Triangle Offers Low-Cost or Free Outdoor Summer Concert Series
Tap your toes to these tunes under the night sky
Above photo courtesy of Jason Moore; all other photos provided by venues unless otherwise noted
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 2018 has in store. Check websites for updates, as scheduling changes may occur.
Apex Music & Movies in the Park Series
Apex Nature Park Amphitheatre: 2600 Evans Road
Apex Historic Depot: 22 N. Salem Street
Held at the spacious Nature Park Amphitheatre & Historic Depot, 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 $10 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 starting May 24, 6–8 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, starting May 20, 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.
Bands, Bites and Boats at Bond Park
801 High House Road
One Friday a month, the Bond Park Boathouse plays host to musicians, food trucks and after-hours boat rentals. Spend your Friday evening floating on Bond Lake in the setting sun while you listen to great music and enjoy delicious food. Prefer to stay on land? Bring a lawn chair, friends and family. April 6, May 4, June 1, July 6, Aug. 3, Sept. 7 and Oct. 5. Times vary.
319 S. Academy St.
Enjoy the new Downtown Park while listening to some of the best bands around! Come out for a free concert with food and drinks from local vendors. June 30, July 21 and Sept. 22. Outside food and beverages are allowed. Outside alcohol is not allowed. Bring lawn chairs.
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 May 9 - June 6. All shows are 5:30-8:30 p.m. Picnics and pets on leashes are allowed; alcohol is not.
2018 UNC Rex Healthcare Summerfest Series
8003 Regency Pkwy.
The North Carolina Symphony's popular summer outdoor concerts return for another season at Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre on select dates May 26 through July 21. 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.
Park After Dark
319 S. Academy Street
Enjoy a fun night out in the Downtown Park on select Wednesdays this summer from 7 to 9 p.m. Each event features unique food from local vendors and entertainment. June 27, July 11, Aug. 8 and Sept. 12. Outside food and beverages are allowed. Outside alcohol is not allowed. Bring lawn chairs.
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 12, June 9, June 22, July 14 and Aug. 11.
801 High House Rd.
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 12, June 9, July 14 and Aug. 11.
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 May 18, June 22 (6 p.m.), July 27 and Aug. 10.
Wind Down Wednesdays at Waverly Place
575 New Waverly Place
Don’t miss free concerts and family entertainment on the promenade every Wednesday night June 6 through Aug. 1, 6-9 p.m. Lawn chairs and ‘people-friendly’ dogs are welcome. No concert will be held July 4. 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 starting April 27, 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.
Concerts in Your Community Series
Village Green, Southern Village
The North Carolina Symphony brings free music throughout the state this month with its annual Concerts in Your Community series. In the Triangle, there will be a performance at 7:30 p.m. on June 15 at Southern Village in Chapel Hill (presented in partnership with Market Street Association). Other performances include June 12 at the Town Common in Tarboro, and June 26 at Tryon Palace in New Bern (presented in partnership with Tryon Palace). The concert features works by Mozart, Grieg, Rossini and other famed conductors.
Meadowmont Music Series
101 Old Barn Lane
Featuring big name bands each month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Meadowmont Gazebo. Bring your friends and family and have a picnic or enjoy dinner from food trucks. 2018 dates: May 19 and Sept. 15.
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. 2018 dates: May 4, June 1, July 6, Aug. 3, Sept. 7 and Oct. 5.
Sunday Concert Series
620 Market St.
Enjoy free Sunday concerts on the Southern Village Green at 6 p.m., April 8 – Sept. 9. 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. 2018 dates: May 18, June 21, July 19, Aug. 23 and Sept. 7.
Back Porch Music on the Lawn at American Tobacco Concert Series
318 Blackwell St.
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. 2018 dates: June 14, June 21, Aug. 23 and Aug. 30.
1058 W. Club Blvd.
A community music collaboration event on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. at Northgate Mall. Musicians and music enthusiasts are invited to come jam.
Duke Performances' Music in the Gardens
420 Anderson St.
Listen to regional indie rock and folk groups in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on select Wednesdays in June and July. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and concerts start at 7 p.m. Chairs and picnics are allowed. Buy tickers at tickets.duke.edu or call 919-684-4444. Tickets will be available at the door if not sold out.
Durham Central Park (DCP) PLAYlist Concert Series
501 Foster St.
Durham Central Park free concert series Fridays, June 8 through Aug. 10. Shows 6 to 8 p.m.
Rock the Park Concert & Movie Series
Locations and times vary.
Durham Parks and Recreation offers a summer concert and movie series in various Durham parks on Saturdays during June 9-Aug. 18. Both series are free and open to the public. Food vendors will be on site and food will be available for purchase. Check the website for locations, dates and times.
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 214 - Sept. 29, 6-9 p.m. Performers entertain the crowd in a family-friendly atmosphere.
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. 2018 dates: April 12, April 26 and May 10.
106 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. 2018 dates: April 27, May 25, June 29, July 27, Aug. 31 and Sept. 28.
No events at this time.
LIVE in The District Music Series
3400 Village Market Place
Join the fun each Thursday night, April 19 - June 7 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
4158 Main at North Hills St.
Enjoy free music performed by popular beach bands at North Hills on Thursdays, April 19 - Aug. 16, 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 $40 for reserved seating and $30 for general admission. Children 6 and under are free. Select dates June 8 – Aug. 18.
Saturdays in Saxapahaw
1612 Jordan Dr.
(No phone number provided)
Enjoy free outdoor concerts on Saturdays May 5-Aug. 25, 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.
(No phone number provided)
Free concerts on Sundays from April 29 through June 3 at 5 p.m. at E. Carroll Joyner Park Amphitheater. Food and refreshments will be available.
Gig in the Park Spring Concert Series
The free, family-friendly Gig in the Park, formerly the Downtown Alive Concert Series, takes place June 13, 20 and 27 and is Historic Downtown Wilson’s annual tradition of food, beverages, dancing and fun for the community. Enjoy rhythm and blues, classic rock and reggae; food trucks, beer and wine; and kid’s activities provided by Wilson Parks and Recreation.
First Fridays on the Lawn Concert Series
Free community concerts are offered on the Wilson County Library Lawn in Historic Downtown Wilson each first Friday in July, August and September; 5 pm. Relax with friends and family as you enjoy entertainment and activities, including children’s activities, local food vendors and live music from a range of performers. In the event of inclement weather, concerts are moved indoors to the adjacent Boykin Center Theater. For more information, call (800) 497-7398.
Originally compiled by Carolyn Caggia, May 21, 2014.
Updated by Megan Finke, April 22, 2018.