — Cabins and lodges. Associated with United Church of Christ. Very few summer dates available; dining lodge accommodates only 120.
  • Fort Flagler State Park, Nordland (near Pt Townsend) – Brief site visit and conversation revealed that they get booked up very quickly each winter for the following summer. Also there would be few workshop rooms.
  • Millersylvania State Park, Olympia – Retreat Center can accommodate up to 150 people. Likely too small for Zimfest.
  • Central Washington University, Ellensburg — Site was suggested, connection and site visit made. Evening concerts would have to be inside because of noise curfew, but they can accommodate our needs. Unadvertised facility fees turn out to be cost prohibitive unless we charge the fees to the participants.
  • Kittitas County Fairgrounds, Ellensburg – They (rodeo grounds) fill up pretty fast. Camping is available so best to partner with CWU.
  • Evergreen State College, Olympia – Zimfest was prepared to take place at Evergreen in 2020 but was canceled due to the COVID pandemic. As of 2023, their Conferences Services is no longer able to provide housing for more than 150 during the summer, so they have taken themselves out of the running.
  • Camp Casey, Coupeville, Whidbey Island — A former military fort purchased by Seattle Pacific University to be used as a Conference Center. They were not hosting events larger than 125 people in 2022 but anticipate re-opening to full capacity when COVID protocols allow. Capacity for concerts needs to be researched. SPU currently has a policy of no LGBTQ people on the faculty, and while that remains in effect, Zimfest is reluctant to work with them.
  • Gonzaga University, Spokane – No response to attempts to get in touch.
  • Whitman College, Walla Walla – Booked for 2022, have gotten in touch about future festivals. Site visit upcoming.
  • Whitworth College, Spokane — They cannot accommodate the needs of Zimfest (reasons not given).