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Written by:  Janice Lewine
Date: June 1, 2013

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 2013 has in store. Check websites for updates, as scheduling changes may occur.

Jump to:

Chapel Hill
Holly Springs

•    Depot Concert Series
Enjoy free outdoor concerts at 7 p.m. at the Historic Train Depot in downtown Apex on Aug. 17, Sept. 14 and Oct. 11. Pets and alcohol are not permitted. Learn more on the Halle Cultural Center's website.


•    Pickin' In The Pines Bluegrass Series
Enjoy bluegrass music every Wednesday in September from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on the Crescent Deck at Booth Amphitheatre. Tickets are $5 for adults and free for children 12 and younger. Picnics and pets are welcome, but alcohol is not permitted. Visit the Booth Amphitheatre's webpage for details.

•    Starlight Concert Series
Enjoy free concerts at 7 p.m. on select Fridays — June 14 and 28, and July 12 and 26 — featuring eclectic local and regional groups at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center Garden. Food and lawn chairs are permitted. Call 919-460-4963 for details.

•    Sertoma Series
Enjoy free outdoor Hometown Series concerts May-August at varying times and PineCone Series concerts June 15 and July 13 at 6 p.m. Both concert series take place in Bond Park at the Sertoma Amphitheatre. Call 919-469-4069 for more information about those performances or visit the Town of Cary's website and search for Sertoma Series.

•    Wind Down Wednesdays at Waverly Place
Don't miss free concerts and family entertainment on the promenade every Wednesday night through Aug. 21, 6-9 p.m. Coolers are not permitted. Visit Waverly Place's website for details.

•    Wild Card Wednesday at Cary's Booth Amphitheatre
Local artists, chosen by Booth Amphitheatre's Facebook fans, will be featured every Wednesday night from 5:30 to 8:30 in July. Each night will highlight a different musical genre: reggae, blues, salsa and country. Tickets are $5 and children 12 and under are free. The concert, as well as seating, will take place on the Cresent Deck, where pets and picnics will be welcome.

•    After Hours: Early Summer
Beat the heat Thursday evenings with free music June 6-27, 6:30-8:30 p.m., and Aug. 25-Oct. 20, 6-8 p.m. on the Weaver Street Market lawn at 101 E. Weaver St. in Carrboro. Learn more at Weaver St. Market's website in the "Events" section.

•    Jazz & More Brunch
This free outdoor jazz series takes place on Sundays, June 2-Oct. 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., on the Weaver Street Market lawn at 101 E. Weaver St. in Carrboro. Take chairs and blankets. Purchase a la carte brunch items in the store. Visit Carrboro's website for more information.

Chapel Hill:
•    Carolina Inn's Fridays on the Front Porch
Enjoy free live music every Friday through Oct. 4, 5-8 p.m. Purchase food or drinks in advance. Visit Carolina Inn's website for more details.

•    Locally Grown Music & Movies Series
This free live concert and movie series takes place on top of Rosemary Street's Wallace Plaza every Thursday, June 28-Aug. 23, at 8 p.m. Visit Locally Grown's schedule for details.

•   Music Maker's Roots and Leaves Series
Listen to free blues and Southern traditional music every Friday night in June at 6 p.m. on the Village Green at Southern Village. For details, visit Music Maker's website.

•    Southern Village Sunday Night Outdoor Music Series
Enjoy free Sunday concerts on the Village Green at 6 p.m. through Oct. 13. To learn more, visit Southern Village's website.

•    Sweet Carolina Concert Series
Take the family for free music every Thursday in June and July, 6:30-9pm, at University Mall. No outside food or beverages permitted. Visit the University Mall's website for details.

•    Clayton Town Square Concerts Series
Attend free concerts June 20, July 18, Aug. 15 and Sept. 12, 7-9 p.m., in Clayton Town Square at 110 W. Main St. Enjoy merchandise and gift card giveaways along with other surprises. Visit Downtown Clayton's website for details.

