Triangle Offers Low-Cost or Free Outdoor Summer Concert Series
Illustration courtesy of Jason Moore
Keep the kids entertained and your wallet fat this summer with free or low-cost live outdoor concerts throughout the Triangle area. Here is what summer 2017 has in store. Check websites for updates, as scheduling changes may occur.
2600 Evans Rd.
Held at the spacious Nature Park Amphitheatre, the evening will offer family friendly concerts and movies. Load up the kids, the lawn chairs, blankets and a picnic dinner and show up early for good seats. Concerts start at dusk and are scheduled for select Saturdays. No pets or alcohol. Check website for dates.
Toasts and Tunes Concert Series
8624 Castleberry Rd.
Free concerts for all ages held at Cloer Family Vineyards on select Saturdays from 2-4 p.m. These are outdoor concerts, and wine will be sold by the glass and bottle (no outside alcohol permitted). Feel free to bring lawn chairs and picnics.
Summer Music Series
950 Bynum Rd.
Tickets are not needed but a $5-8 donation is requested and a hat is passed for performers. Bynum Front Porch invites folks to bring chairs and sit under an open sky to enjoy fine music, food from local vendors and one another's company on Friday evenings from May to September. Please leave pets and alcohol at home. Music plays from 7 to 9 p.m. and shows span genres from gospel, folk, blues, rockabilly and bluegrass.
After Hours: Early Summer
101 E. Weaver St.
Beat the heat Thursday evenings with free music May 18-June 29, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., on the Weaver Street Market lawn. Bring a picnic or chairs.
Jazz & More Brunch
101 E. Weaver St.
This free outdoor jazz series takes place on Sundays, May 21 – Oct. 15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., on the Weaver Street Market lawn. Take chairs and blankets. Purchase a la carte brunch items in the store.
Live at Lunch
100 W. Chatham St.
Bring your lunch or stop by one of Downtown Cary's restaurants and then join in for some mid-day music by local performers. Picnic tables provided. Thursdays in April and May from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Fidelity Bank Plaza.
HobNob Jazz Series
8003 Regency Pkwy
Tickets are $5 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre on Wednesday nights in May. All shows are 5:30-8:30 p.m. Picnics and pets on leashes are allowed; alcohol is not.
2017 UNC Rex Healthcare Summerfest Series
8003 Regency Pkwy
The North Carolina Symphony's popular summer outdoor concerts return for another season at Cary's Booth Amphitheatre on weekends May 27 through July 15. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., but you can bring a picnic as early as 5:30 p.m. Children ages 12 and under are admitted free on the lawn. Above photo courtesy of North Carolina Symphony.
PineCone: Artify (The Arts in the Parks)
PineCone collaborates with the Town of Cary to offer free concerts in venues including the Sertoma Amphitheatre in Bond Park, Cary Arts Center and Koka Booth Amphitheater. This year’s dates are May 13, June 10, July 8 and Aug. 12.
801 High House Road
Enjoy free outdoor concerts May-August at 7 p.m. on select dates. All shows are held at the Sertoma Amphitheatre in Bond Park. Come early for a seat, or pack your own chairs. This year’s dates are May 13, June 10, July 8 and Aug. 12.
Starlight Concert Series
119 Ambassador Loop
Enjoy free concerts at 7 p.m. on select Fridays, June-August, at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center Garden. Food and lawn chairs are permitted. Please leave pets and alcoholic beverages at home. This year’s dates are June 2, June 23, July 14 and Aug. 4.
Wind Down Wednesdays at Waverly Place
575 New Waverly Pl.
Don't miss free concerts and family entertainment on the promenade every Wednesday night June 7 through July 26, 6-9 p.m. There is also a special end-of-summer concert on Wed., Aug. 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. Lawn chairs and ‘people-friendly’ dogs are welcome. Coolers are not permitted. Above photo courtesy of PopulateProductions.com.
Carolina Inn's Fridays on the Front Porch
211 Pittsboro St.
Enjoy free live music every Friday through Oct. 13, 5-8 p.m. Food, beer and wine will be offered. A variety of food trucks are returning this season. Above picture courtesy of The Carolina Inn.
Live and Local! Music and Art Series
140 W. Franklin St.
At the Plaza in Downtown Chapel Hill, free concerts on Friday May 5, 12 and 19. Most concerts begin at 6 p.m. and last until 9 p.m.
Meadowmont Music Series
301 Old Barn Lane
Featuring big name bands each month from 6:30-8:30 p.m., with free parking. Bring your friends and family and have a picnic or enjoy dinner from food trucks. 2017 dates: May 6 and Sept. 16.
Music in the Village
100 Meadowmont Village Circle
Free music the first Friday of each month at Meadowmont Village. From 6 p.m. to sunset. 2017 dates: June 2, July 7, Aug. 4, Sept. 1 and Oct. 6.
