Free Summer Concerts in Los Angeles

I attended my first free concert of the season last night. I went to the Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Dance Series—;and I had a blast.

Ricardo Lemvo

One of Thursday night’s featured bands was Ricardo Lemvo. He had the audience moving their feet, clapping their hands, dancing, and having the time of their lives. For a sample of his music, here ya go!

I could feel the pier literally moving beneath my feet, but I’m not sure if it was from the band or the movement of happy, dancing feet. Nonetheless enjoying last night’s Free Summer Concert wasn’t only relegated to the Pier. Many people chose to listen to the music from the comfort of their blankets on the beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Music on the Beach

Tonight’s concert is just one in a large series of free concerts being offered this summer in and around the Los Angeles area.

We’re definitely lucky to have so many venues offering this that in actuality it’s hard to make a decision on which free concert to attend–it just so happens that many of them take place on Thursday nights, so make your choices wisely!

Travelin’ Local will be featuring more concert highlights and bands that we attend in town.

List of Free Summer Concerts in the Los Angeles Area

Skirball Cultural Center

Enjoy the 2009 season of the Skirball’s free Sunset Concerts, celebrating musical traditions from around the globe. Kick back and groove or get up and dance to the tunes of an eclectic line-up of leading world musicians.

Where: Skirball Cultural Center

When: Thursdays, July 16th - August 13th

Time: 8:00pm, Doors open at 7:00pm

Metro: Metro 734

Grand Performances

Grand Performances summer series takes place on two stages at California Plaza the Watercourt stage and the Marina Pavilion. The larger of the two venues - the Watercourt stage - is a unique performance site that can hold as many as 70 performers and is partially surrounded by a system of gardens and water features. The capacity crowd for this stage can be as large as 6,500 people. The smaller Marina Pavilion stage has an amphitheater style feel and can accommodate close to 300 audience members.

When: June - October

Where: California Plaza, downtown at 350 S. Grand Ave.

Time: Days and starting times vary so be sure to click the link:

Metro: Metro Red Line and multiple bus routes

Farm Fresh Summer Music at Farmers Market

With jazz on Thursday, and pop, rock, and Latin on Fridays, plus some of the best food outlets in the city, what’s not to love?

When: Thursdays and Fridays through September

Where: Farmers Market, West Patio, 3rd and Fairfax

Time: 7:00pm

Metro: Metro 16/316

Pershing Square Summer Concert Series

Features a variety of musical genres and performers, plus fun family activities

When: July 15th - August 23rd

Where: Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St. Downtown Los Angeles

Time: Tuesdays: 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Wednesdays: 8:00pm to 10:00pm

Thursdays: 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Metro: Metro Red Line, and multiple bus lines

Twilight Dance and Music at the Santa Monica Pier

Celebrating its 25th year, the Annual Thursday Twilight Music and Dance Series at Santa Monica Pier feature some of LA’s favorite hometown and visiting bands.

When: Thursdays, July - August

Where: Santa Monica Pier

Time: 7:00pm

Metro: Big Blue Bus or Metro 4/704

Levitt Pavilion at MacArthur Park

You name it, and MacArthur Park has it, from world music to local talent, from rock to pop to folk to Latin. Just sit back on your blanket, and enjoy, plus with discount restaurant prices sponsored by Metro, you can’t go wrong.

Where: MacArthur Park, corner of Wilshire and S. Alvarado St., Los Angeles

When: Wednesday – Sunday

Time: 7:30pm except on Sunday when the Target Children’s night performances start at 6:30pm

Metro: Metro Red Line

Live Music at Hollywood & Highlands

Join Hollywood & Highland Center and KJAZZ 88.1 FM for the 6th annual Wine, Jazz & Moonlight series. Enjoy free concerts by some of the country’s top jazz performers.

When: Tuesdays, June through August

Where: Babylon Courtyard at Hollywood & Highland Center, corner of Hollywood and Highland

Time: 7:00pm

Metro: Metro Red Line

Long Beach Municipal Band

Celebrating its 100th birthday, the Long Beach Municipal Band is the longest surviving, municipally-supported band in the country. Bring your picnic basket, blankets, and lawn chairs.

When: Tuesdays, June 30th - August 14th

Where: Various parks throughout the city

Time: 6:30pm

Metro:Various Metro or Long Beach routes depending on the location.  Try using the Metro Trip Planner.

Long Beach Thursday Night Concert Series

For a great mix of music, people, and fun in the sun

When: Thursdays, June 18th- August 27th

Where: Various parks throughout the city

Time: 6:00pm

Metro:  Various Metro or Long Beach routes depending on the location.  Try using the Metro Trip Planner.

Summer Sunset Music Festival in Culver City

Musical styles this year include Motown, Afro-Cuban, Classic Rock, Folk, Blues, Cajun, Irish, and more

When: Thursdays, Mid July through early September

Where: City Hall Courtyard, 9770 Culver Blvd, Culver City

Time: 7:00pm

Metro:  Metro 33/333, Culver City Bus,

Levitt Pavilion at Pasadena

From salsa to rock to folk and jazz, music is definitely the theme at the Levitt Pavilion.

When: Wednesday through Sunday, June - August

Where: Memorial Park, 85 E. Holly St, Pasadena

Time: Check the listings

Metro: Metro Gold Line


Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

To enjoy a free night of jazz, just head over the the LACMA

When:  Friday, April - November

Where:  5905 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles

Time:  6:00pm

Metro:  Metro 720

I’ve created a virtual map to help you locate the concert venue that’s closest to your home, or one where your favorite music or band is playing:

View Free Summer Concert Series in Los Angeles in a larger map

So what’s better, the idea of a summer concert or the idea that it’s free? Well don’t fret—we have both combined together as gathered from the list above.

Choose your venue’s frequently and bands wisely because when Travelin’ Local, sometimes it really is all about the music.

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