Waterfront Wednesdays bring music to Front Street

Anyone can now see live music during the work week in Coupeville, thanks to Waterfront Wednesdays.

Anyone can now see live music throughout the work week in Coupeville, thanks to Waterfront Wednesdays.

The unique event with musicians busking in front of the historic wharf debuted last month as an effort to provide activities for locals throughout the week. It’s put on by the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association, a nonprofit organization that aims to strengthen, promote and maintain the town’s historic downtown district.

Paige Mueller, promotions coordinator for the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association, said the program is based on a survey of the association’s membership.

“They had expressed that they really wanted something kind of midweek to focus on locals and bring more people downtown,” she said.

One of the goals of the association is to increase traffic in downtown Coupeville through live music, which is rare in the downtown area.

The association started out by putting an application on their website and social media, calling for performers.

“It was actually open to anyone who wanted to busk, so not only musicians,” Mueller said.

Anyone from jugglers, magicians, street performers – even plein air painters – could apply.

“We opened it up to anyone who had an act that could last an hour but we only got musicians,” she said.

This event is something they plan to continue in the future so different performers will still have a chance to demonstrate their skills. So far there has been “really great feedback from the community and the business owners,” Mueller said.

There is ample seating and green space for people to watch the performers in front of the wharf. Nearby business Vail Wine Shop has a deck that overlooks the wharf so people can enjoy music along with their beverage of choice.

There are a wide variety of musicians who play, from solo singer-songwriters like Rain Sigler and Danika Kloewer, an Oak Harbor High School student, to a bluegrass band called the Fiddle Chix. The first performer was Charles MacDonald, who played only a drum kit.

“I’ve never seen a solo drum performer like that but it was amazing and he really responded to the crowd,” Muller said.

There are two more dates this season which can be viewed at coupevillehistoricwaterfront.com/events.

“It seems like there’s a big need for musicians to have places to perform here on Whidbey and we’re such an art-based community that they embrace musicians and artists of all kinds,” Mueller said. “So I think it’s a really great fit for Whidbey to have live music regularly.”

Waterfont Wednesdays take place outside the wharf entrance from 4 to 5 p.m. every Wednesday until June 29.