Where to See Free Live Music in the Greater Sacramento Area
The greater Sacramento area has no shortage of things to do during the summer. Farmer’s markets, food festivals, outdoor activities and cultural events are just a few of the goings-on during the warmer months. Another popular thing to do is to see live music, preferably outdoors! In fact, there’s nothing better than enjoying a warm summer evening listening to local music under the stars. Most cities and many neighborhoods throughout the greater Sacramento area host free outdoor concerts throughout the season. Following are some spots to check out.
Concerts in the Park | Fridays through July 29
This long-running community event is held in the heart of downtown Sacramento. Each Friday from 5–9 through July, local bands, musicians and DJs take to the stage. There’s a beer and wine garden, food trucks and local art. Afterwards, take advantage of food and drink specials at neighboring eateries.
West Sac Rhythm on the River | Thursdays through Aug. 25
This free concert series focuses on a different music genre each week, including rock, country and Latin/funk. The family-friendly shows are held at Drake’s at the Barn in West Sacramento, and feature a Family Fun Zone, food trucks, and of course, beer and wine from Drake’s. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair and enjoy the show!
Auburn Music Around Town | Fridays & Saturdays through Oct. 1
Every weekend through October, the streets of downtown Auburn come alive with the sounds of local musicians! The performances begin around 6:30 or 7 at the Central Square, at the corner of Lincoln Way and High Street. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes!
Twilight Concert Series | Folsom | Thursdays through Aug. 25
Head to historic Folsom on Thursday nights to enjoy a free, family-friendly concert as the sun goes down. The lineup includes some great regional bands, so bring a picnic and a beach chair for a laid-back evening at Zittel Family Amphitheater.
Live on the Boulevard | El Dorado Hills | Thursdays through Sept. 8
These Thursday night concerts in El Dorado Hills span a range of musical tastes, from blues to soul to rock and reggae. There are even tribute bands playing the classics from the Beatles, the Eagles and the Beach Boys. The concerts are held 7–9 p.m. at the El Dorado Hills Town Center.
Carmichael Concerts in the Park | Saturdays through August
Carmichael hosts its own summer concert series, with local bands playing every Saturday evening from 6:30–8:30. Whether you like Latin, swing, rock or country, there’s bound to be a show for you. Come early and enjoy a picnic with dinner from one of the weekly food trucks, which start serving at 5:30.
Palladio Concert Series | Folsom | Second Saturdays
Every second Saturday of the month, the Palladio shopping center in Folsom plays host to some of the best regional bands. Upcoming shows include Pop Fiction on July 9, Cheeseballs on Aug. 13, Mercy and the Heartbeats on Sept. 10, and Neon Velvet on Oct. 10.
Concerts in the Plaza | Lincoln | July 22 & Aug. 26
Once a month during the summer, Lincoln hosts free Friday night outdoor concerts at historic Beermann Plaza. July 22 features Gotcha Covered, playing hits from the 70s to today, and Aug. 26 features country rock band North Forty. Enjoy a meal at one of the nearby eateries, then claim your spot for the show, which begins at 7:30.
Fair Oaks Concerts in the Park | July 28 & Aug. 25
This free, family-friendly event in Fair Oaks features live bands performing on the softball field at Fair Oaks Park. The lineup includes Tom Petty tribute band Great Wide Open on July 28 and 60s/70s rockers Wasted Space on Aug. 25.
Downtown Roseville Tuesday Nights | June 7–July 26
Looking for some midweek family fun? Head to Roseville for this weekly event featuring a lineup of local bands playing everything from Top 40 to Southern Rock. You can even book a shaded private cabana for the shows, which includes table service. In addition to the music, there’s also a classic car show, kids’ fun zone and food vendors.