•    Find Your Cool Summer Concert Series
Downtown Durham's new summer concert series is on Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m., through Aug. 8 at the CCB Plaza at 201 N. Corcoran St. (with the exception of July 4). Enjoy a range of music — from soul to salsa. In case of rain, concerts are moved indoors to The Pinhook at 117 W. Main St. Learn more at Downtown Durham's website (click on Summer Concert Series).

•    Summer Days Nasher Nights: Live and Local
Enjoy free live music in the café by area musicians, as well as a brunch menu featuring local ingredients, noon-2 p.m. June 9 and 23, July 14 and 28, and August 11 and 18. Visit the Nasher Museum's website to learn more.

•    Duke Performances 2013: Music in the Gardens
Listen to regional indie rock and folk groups in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on select Wednesdays June 5-July 31. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and concerts start at 7 p.m. Chairs and picnics allowed. Free for children 12 and younger, $12 for general public. For dates and to order tickets, visit Duke Performances online. 

•    Center Stage at American Tobacco Concert Series
Enjoy free Friday concerts, 6-9 p.m., on the American Tobacco campus lawn June 7, Sept. 20 and Oct. 4 with live music, restaurants, food trucks, a kids zone, a zip line and more. (No picnics, coolers or alcohol allowed.) An Art of Cool 4th of July festival, 5-8 p.m., features live music from The Best + Big Band and DJ Apple Juice Kid. Visit the events calendar at the Tobacco Campus's website.

•    The Streets at Southpoint's Music on Main
Listen to free concerts featuring adult contemporary, beach and light jazz music at Cinema Circle (across from South Point Cinemas) Saturdays through Oct. 26, 6-8:45 p.m. Visit South Point's online events page for the schedule.

•    Rock the Park Movie and Concert Series
Enjoy this free movie and concert series the first Saturday of the month June 8-Aug. 17, 6-8 p.m., at various Durham parks. Food vendors will be available. To view schedule, visit Rock the Park's webpage.

•    Music Off Main Downtown Concert Series
Listen to free live music June 6 and 20, Aug. 15 and Sept. 19, 6-9 p.m., on the back lawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center. Coolers not permitted. For performance schedule, see Garner's website

•    Hillsborough Outdoor Music Series
Check out Hillsborough's Weaver Street Market at 228 Churton St. on Thursdays through July 27, 6-8 p.m., for free music on the lawn, weather permitting. View the schedule at Weaver St. Market's website

•    Last Fridays: Blues at Burwell
A different band performs for free on the lawn of the historic courthouse in Hillsborough every last Friday of the month through Sept. 28, 6:30-9:30 p.m. View the schedule at the Last Fridays webpage

Holly Springs:
•    Summer at the Springs
Free outdoor concerts take place on the second and fourth Fridays June-August, 7-9 p.m., at the Holly Springs Cultural Center. In case of inclement weather, concerts will be moved to Holly Springs Cultural Center's indoor theater. For details, visit Holly Springs's website and search for Summer at the Springs.

•    Music in the Village
Take the family for free music every Thursday from 6-8:30 p.m. through Oct. 10 at Park West Village, 1608 Market Center Dr.  Visit Park West Village's website for details.

•    Midtown Beach Music Series
Enjoy free music performed by popular beach bands like The Embers, Liquid Pleasure and the Fantastic Shakers on the Commons at North Hills on Thursdays, 6-9 p.m. Learn more at North Hill's website.

•   Music in the Valley
Enjoy free live music Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m., at Crabtree Valley Mall on the patio. Enjoy food and drink specials during performances. Learn more at Crabtree Valley's website.

•    Oak City 7
This new free concert series continues every other Thursday May 30-Aug. 22, 5-10:30 p.m., in downtown Raleigh's City Plaza. The concerts feature local and regional bands playing Americana, indie rock, folk rock and bluegrass music. See Oak City 7's website for more details.

•    Saturdays in Saxapahaw
Enjoy free outdoor concerts on Saturdays May-August, 6-8 p.m., on the Hay Wagon Stage at the Saxapahaw Rivermill Farmers Market. For details, visit Saturdays in Saxapahaw's webpage.

Compiled by Jessica Gaylord and updated June 1, 2013.


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