Changes to this year's Rock the Bluff

By Molly Bancroft | March 17, 2024 3:52pm
Dayglow performing at Rock the Bluff in 2023
Media Credit: Gavin Britton / The Beacon

It’s that time of year on UP’s campus: Rock the Bluff is upon us. The event, being held on Mar. 23, is a free concert event open to all UP students and staff. However, this year,  the campus board has made some significant changes to the event.

Most prominent is the fact that the event is not being held in Chiles Center. The concert will be at The Crystal Ballroom on West Burnside Street in downtown Portland. CPB director Claire Vondenkamp explains that this change made sense in terms of finances and venue set-up.

“How the Rock the Bluff fund works is some money is set aside from everyone’s student activities fee,” Vondenkamp said. “Since enrollment is down, we had less in that pool of money. We just found it would be more cost effective to have it in a place like the Crystal Ballroom where they have concerts every weekend.”

Vondenkamp notes that the fee for the Crystal Ballroom includes production and construction of the stage itself, making it easier for preparations. 

Presale tickets go on sale starting on March 15 at 10 a.m. at the Chiles Box Office. The rest of ticket sale times are listed on the campus program board instagram (@upcpb), which Vondenkamp recommends all students follow for information on ticket sales, times for merchandise giveaways and helpful information for students on the day of Rock the Bluff.

To get to this off-campus venue, students have three transportation choices to pick from. Similar to the Dance of the Decades, there will be a bus system for no charge that will follow the same pick-up system as the dance at Buckley Center.

Students who choose to use the bus system will complete security checks prior to arrival, and will be able to enter the Crystal Ballroom immediately. The bus system getting back, however, has a new organization method that students should be aware of.

Students will be given a group letter that corresponds to the order they grabbed their ticket (first 375 students in group A, next 375 B, etc.) After the concert, students will be ushered into the buses based on the letter order.

Students are also allowed to either drive themselves or order a ride share. Parking is open to wherever on the streets students can find, and there are special instructions for students arriving in ride shares (instructions are located on @upcpb). 

However, Vondenkamp warns students relying on ride share for after the concert. 

“After the concert, because everything gets out at the same time, there probably won’t be much rideshare available after the concert,” Vondenkamp said. “I would recommend taking the bus home.”

There will be security and bag checks upon arrival to the venue and no-re entry after leaving

CPB hopes to appeal to a wide variety of students in terms of music tastes for RTB.

“What’s interesting about this year is I feel like we have a little bit of music for everyone,” Vondenkamp said. “So whether you’re into pop, or more indie, or alternative, it’ll be full of whatever genre you’re into. It’ll kind of be covered by our artists, which is exciting.”

Molly Bancroft is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at