Summer concert guide: 16 places to hear live music

Entertainment The Arts

June 3, 2022

Make this your go-to guide on where to find live music this summer — just grab a blanket or a chair and go! Many of these concerts are free, kid- and dog-friendly and offer food for purchase. Looking for a bigger venue? Check out our list of big shows coming to Charlotte.

River Jam, photo courtesy of the Whitewater Center

Anne Springs Close Greenway
This nature preserve in nearby Fort Mill, S.C., hosts live music every Thursday night through June 30, from 6-9 p.m. Food and beverages will be available for purchase — bring your own lawn chairs and blankets. $6 per adult, $4 ages 5-12, members and children 4 and younger are free. $5 parking per vehicle.

Atherton Nights
A new summer treat in South End at Atherton: Shop local while listening to live music. Mark your calendar for the last one this summer on Thursday, July 14, 5-9 p.m.

Ballantyne Markets at 11
The second Saturday of each month, this open-air market has live music, yoga, food trucks and more. Dog-friendly, bring a picnic blanket. 11 a.m.-4 p.m at Ballantyne’s Backyard park.

Beats ’N Bites
This new concert series in downtown Matthews offers live tunes and food-truck fare on the last Friday of each month. No pets or outside alcoholic beverages allowed.

People in a crowd eat and drink while listening to live music at The Music Yard in South End.
The Music Yard

Charlotte Symphony Summer Pops
A SouthPark favorite, CSO and Resident Conductor Christopher James Lees concludes the June series at Symphony Park on the 26th. Concert starts at 8:15 p.m., purchase tickets online.

Fridays at Camp North End
This ongoing event each Friday centers around live music, food, new public art and goods from local businesses. 5-9 p.m.

Jammin’ by the Tracks
Head to downtown Waxhaw and relax under the Water Tower on the first and third Fridays of the month. Now through August, 7-9 p.m.

Jazz at the Garden
Bring your lawn chair and a picnic to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden and enjoy the show every first Thursday of the month through October. Large coolers, alcoholic beverages, tents and umbrellas are not permitted, 5:30-8:30 p.m, purchase tickets online.

The Music Yard at SouthBound 
Look for new concerts and events every week at this outdoor live music venue along South Boulevard. Food and drink available for purchase.

A band plays during a Thursdays Live concert for the MoRa community in Charlotte.
Thursdays Live, courtesy

Thursdays Live
MoRa’s free concert series runs through September on the third Thursday of each month, 6-8 p.m.  Bring a blanket and hear some great bands around the Embrace Sculpture at the corner of Monroe Road and Conference Drive. Dogs allowed.

Whitewater Center River Jam 
Sit back and relax with live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night through September. Music genres range from bluegrass to funk. Leashed dogs allowed, no outside food or drink permitted, parking is $6.


These local shopping centers also sponsor weekly or monthly live music: Specialty Shops SouthPark, Stonecrest Shopping Center, Promenade on Providence, Metropolitan and Ballantyne Village.


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