Opportunities to catch live music outdoors this summer abound in and around Grand Rapids. From free concert series’ to restaurants with live entertainment, you’re sure to find something that fits the bill – and possibly discover musicians you weren’t aware of before.
Catch these Free Concerts
Relax at Rosa
Thursday afternoons in downtown Grand Rapids are especially enjoyable with the Relax with Rosa summer concert series, which takes place each Thursday from noon – 1:30 p.m. through Sept. 13 at Rosa Parks Circle. In addition to the music, visitors can also enjoy lunch from one of several food trucks lineup outside of the GRAM and oversized outdoor games.
- July 5 – Phillip-Michael Scales | Blues/Pop
- July 12 – Watching for Foxes | Folk/Rock
- July 19 – Avalon Cutts-Jones | Soul/Jazz
- July 26 – Desmond Jones | Rock/Funk
- August 2 – Turbo Pup | indie Folk
- August 9 – Cabildo | World/Latin
- August 16 – Melophobix | Reggae/Funk
- August 23 – Last Gasp Collective | Funk/Hip Hop
- August 30 – AfroZuma | Afro-beat/World
- September 6 – The Appleseed Collective | String Swing
- September 13 – Flexadecibel | Funk/Soul
GRAM on the Green
Grand Rapids Art Museum returns witih GRAM on the Green starting on July 12 and running through Aug. 23. The annual outdoor summer concert series, which takes place on Thursday evenings, returns for its 10th season.
GRAM on the Green offers free outdoor live music, dancing, food trucks, and a cash bar – and art. Visit the museum after the show as part of Meijer Free Thursday Nights.
- July 12 – Tunde Olaniran
- July 19 – Soul Club & Yolonda Lavender
- July 26 – Fauxgrass
- Aug. 2 – Organissimo
- Aug. 9 – Major Murphy with Frankie & Myrrh
- Aug. 16 – May Erlewine
- Aug. 23 – Earth Radio
Lowell Showboat Sizzlin’ Summer Concerts
The historic Lowell Showboat is home to the Sizzlin’ Summer Concert Series’.
This outdoor concert series takes place Thursday evenings through Aug. 23. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. along the Flat River, 113 Riverwalk Plaza, in downtown Lowell. Food and spirits are available, admission to the concerts and parking are free.
- June 14 – Serita’s Black Rose – seritasblackrose.com
- June 21 – The Mainstays – themainstaysmusic.com
- June 28 – The Bootstrap Boys – thebootstrapboys.com
- July 5 – Big Band Nouveau – bigbandnouveau.com
- July 12 – The Soul Syndicate – thesoulsyndicate.com
- July 19 – Jake Kershaw – jakekershaw.com
- July 26 – Stolen Horses – stolenhorsesmusic.com
- August 2 – The Thirsty Perch Blues Band – thirstyperchbluesband.com
- August 16 – Luke Winslow-King – lukewinslowking.com
- August 23 – May Erlewine and The Motivations – mayerlewine.com
Beers at the Bridge in Ada
Head to the covered bridge in Ada for Beers at the Bridge on July 20 and Aug. 17, where there will be live entertainment and craft beer from Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply along with food and other vendors.
- July 21 – Strumble Head
- Aug. 18 – Thirsty Perch Blues Band
Tuesday Evening Music Club @ FMG
(free for FMG members)
Don’t forget about Frederik Meijer Gardens on Tuesday nights! Enjoy music from local and regional performers at the FMG outdoor amphitheater all summer. As an added bonus, all of Meijer Gardens is open to visitors until 9 p.m. on Tuesday concert nights.
The Tuesday Evening Music Club runs from July 3 – Aug. 28. Concerts are free to FMG members or included in the price of admission for non-members. Most Tuesday Evening Music Club shows begin at 7 p.m., but check the individual show to verify.
- Hannah Rose and the GravesTones and Rachel Curtis, July 3 at 7 p.m.
- The Kathy Lamar and Robin Connell Band and Soul Syndicate, July 10 at 7 p.m.
- The Eric Engblade Quartet and Wire in the Wood, July 17 at 7 p.m.
- Valley Girl and The Hacky Turtles, July 24 at 7 p.m.
- Lipstick Jodi and Hollywood Makeout, July 31 at 7 p.m.
- Nessa and The Moxie Strings, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.
- Franklin Park and Six Pak, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m.
- Watching for Foxes and Desmond Jones, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m.
- Ralston & Friends, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.
Enjoy music while you Drink & dine
Rockford Riverside Grill
Every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through the end of July you can enjoy live music on the covered patio at Rockford Riverside Grill, located along the Rogue River.
- July 5 – Jimmie Stagger
- July 12 – Jimmie Stagger
- July 19 – Tony Reynolds Duo
- July 26 – Tony Reynolds Duo
Every Friday night this summer CitySen Lounge at CityFlats Hotel offers live music from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Enjoy the music from indoors or on the patio, while enjoying a happy hour cocktail – available until 7 p.m. Don’t forget CitySen’s patio is puppy & dog friendly!
- July 6 – Aaron Whitlock
- July 13 – Loren Johnson
- July 20 – Mark Sala
- July 27 – Tony Geren
- August 3 – Acoustic Waves
- August 10 – Nicholas James Thomasma
- August 17 – Aaron Whitlock
- August 24 – Matt Gabriel
- August 31 – Drew Behringer
- September 7 – Jen Chambers
- September 14 – Acoustic Waves
- September 21 – Mark Sala
- September 28 – Drew Behringer
- October 5 – Matt Gabriel
Music in the Air
Carillon Concerts at GVSU
The 24th annual Cook Carillon Concert Series takes place on Sundays at 8 p.m. throughout the summer at GVSU’s Allendale campus, and the 18th annual Beckering Family Carillon Concert Series takes place on Wednesdays at noon from July 11 – Aug. 1 at GVSU’s downtown Grand Rapids campus.
The carillon is a system of at least 23 bells attached to a keyboard consisting of several batons. When the baton is struck lightly by the carillonneur’s fist, the clapper within the bell strikes its side making the bell ring. A large instrument, carillons are housed in massive towers and their sound projects out across the expansive space below, so it can be heard by passersby and those congregated in the vicinity.
Cook Carillon Lineup:
- July 1 – Student Recital and Open Tower beginning at 7 p.m.
with Julianne Vanden Wyngaard, GVSU Host
- July 8 – Lee Cobb, Cape Coral, Florida
- July 15 – Joey Brink, University of Chicago
- July 22 – Helen Hawley, Grand Rapids, Michigan
- July 29 – George Gregory, San Antonio, Texas
- August 5 – Sally Harwood, Michigan State University
- August 12 – Carol Anne Taylor, Dallas, Texas
- August 19 – Dennis Curry, Birmingham, Michigan
Beckering Family Carillon Lineup:
- July 11 – Lee Cobb, Cape Coral, Florida
- July 18 – Joey Brink, University of Chicago
- July 25 – Tiffany Ng, University of Michigan
- August 1 – George Gregory, San Antonio, Texas and Julianne Vanden Wyngaard, Grand Valley State University, Duet
*Main photo courtesy of GRAM on the Green. The Great Ones perform at GRAM on the Green in 2017.