Fairhaven Outback Amphitheater Review

The Fairhaven Outback Amphitheater on a sunny, Sunday morning.

Intended as a bustling performance and gathering space for university students, clubs, classes and academic programs, the Fairhaven Outback Amphitheater is crafted from hefty, unvarnished logs and embellished with a striking painted mural on the back wall. The empty stage looms over observers, yet compared to most venues, is small and quaint. It is mostly hidden from view by a curtain of trees and vegetation, making it an intimate performance space for musicians.

Elaborate murals adorn the back wall of the stage.

Located in such a remote place on campus, it’s not immediately obvious to passerby, making any shows that take place on the stage seem like more of a novelty. Critics may argue that the stage is so little known in the community that even the local acts may forget about it, and while there is an element of truth to this, I encourage people to consider the advantages that could come with this attribute. The secrecy of this venue has resulted in the stage being known and used only by the community with the closest ties to it, adding a lovely personal touch to the venue. Comfort has not gone unaccounted for at the Fairhaven Outback Amphitheater — the stage is sheltered securely from Bellingham’s ever-present drizzle and there is a fire pit in front of it to light up the area during night shows and keep the audience warm. 
Not only is the stage a personal and comfortable place to attend concerts, but it is gifted with a very pleasing atmosphere. The surrounding trees act as a shield from the outside world and have the additional luxury of being aesthetically pleasing. Murals on the stage’s walls give it a touch of friendliness, without being too obtrusive or tacky. With its high ceiling and natural openness, the stage never feels too small or confining, offers ample space for a band to set up their gear and sports a handy ramp for ease of access — all features that are much appreciated by the musicians who play there.

A ramp is attached to one side of the stage for easy transportation of music gear.

Local wildlife, such as deer, are commonly seen in the area, giving the stage a pleasantly remote vibe. As far out as it seems, the Fairhaven Outback Amphitheater is actually located very conveniently near parking and is no hassle to access. Any event scheduled at this venue can almost certainly be guaranteed privacy and freedom from outside disturbances, thanks to its private setting. The downside to the highly vegetated outdoor location of the stage though, is that with Bellingham’s classic, rainy weather, it can be hard to find enough dry weather to schedule many shows. The path to the venue can get slippery and muddy in this climate, and even on a dry day, there is no promise that it will be warm enough for an enjoyable outdoor concert experience.

While the Fairhaven Outback Amphitheater is by no means perfect, it has its unique niche as a small, personal and local performance space. Inviting and charming, this pleasant venue is an optimal spot to bring together tight-knit communities of people over shared interests. At the Fairhaven Outback Amphitheater, you will find a comfortable, sheltered spot for concerts, located in a peaceful, semi-forested area, where your event is unlikely to be disturbed by outside interferences. While you may not be able to count on the weather to cooperate with this open-air venue, you can be assured that any show you attend here will be intimate and engaging. I highly recommend this location to any local musicians or music enthusiasts looking for a personal and community-oriented concert.

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