There are few things that fill a heart more than being surrounded by loved ones on a warm summer night. Thanks to local businesses, it’s now easier (and cheaper!) than ever to bring together your family, your love of live music, and your passion for catching fireflies.
Here is a small sampling of the free, outdoor music offerings celebrating local talent and lighting up stages around the South this summer.
1. Pickin’ on the Porch
Every other Saturday, visit the MB Roland Distillery for some country, blues and southern rock with 2000 of your closest friends. With free parking and entry, this Kentucky distillery turns into a hub of family fun with local food vendors (including cheesecake!), an open tasting room, and craft beers sold on-site.
2. Starlight Musicals Concert Series
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
For 37 years, the Starlight Musicals Concert Series has been lighting up the skies of Fort Lauderdale with tribute bands, R&B, classic rock, and more. Bring your coolers, lawn chairs, picnics and family out to the football field at Holiday Park for this annual affair.
3. Jazz on the Lawn
Few wineries can claim the reach of Beachaven’s Jazz on the Lawn. In 1986, Judge Beach invited his friends over to the family-owned winery, and the event snowballed into a now 4000-6000 person crowd. With three tasting bars, food vendors on-site and cover bands rocking out the stage, this Clarksville winery brings the community together every other Saturday night.
4. Rockin’ the River Outdoor Concert Series
North Charleston, South Carolina
Make your way out to the beautiful Riverfront Park in North Charleston for this one-of-a-kind experience on select Thursdays from June to September. Rockin’ the River has food trucks, a beer and wine garden, and tons of dancing.
5. Summer Breeze Concert Series
This casual concert series is a summer tradition for the folks of Norman, Oklahoma. Families come out with picnic baskets and chairs (no vendors allowed!) on select Sundays in Lions Park to hear the soulful sounds of blues, jazz, fingerpicking, and even latin pop. An interesting twist on the series? The final concert is member’s choice – giving community members a chance to vote on the grand finale.
6. Music in the Vines
For elegant instrumental jazz, Arrington Vineyards is the place to be. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from May to November, this award-winning winery hosts anywhere from 500-1500 guests for Music in the Vines. Three tasting options are offered during the event, and patrons can choose from pre-ordering a gourmet dinner from nearby food cottage Simply Living Life or bringing their own picnic.
7. Woodstock Concert Series
If you’re looking for a good time, look no further than Woodstock. Having hosted the likes of Joe Diffie and Edwin McCain, this community-oriented music series allows for pets and outside food. It also has local food vendor options, free activities for kids, and concert merchandise for sale.
8. Brightleaf Square Summer Concert Series
Durham, North Carolina
With everything from smooth jazz to cover bands to string ensembles, this family-friendly concert series is hosted among quaint shops and restaurants in Brightleaf Square. Although no outdoor food or drinks are allowed, patrons can dine on fine Brazilian food at nearby Chamas Churrascaria, silky fondue at Little Dipper, or fine Italian fare at Piazza Italia.
9. Live Music on the Patio
Visit this picturesque farm winery for a more intimate take on live music. Every Saturday afternoon from Memorial Day to Labor Day, guests trickle in to hear blues, contemporary duos, bluegrass and country alongside fine wines and tapas.
10. Concerts in the Park
On any given Thursday, you can hear Motown, country, hard rock or American gospel floating through the trees of Yukon, Oklahoma. Hosted at Chisholm Trail Park, this thriving concert series has something for everyone – including tasty concessions and occasional movies for kids.