How to Find Free Summer Concerts in 15 Cities
After a brutal winter, it's time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. Many cities across the country are happy to accommodate by hosting free and cheap concerts, shows, plays, and more in municipal parks. From big names to up-and-coming artists, free summer concerts are a blast. Whether you're planning a road trip this summer or a staycation in or near any of these 15 cities, here is Cheapism.com's collection of resources to help you schedule a summer's worth of free or cheap entertainment.
TimeOut New York focuses on the big names and lets you sort by month.
I Love Free Concerts provides helpful search filters and lists dance performances around the city in addition to free concerts.
People in Plazas hosts more than 170 free shows around the city from July through September.
Stern Grove mounts a free show almost every Sunday in July and August.
The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival features afternoon shows – music, dance, and circus acts – throughout the week.
Jack London Square in Oakland shows movies on Thursday nights and runs a "Dancing Under the Stars" series in June, with free dance lessons on Friday nights.
Union Square is home to free music and dancing on Wednesdays and Sundays.
There is a monthly jam show for families in Golden Gate Park, as well.
Grand Performances is one of the best-known free concert series in the city and showcases many well-known artists.
Free concerts are hosted by the Skirball Cultural Center on Thursday nights. Thursdays also shine with the Twilight Concert series at the Santa Monica Pier.
If jazz is your thing, head over to the LACMA on Fridays.
The Farmers Market at the Grove organizes free trivia nights, music, and western-themed ranch parties.
At Pershing Square there are lunchtime concerts on Wednesday, salsa on Thursday evenings, movies on Friday nights, and concerts, along with a beer and wine garden and food trucks, on Saturdays.
Chicago Traveler lists music and other major events, like the Zombie Prom and Burlesque Fest.
Millennium Park is the site of several summer-long series, including music on Thursdays and Mondays and workouts on Saturday mornings. The full list of activities and ongoing events can be found on the city's website.
Wawa Welcome America sponsors a weeklong festival ending in a July 4 celebration.
On Wednesdays in August, there are two free concerts at Rittenhouse Square Park.
Slightly outside the city, Concert Under the Stars presents free music and comedy on Sunday nights.
The Boston Harbor Hotel is hosting its Summer in the City series for the 17th year. Each night has a theme: Soul Tuesdays, Rat Pack Wednesdays, Blues Barge Thursdays, and Movies by Moonlight Fridays.
Specifics haven't been released for 2015 yet, but in its 43rd year, the Dorothy Curran Summer Concert Series in City Hall Plaza is a staple.
Twilight in the Park is a concert series at Balboa Park that offers free performances on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings.
Carlsbad hosts free shows in various locations as part of its TGIF Concerts in the Parks series.
In Arlington, the Levitt Pavilion is hosting more than 50 concerts throughout the summer, with one almost one every day in June.
In Fort Worth, the Green Concert Series on Fridays features local musicians and runs from April through October. The Sunday Jazz Series can be heard on several Sundays in May and June.