We can’t think of a more quintessential summer activity than sitting on a blanket in the grass with a cold beer in hand listening to live music. And when it’s free music? Even better.
Thankfully, the Ann Arbor area has several concert series happening all summer long — all of which are completely free. This means you can listen to live music from both local and national artists in beautiful park settings on a weekly basis — and in one case, nearly every day of the week!
Mark your calendars with these exciting concert series popping up at Ann Arbor area parks this summer.
Head to Kellogg Park in Plymouth each Friday night for Music in the Air, a free concert series featuring a variety of different artists and genres, from funk and R&B to blues and rock and roll. You may drop off your blankets and chairs after 3:30 p.m. on concert days, so you can easily stroll through downtown Plymouth (and secure your spot on the lawn!). This series is completely free to attend. Check out the lineup to see who’s playing this summer!
Spend your lunch break at Sonic Lunch, a free summer outdoor concert series happening at the corner of Liberty and Division in downtown Ann Arbor. Each Thursday from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., there will be a live band playing and lunch available on site for purchase from local vendors. Seating is available but lawn chairs are welcome! This free series is a collaborative effort spearheaded by Bank of Ann Arbor.
Reinhart is a proud sponsor of A2 Summer Streets, a free concert series taking place along Main Street on Thursday nights and Sunday mornings. On Thursday nights, enjoy music provided by Treetown Sounds while you sip on a drink from a participating restaurant, pub or brewery (which can be carried in designated containers within the District boundaries). And on Sundays, enjoy brunch at any of the participating eateries while you listen to live music! A2 Summer Streets also hosts Community Mornings throughout the summer, a series of free events from local businesses, non-profits, fitness and art organizations in the downtown block closure areas on Friday and Saturday mornings.
Part of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Top of the Park is back for 2022 with a non-stop schedule of live music! Top of the Park takes place at Ingalls Mall on the University of Michigan campus each night (except Mondays) from Friday, June 10 through Sunday, July 3, 2022. The event kicks off at 5 p.m., with music playing on the Grove Stage at 5 and 6 p.m. and on the Rackham stage at 7 p.m. Music ends before 10 p.m. on Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday before the movie starts. On Friday and Saturday nights, the music typically runs later! Check out the Ann Arbor Summer Festival calendar, which includes both concerts and other events, like kids’ activities, tastings, and more.
Enjoy live music in Dexter each Friday night at the Monument Park Gazebo Concert series, featuring a variety of different bands all summer long. This free series takes place at the park’s gazebo from 6:30–9:30 p.m.!
Established in 1935, the Ann Arbor Civic Band is a non-profit organization that gives local instrumentalists the opportunity to perform music for the public throughout the summer. In past years, the band has performed at the West Park Bank Shell in West Park, but this year, they are performing at Burns Park while the band shell is undergoing renovation. Check out the lineup for this series extending from June 15 through July 20!
Each summer, Saline residents look forward to Salty Summer Sounds, a free music series taking place each Thursday night on South Ann Arbor Street, which is closed to traffic. Enjoy exciting live music and dancing over the yellow lines!
Each Thursday night from June 2 through July 28, Chelsea’s Sounds & Sights on Thursday Nights features musical performances throughout downtown Chelsea, plus kid-friendly acts like magicians and balloon artists. The series concludes on the weekend of July 29 and 30 with the Chelsea Sounds & Sights Festival, presented by our very own Rick Taylor! This weekend-long event has much more than just music — there will be kids’ entertainment and activities, a classic car show, an art market, a chalk art exhibition and competition, a farmers’ market, and a food court.
Calling all jazz lovers! The John E. Lawrence Jazz Series is taking place throughout the month of July at the scenic Ford Lake Park in Ypsilanti Township. Listen to a new array of nationally known recording artists from the local scene as well as international recording artists. Bring your own lawn chair and blankets to sit comfortably in the grass lawn. This event is free to attend but there is a $5 parking fee per vehicle upon entry to the park!
Have a Blast!
What Ann Arbor summer concert series are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments below!