Michigan Bucket List: Free Outdoor Concerts 

Shandra Martinez

| 4 min read

Finding the Music
Summer is the one season in Michigan when music is best enjoyed outside. And there are so many different ways to immerse yourself in the summer music scene. It could be live entertainment on your favorite restaurant’s outdoor patio, or a blanket spread out on the grass of your local park while a blues band plays its sweet sounds. A fan of classical music? Then it’s bringing your camp chairs to an outdoor bandshell where community musicians are playing in the town next to yours. If music is on your Michigan summer bucket list, here are some free outdoor concerts you can enjoy.

Northwest Michigan

Cedar: Located in the Leelanau Peninsula, the French Valley Vineyard in Cedar offers free live music plays every Monday and Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. at this outdoor vineyard venue at 3655 S. French Road.
Traverse City: Grand Traverse Pavilions’ Summer Concerts on the Lawn is a July and August series of free concerts played to an outdoor crowd on the pavilions’ Great Lawn area, 1000 Pavilions Circle in Traverse City. The concerts start at 7 p.m.
Lake City: Music in the Park is a concert series on Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. Performances happen on the Free Stage downtown, 115 E. John St.

Northeast Michigan

Gaylord: You can enjoy the Downtown Gaylord Summer Concert Series on Friday evenings this summer. Bring your own chair to the town’s Claude Shannon Park at 126 W. Main St. Concerts run from 7 to 10 p.m.
Alpena: The True North Radio Network is hosting its summer concert series on Saturday nights. Music is performed at the Bayview Park Band Shell downtown from 6 to 9 p.m. If you go, make sure you bring an item for the “Dumb Stuff” game that’s played during intermission at each concert. It could be something like a paperclip, a rubber band or a pipe cleaner. You can swap it for prizes handed out by the concerts’ sponsors.
Cheboygan: Enjoy the Music on Main concert series every Thursday night this summer. Music begins at 7 p.m. in Washington Park, 124 Main St.

Southwest Michigan

Allegan: The Rollin’ on the River series offers a weekly Friday night concert on Allegan’s Riverfront Stage. Bring a chair and settle in. You’ll also be in Allegan’s social district, so you can pick up an adult beverage to enjoy along with the music. Music is from 7 to 9 p.m.
Dowagiac: Music in the Park is held at the Dowagiac Library’s Event Pavilion, 206 Main St. The music starts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, but you’ll want to get there early. Food trucks are in place by 6:15 p.m.
Grand Haven: Tuesdays in the Park is a concert series held at Central Park, at the corner of Washington Avenue and Fifth Street in downtown Grand Haven. Music is from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Southeast Michigan

Auburn Hills: Friday Nights Downtown Music Series. A mix of music types are featured during this live music lineup that happens on Fridays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in July and August. Performances are at the Knight Amphitheater in Riverside Park, 3311 Squirrel Court.
Lake Orion: Free concerts on the hill at the Wildwood Amphitheater, 2700 Joslyn Court. Bring a blanket or a chair and spread it out on the slope outside the performance area. Concerts run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and the venue opens at 6:30 p.m. for early setup.
Farmington: Time to dig out your dancing shoes. Rhythms in Riley Park runs on Friday nights downtown throughout the summer. The mix includes blues, Americana, rock and country. Find the park at 33113 Grand River Ave. in Farmington. The concerts are from 7 to 9 p.m.

Upper Peninsula

Escanaba: Music Mondays run through the summer at the Karas Bandshell in Escanaba’s Ludington Park, 17 Water Plant Road. Music is from 7 to 9 p.m., and there is a food truck for each concert.
Marquette: Marquette’s Symphony Orchestra is providing some free Summer Strings concerts and performances in different locations around town. Find more details here:
St. Ignace: Music By the Bay is a nightly summer concert series in this little town just north of the Mackinac Bridge. All performances are in the American Legion Memorial Park, 200 N. State St. The music runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Photo credit: Getty Images

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.