What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Free concert series in the Triangle

Posted April 15, 2014
Updated June 25, 2014

Beach music fans enjoy live music from The Embers during the Midtown Beach Music Series at North Hills in Raleigh on August 15, 2013.

— Love live music? On a budget? Summer in the Triangle is a great time to check out free concert series. 

Here are a few outdoor concert series getting ready to start in the area: 


Oak City 7 (downtown Raleigh) – All of the shows take place in City Plaza starting at 5:30 p.m. In addition to local bands, there are plenty of food trucks and local beer is available to purchase. Shows take place on alternate Thursdays starting May 29 through August 21.

Pickin' in the Plaza (downtown Raleigh) – This is a new bluegrass concert series in City Plaza designed to complement Oak City 7. Shows are on alternate Thursdays from June 5 through August 28 from 5-10:30 p.m. Like Oak City 7, there will be food trucks and local beer available.

Midtown Beach Music Series (North Hills) – This popular series is always a good time if you like to dance or just hang out with friends. The shows are on Thursday evenings from 6-9 on the Commons. The series is from April 17 through August 14.

Music on the Green Concert Series (Lafayette Village) – Relax to the sounds of live music at this popular shopping destination on Thursday nights in June, July and August.


Find Your Cool Summer Concert Series – These free concerts in downtown's CCB Plaza run from Thursday, May 8, through Thursday, August 7. The music starts at 7 p.m.

Music on Main (The Streets at Southpoint) – Starting in April, shoppers can enjoy live music every Saturday from 6-9 p.m. at the Cinema Circle Stage. 

Back Porch Music on the Lawn – Check out music at the American Tobacco Amphitheater on Thursdays from 6-9 p.m. starting May 15.

Rock the Park Concert & Movie Series – Held at various parks around Durham, this series combines free live music and free movie screenings. 

Brightleaf Square Concert Series – Enjoy a wide variety of music from May to September in the beautiful Brightleaf Square courtyard.


Hob Nob Jazz Series (Koka Booth Amphitheater) – This series isn't free, but tickets are only $5 for adults and children 12 and under are free. Wednesday nights starting at 5:30 on April 30, enjoy some of the best jazz music around.

Seven O'Clock Rock Series – Returning for its third year, this outdoor block party features free dance lessons and food in addition to the music. Performances are held at the corner of Academy and Chatham streets downtown.

Chapel Hill

Fridays on the Front Porch (Carolina Inn) – Every Friday from the end of April to the beginning of October enjoy some of the best live music around on the Carolina Inn's porch. It's free to hang out and listen, plus the kitchen offers seasonal picnic offerings.

A Southern Summer Music Series (Southern Village) – Enjoy music on the Green every Sunday through September. The lineup includes everything from tribute bands and pop to Americana and rock.

Around the Triangle

Downtown Sounds (Garner) – Previously Music off Main, downtown Garner's music series is back again. Shows are from 6-9 p.m. on Thursdays on the back lawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center. This is a shorter series, with two shows in May and two in June.

Clayton Town Square Concert Series – These concerts are on the third Thursday of every month from May to September. They take place at the Town Square from 7-9 p.m. Head out early to grab some dinner at local restaurants offering pre-concert deals.

Last Fridays Music Series (Hillsborough) – Along with plenty of art and activities in historic downtown Hillsborough, you can enjoy free music on the lawn outside the courthouse. Concerts are on the last Friday of every month, April through September, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Hillsborough Outdoors Music Series – Enjoy tunes on Thursday nights in the early summer at Weaver Street Market. The concerts start at 6 p.m.

Bluegrass in the Village (Goldsboro) – The North Carolina Bluegrass Association is hosting these free concerts at Waynesboro Historical Village. They take place on the first Saturday of the month from April to October.

Saturdays in Saxapahaw – Spend the afternoon in this historic mill village with a farmers' market followed by free live music. The shows are Saturdays from May 10 to August 31 and start at 6 p.m.

Friday Night Music Series (Bynum General Store) – Enjoy music at this historic landmark every Friday evening starting at 7 p.m. on May 2.

Downtown Live! Music Series (Rocky Mount) – Thursdays on the lawn of the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences, enjoy live music starting at 6 p.m. The series takes place on alternate Thursdays starting May 15.

Concerts at the Crossroads (Clayton) – Live music at Flowers Crossroads through September 4, featuring some of our favorite local bands, like The Embers and Liquid Pleasure.

After Hours (Carrboro) – Weaver Street Market's live music series is every Thursday night in the early summer from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Summer at the Springs (Holly Springs) – The series takes place on second and fourth Fridays from June until August on the lawn of the Cultural Arts Center. Bring the family for a picnic and great live music!

PineCone music series

PineCone, the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, works to bring traditional music, dance and other folk performing arts to the area. They are co-hosting several free concerts this summer, in addition to Pickin' in the Plaza and some other shows in the area.


  • Friday, June 27: The Church Sisters at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center
  • Saturday, July 12: Birch Mountain Duo at Sertoma Amphitheater
  • Saturday, August 8: Boo Hanks & Lightnin' Wells at Sertoma Amphitheater

New this year from PineCone is the Midtown Bluegrass Series: Sunday Ramble in the Park at North Hills' new Midtown Park amphitheater. Shows are on the third Sunday of every month from May to October. The concerts start at 5 p.m., but get there early with your instruments for a pre-concert bluegrass jam.

Other fun music series are in the works, so check back for more updates!


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • czanga Apr 15, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Thanks for the tip! We will add that series to our list.

  • Michael Hart Apr 15, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    expand your musical horizons........

  • 27228 Apr 15, 2014

    The article didn't include the Bynum Front Porch summer music series, held at the old Bynum General Store (near Pittsboro) on Friday evenings. 7-9PM. Starts Friday, May 2.

  • norainonmyparade Apr 15, 2014

    These are great if you love beachy music, blue grass, or jazz. Raleigh needs to bring back Downtown Live for rock fans.