Triangle Offers Low-Cost or Free Outdoor Summer Concert Series
Illustration courtesy of teacept/Shutterstock.com
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 2016 has in store. Check websites for updates, as scheduling changes may occur.
Apex Music & Movies in the Park Series
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, May 21 – Sept. 24. No pets or alcohol.
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 summer 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 19-June 30, 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 15 – Oct. 9, 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
135 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 May from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Ivey-Ellington House.
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 to early June. All shows are 5:30-8:30 p.m. Picnics and pets on leashes are allowed; alcohol is not.
2016 Rex UNC Healthcare Summerfest Series
8003 Regency Pkwy
The North Carolina Symphony's popular summer outdoor concerts return for another season at Cary's Booth Amphitheatre May 28 through July 9. 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 14, June 11, June 24, July 9 and Aug. 13.
801 High House Road
Enjoy free outdoor concerts May-August at varying times. 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 14, June 11, June 17, July 9 and Aug. 13.
Starlight Concert Series
119 Ambassador Loop
Enjoy free concerts at 7 p.m. on select Fridays, May-July, at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center Garden. Food and lawn chairs are permitted. Please leave pets and alcoholic beverages at home.
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 1 through July 27, 6-9 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 through October 7, 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 select Thursdays and Fridays through June 3. 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. 2016 dates: April 16, May 21 and Sept. 10.
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.
A Southern Summer 2016
620 Market St.
Enjoy free Sunday concerts on the Southern Village Green at 6 p.m., April 10 – June 26. New select Thursday concert dates at 7 p.m. added this year.
Clayton Town Square Concerts Series
110 W. Main St.
Free concert events every month from May through September. Traditionally the concerts were held on Thursdays, but this year the CDDA is mixing it up - trying out Fridays and Saturdays too! Bring a blanket and enjoy the local vendors. Square opens at 5:30 p.m.
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 12-Sept. 8. Picnics and coolers are welcome-no glass. American Tobacco’s restaurants will be open, and beer and wine are available for purchase. All concerts are a joint production of the American Tobacco Campus and NC Public Radio WUNC-FM 91.5.
Blues on the Plaza
1058 W. Club Blvd.
Enjoy free live music featuring local Durham and surrounding area Blues bands at Northgate Mall. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the music Friday nights from 6:30-9 p.m., April 29-May 27.
Duke Performances 2016: 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 1-July 27. 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 23-Sept. 3, 6-9 p.m. Performers entertain the crowd in a family-friendly atmosphere.
Warehouse Blues Concert Series
501 Foster St.
Free family-friendly concerts Friday evenings, July 8-29 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Durham Central Park. Bring lawn chairs, have a picnic and enjoy the blues! Coolers are allowed, but alcohol is not permitted.
Follow Me to Fuquay-Varina (FM2FV) Concert Series
102 N. Main St.
Free monthly concerts on Thursdays from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Centennial Square.
125 Avery St.
Listen to free live music Sunday, June 5 , 4:00-8:00 p.m., 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.
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 22 – July 31.
120 E. Union St.
Free monthly concert series from April through September, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Located on the old courthouse lawn and features art, food, music and fun for the whole family.
Clay Street After Work/Musical Chairs
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 14-June 2 from 6-8:30 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
As of April 28, the venue is now known as Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek. 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 21-Aug. 11, 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 $35 for reserved seating and $24 for general admission. Select dates May 1-Sept. 11.
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 7-Aug. 27, 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 24 through May 29 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, May 10, 2016.