Take in some live music and party at the base of Reunion Tower. Photo by Bret Redman.

Pop Music

How to See 50 Free Concerts in Dallas This Summer

Because enjoying live music under the stars this year shouldn't cost a thing.

Free concerts are one of the many charms of summertime in Dallas. They help make the heat more bearable, at least. We set out to pick 50 free concerts worth your while this season, but pretty quickly lost count as all the free series—from classical music in parks to rock and roll on rivers—tallied up. Here, then, are more free shows than we can count. Follow the links for more information and specific dates and lineups.

Arlington’s Levitt Pavilion has a nice free concert calendar this summer. All shows are bring your own beer, food, picnic blanket, and lawn chair. Amphitheater and open sky are provided. You’ll find shows most every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through July, but we’re especially looking forward to the following:

  • Sarah Jaffe (May 26)
  • Jonathan Tyler (May 27)
  • Prophets and Outlaws (June 17)
  • Robert Earl Keen (June 23)
  • Somebody’s Darling (June 30)
  • Ray Wylie Hubbard (July 1)
  • The Unlikely Candidates (July 7)

Every Sunday afternoon in July, the Fine Arts Chamber Players’ Basically Beethoven Festival takes over City Performance Hall. Families can come to listen to beautifully played chamber work by the greats of classical music, including the festival’s namesake.

The last Saturday of every month, June through August, gather at the base of Reunion Tower for live music and more with the Reunion Lawn Party.

Every third Friday through October, ’til Midnight at the Nasher brings two live musical acts and one film to the sculpture center’s garden. Performers this year include Sudie, Doug Burr, and Walker Lukens. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to see the museum’s ongoing exhibitions without paying admission.

The Rockin’ the River series returns to Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth from July 1 through Aug. 5. Grab a tube and find a spot to float on the Trinity or River, or huddle up on shore to see bands play every Saturday. (It was every Thursday in years past.) Performers include Zane Williams, Bart Crow, and Shane Smith and the Saints. Once the live music finishes up, stick around for the fireworks show.

Irving’s Concert Series, held twice a month through the end of June, brings New Orleans style bands to Whistlestop Plaza.

The long-dormant Band Shell at Fair Park is finally being put back to good use, with free concerts lined up every Tuesday through at least the beginning of July.

Lake Ray Hubbard makes for a fine backdrop for weekly free concerts in Rockwall.

The Foundry in West Dallas usually has a pretty strong lineup for its free Friday and Saturday night concerts. We’re also partial to The Rustic and Sundown at Granada when it comes to bars and restaurants that regularly have live music.

Once a month in Fort Worth’s Near Southside is Friday on the Green, a free concert at Magnolia Green.

Along with its Memorial Day performance at Flag Pole Hill, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra has several free concerts planned at Dallas parks through June.