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USA Today 10 Best Outdoor Concert Series

A number of towns and cities across the United States host an outdoor concert series over the spring and summer months. These events are family-friendly, offer diverse genres of music, are almost always free, and are a great way to enjoy being outside in the evening, when temperatures cool off.

To find the best ones to attend, we asked a panel of experts to nominate their favorites, then readers voted for their top picks. Here are the 10 best outdoor concert series events for 2024.

No. 10: Millennium Park Summer Music Series – Chicago, Illinois

Chicago’s Millennium Park Summer Series is where locals and tourists go to have a picnic with friends and find their next favorite band. Make a day of it by checking out local attractions, then get there early to grab a seat in the Pritzker Pavilion and listen to artists that span multiple genres, including alternative, jazz, house, R&B, pop, and even disco.

No. 9: Kirkland Summer Concerts – Kirkland, Washington

The idyllic town of Kirkland, Washington, is going on nearly 50 years of summer concerts. Every Thursday night in July and August, spectators show up to enjoy the free event held at Kirkland Marina Park. 

No. 8: Levitt Pavilion Denver Concert Series – Denver, Colorado

Held in Denver, Colorado, the Levitt Pavilion Concert Series begins in May and goes through October, featuring an assortment of artists spanning genres. Although the event is free, guests are encouraged to RSVP.

No. 7: YLC Wednesday at the Square – New Orleans, Louisiana

Featuring local artists and a variety of genres, YLC Wednesday at the Square takes place from March 6 through May 8 on Wednesdays in Lafayette Square, located in the Central Business District. An assortment of food vendors is on hand to keep you fueled for dancing and perusing the Artist Village. The concert series is free and proceeds from food and beverage sales benefit community projects by the Young Leadership Council.

No. 6: Concerts on the Creek – Sylva, North Carolina

Every Friday night from Memorial Day through Labor Day, locals and visitors to Sylva, North Carolina, head over to the scenic Bridge Park gazebo to enjoy live music. The concerts are free, with donations welcome. And you can even bring your pet pup, as long as they’re leashed.

No. 5: SummerSounds – Greensburg, Pennsylvania

St. Clair Park in downtown Greensburg comes to life on Fridays in the summer with SummerSounds, a free series of live musical entertainment. Often regarded as one of the best outdoor concerts in the area, the event is family-friendly, with plenty of food options.

No. 4: Levitt AMP Cumberland Music Series – Cumberland, Maryland

The Levitt AMP Cumberland Music Series brings together 19,000 residents in the small town of Cumberland, Maryland. The event is held at the Festival Grounds at Canal Place, where you’ll get to see artistic performances by local talent. Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and drinks to enjoy alongside the shows.

No. 3: Clematis By Night – West Palm Beach, Florida

Don’t miss Clematis By Night, a West Palm Beach tradition that spans three decades. Held on the Palm Stage on the Great Lawn every Thursday night, you’ll find some of the area’s best musical entertainers in the lineup. 

No. 2: Somers Point Beach Concert Series – Somers Point, New Jersey

Somers Point, located just outside Ocean City, goes all out with their summer concert series. 10Best contributor Catherine Smith says, “Residents and visitors bring their beach blankets and folding chairs down to the little bayside beach and dance the night away under the stars.” From blues rock and reggae to Motown and swing, listen to it all as you close out a day on the beach.

No. 1: Hot Summer Nights – Vail, Colorado

The cool mountain town of Vail hosts free outdoor concerts throughout the summer at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater aka The Amp. Bring a picnic and some chairs or blankets and enjoy live bands against the alpine backdrop.

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