Music in the Meadow
1342 Briar Chapel Pkwy
Free concert series open to the public at Great Meadow Park at Briar Chapel. With food trucks, sweets and beer.
Sunday Concert Series
620 Market St.
Enjoy free Sunday concerts on the Southern Village Green at 6 p.m., April 9 – Sept. 17. Picnics, and free will tips for the musicians, encouraged. Please note, some days of week and event start times vary.
Clayton Town Square Concerts Series
110 W. Main St.
Free concert events every month from May through September. Bring a blanket and enjoy the local vendors. Square opens at 5:30 p.m. 2017 dates: May 19, June 15, July 20, Aug. 17 and Sept. 8.
Back Porch Music on the Lawn at American Tobacco Concert Series
318 Blackwell St., Durham
Enjoy free concerts, 6-9 p.m., on the American Tobacco Amphitheater select Thursdays May 11-Sept. 14. Picnics and coolers are welcome-no glass. American Tobacco’s restaurants will be open, and beer and wine are available for purchase. Parking is $6 per car.
1058 W. Club Blvd.
A community music collaboration event on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. at Northgate. Musicians and music enthusiasts are invited to come jam.
Duke Performances 2017: Music in the Gardens
420 Anderson St.
Listen to regional indie rock and folk groups in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on select Wednesdays June 7-July 12. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and concerts start at 7 p.m. Chairs and picnics are allowed. Tickets are $10, $5 for Duke employees and students and free for children 12 and under.
The Streets at Southpoint's Music on Main
8030 Renaissance Pkwy
Listen to free concerts featuring adult contemporary, beach and light jazz music at Cinema Circle (across from South Point Cinemas) Saturdays April 22 - Oct. 14, 6-9 p.m. Performers entertain the crowd in a family-friendly atmosphere.
Durham Central Park (DCP) Concert Series
501 Foster St.
Durham Central Park has a brand new, free concert series coming Fridays, June 23-Aug. 25, including Orquesta GarDel, Too Many Zooz and Skylar Gudasz w/ Special Guest Kamara Thomas. Shows 6 to 8 p.m.
Follow Me to Fuquay-Varina (FM2FV) Concert Series
102 N. Main St.
Free concerts on select Thursdays from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Centennial Square. Kids can enjoy a free play area featuring Mimi the Clown and inflatables. Food trucks will be on site. 2017 dates: April 13, April 27 and May 11.
125 Avery St.
Listen to free live music on the back lawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center. Bring chairs or blankets, but coolers and pets are not permitted. Family-friendly food and beverages available for purchase. Check website for date(s).
228 S. Churton St.
Free “Jazz and More” music on the Weaver Street Hillsborough patio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays, May 21 – Sept. 24.
S. Churton St. and E. King St.
Free monthly concert series from April through September, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Located at Courthouse Square and features art, food, music and fun for the whole family.
Clay Street After Work
Every third Friday from May to August, 7-9 p.m. on Clay Street. Come early to shop and dine!
LIVE in The District Music Series
3400 Village Market Place
Join the fun each Thursday night, April 20 - June 8 from 6:30 - 9 p.m. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket in a brand new outdoor venue in front of Stone Theatre – Park West 14. Free, live music!
Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
3801 Rock Quarry Road
Several upcoming Live Nation shows scheduled throughout the summer. Stay tuned to COASTAL24.com/MusicPark for updates on membership perks.
Midtown Beach Music Series
Enjoy free music performed by popular beach bands at North Hills on Thursdays, April 20-Aug. 17, 6-9 p.m. Best parking located in either the CapTrust Tower or the newly completed Bank of America Tower. Above picture courtesy of North Hills.
North Carolina Museum of Art Summer Concerts
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
Since 1997 the Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., Theater in the Museum Park has welcomed America's finest singer-songwriters and critically acclaimed musical ensembles from around the world. Tickets are $30 for reserved seating and $23 for general admission. Children 6 and under are free. Select dates May 6-Sept. 16.
Oak City 7 and Pickin’ in the Plaza
400 Fayetteville St.
Summer concert series located in City Plaza (on Fayetteville Street) in downtown Raleigh. Admission is free to the public and the events take place from 5-10:30 p.m. on Thursdays, beginning the Thursday after Memorial Day and ending the Thursday before Labor Day.
Saturdays in Saxapahaw
Enjoy free outdoor concerts on Saturdays May 6-Aug. 26, 6-8 p.m., on the Hay Wagon Stage at the Saxapahaw Rivermill Farmers Market. No dogs allowed.
Wake Forest ARTS Six Sundays Concerts
701 Harris Rd.
Free concerts on Sundays from April 30 through June 4 at 5 p.m. at E. Carroll Joyner Park Amphitheater. Food and refreshments will be available.
Originally compiled by Carolyn Caggia, May 21, 2014.
Updated by Megan Finke, April 23, 2017.