Secret Society Ballroom, the

3.0 out of 5 stars
based on 1 Review
116 NE Russell Street
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 493-3600


swing, jazz, americana, country, blues, world, cabaret

Typical earnings for each musician

based on input from 1 review

Paid via…

  • Donations?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • No pay at all?: No (1 vote)  
  • Free food?: No (1 vote)  
  • Free drinks?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Paid to play?: No (1 vote)  

Business practices

  • Non-profit?: No (1 vote)  
  • Musician-run?: No (1 vote)  
  • Rental fee?: No (1 vote)  
  • Books local acts?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Books out-of-town acts?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Promotes the acts it hires?: No (1 vote)  


  • Piano?: No (1 vote)  
  • Piano in tune?: No (1 vote)  
  • Keyboard?: No (1 vote)  
  • Drumset?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Keyboard amp?: No (1 vote)  
  • Guitar amp?: No (1 vote)  
  • Bass amp?: No (1 vote)  
  • Direct box?: No (1 vote)  
  • PA system?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Sound person?: Yes (1 vote)  

The room

  • Stage?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Backstage/Green Room?: No (1 vote)  
  • Space for dancing?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Primarily background music?: No (1 vote)  
  • Serves Food?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Liquor License?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Capacity: 50-300 (1 vote)  

Incorrect info? your correction!

Reviews from musicians



39 Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars   


Load in space limited; load-in overall quite workable considering the two flights of stairs! Still, back door opens right up onto the stage. Easy.

Overall good people to work with.

Great sound guy, very down to earth. Audience raved about the sound out front but on stage it sounds like a barn. Better for quieter acts, at least on stage.

Beautiful house, wall to wall wood floors. Perfect for dance bands.

Decent food; they give you two drinks and 1/2 off an entree.

They promote a little, not much. They probably have some of their own draw, difficult to tell. It's a new venue; they'll probably start developing some of their own regulars since they generally book pretty good music.

CAVEAT: Their broad, vague "discretionary" capacity clause means they can start refusing entries at around 150 people, if they feel like it, and they may not be counting. If you think you might draw more than 150 folks, consider working this out with them beforehand, or finding another venue. Make sure the door guy has a hand counter. You might also want to have a few of your fans count heads in the room.

Here's some stuff from their info packet:

"Load in/Sound Check:

Load in anytime after 5 unless specific arrangements have been made otherwise. Happy hour music EVERY Friday and Saturday runs from 6pm – 8pm in the ballroom, bands can set up and line check from 8pm to 9pm for evening shows. If a more involved sound check is required bands can make arrangements with [sound engineer] Bryan Appel for an early load in/sound check. If band has other needs requiring an early load in (decorating the room for instance or setting up camera equipment) please make arrangements with Brian Dufour. For weekday shows sound check, doors and showtimes can be more flexible due to lack of happy hour music.


Set Times:

Happy hour music from 6pm to 8pm, evening music goes from 9pm to 12:30pm unless otherwise arranged with us. For weekday shows, set times can be more flexible as far as start time but must still be done around 12:30.

Room Specs:

Room capacity is 225 unseated, approx 175 partially seated. Capacity may be limited at our discretion based on our ability to properly monitor the room/serve our customers etc. We have seats/tables for 75 and can rent extra chairs and tables if necessary (rental cost will be deducted from the door); to do so contact Brian Dufour. We have a full bar in the Ballroom and we offer full food service. Customers are also welcome to travel between the Lounge and Ballroom with both food and drink.


We have a 16 channel Yamaha mixer (with two separate monitor mixes), 4 JBL monitors, 1 Peavey drum monitor, multiple Audix vocal mics, various other condenser/instrument mics and 4 DI’s. We also have a beautiful 1960’s Slingerland drumset (kick, rack tom, floor tom and snare) with brand new DW and Ludwig hardware including a DW kick pedal and drum throne. We have a basic lighting system, if your lighting needs are more involved we can rent extra gear (follow spots, etc); to do so contact Brian Dufour. Rental fees will be deducted from ticket sales/guarantee.


We will provide two drink tickets and half-off all food (both include anything from the Ballroom menu) for every band member up to 6 people. For more than 6 people we will provide one drink ticket and half off food. We have NO greenroom so no dressing rooms are provided.

Ticket Sales/Door/Merch Policies:

We don’t do advance ticket sales but many bands use if they wish to sell tickets in advance. We provide a door person, we do NOT provide a merch person (we do, however, provide a table that can be used for merch set-up). We take NO consignment from the sale of merchandise. Or guest list policy for ticketed shows is simply that it’s your money and you can have as many guests as you like.

Our standard policy for ticketed shows is as follows: Artist sets ticket price, takes 100% of sales less $100 to be split between door/sound people. For shows with no cover charge we agree to pay a guarantee of $50 a person up to $200 VS 20% of all Ballroom sales (food & drink).