Summer is the time for being outdoors; a time for enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery that the sun brings. This year, Nordic Northwest (NNW) held their first ever outdoor concert. To those who purchased VIP tickets, there was a semi-private meet and greet with the band and a delicious buffet of appetizers from the Broder Söder, the restaurant inside of Nordia House. Since the band was one that held interest for us, we purchased VIP tickets and had the opportunity to experience this first time event.
The concert was held on the lawn of the Fogelbo, which is situated in a wooded area off of SW Oleson Rd., Portland, OR. It is a historic, log cabin structure that was built in between 1938 and 1940 by Henry Steiner who was on the building team for Timberline Lodge.
Although the owner, Sir Ross Fogelquist, still lives there it has been gifted to Nordic Northwest. A full story of the Fogelbo can be read in History of Fogelbo: A Swedish-American Treasure on the Nordic Northwest website.
The sprawling lawn, surrounded by lush woods, is a perfect location for a small concert.
The Fogelbo patio overlooks the property and is a quaint, quiet place to sit and enjoy a drink and some appetizers. It is opposite the busy road, so you do not hear the traffic that rushes by this treasure without a second glance.
Meet and Greet
After checking in at the Nordia House, we received our wrist band for the concert (they had different colored bands depending on the type of ticket one purchased). Then we were directed over to the Fogelbo for the Meet and Greet Reception.
We arrived a bit early, and they were still setting up the appetizer buffet. So, we took the opportunity to get some pictures outside of the Folgebo and grounds.
When the patio was opened up, we ascended the stairs to find a long patio table decorated with the Swedish Dala Horse and flag. The table could seat about 15-20 guests.
Jodi Lippert, Executive Director of NNW, was welcoming and friendly. She made sure each guest had plenty of refreshments and that the appetizer buffet and drinks were plentiful. When I approached and asked if I could take pictures of the patio and food she was very nice and took the time to give me a bit of the history of the Fogelbo and to discuss the event.
There were approximately 15 of us who had either purchased or won a set of the VIP tickets. Some were members of NNW and others of us were new to NNW. While we waited for the band to finish sound check and come to the patio, the concert guests had the opportunity to chat and enjoy the food.
We were also given the opportunity, by Sir Ross Fogelquist, to have an impromptu tour of the Fogelbo and see the amazing collection of Scandinavian historical treasures in his home. One can sign up to be notified of tours here.
About half way through the meet and greet time slot, the ABBAgraphs came up to meet with the guests and take pictures.
Once the meet and greet was over, the VIP guests headed to their front row seats. We chose to stay on the Fogelbo patio, as you could see the stage from there as well.
The ABBAgraphs gave a fun performance. Due to the Fogelbo being in a neighborhood, the sound was most likely kept within the noise level ordinance of the city, but we could hear the band just fine from the Fogelbo patio.
We enjoyed the small size of the crowd as it made the experience personal and welcoming.
During the intermission, the patio beverage station was restocked for the VIP guests and the band. Both Jodi, and her assistant, made sure everything ran smoothly and that the guests enjoyed the concert.
We had a good time at the concert. Since we had never been to NNW for a concert we didn’t know what to expect. When we found out it was an outdoor concert we were concerned we’d be sitting on grass. However, the communications staff reassured us by email that we’d be sitting in chairs. After finding out the patio was not that far from the stage we were thrilled to be able to sit there.
The reception was very nice. Jodi and her staff went out of their way to make it pleasant, comfortable, and well worth the price. The food from Broder Söder was delicious, and they had a little something for everyone such as meatballs, shrimp, and salad. They had both alcohol and non-alcohol beverage offerings.
The band was friendly and the music was entertaining. The sound quality was about equal to what you might expect at a zoo concert or the Rose Festival smaller stages. Although the event was about music, the highlights were chatting with other guests, watching people dance to the music, and nibbling on incredible food. If you are a fan of Scandinavian culture, this is a great place to see a concert and connect with others who enjoy it as well. We will be on the lookout for more concerts there.
Find out more about Nordic Northwest:
Address: 8800 SW Oleson Rd., Portland, OR 97223
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM | Saturday – Sunday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
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