10 free summer concert series in San Diego

Explore San Diego’s parks while enjoying live music all summer long at these rockin’, jazzy, and dance-worthy events.

Spreckels organ pavilion with an organ player on the stage

This landmark is a visual and musical wonder.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

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Summer is on the way, and from the sounds of it, we’ll be jamming out to live performances. Parks in San Diego County offer a variety of free, live, outdoor concerts during late spring and summer.

Some jam sessions have already started, but there will be a lot more to listen to as the summer heats up.

Balboa Park Twilight Concerts

Spreckels Organ Pavilion’s 40-year tradition brings music to the landmark, outdoor organ on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays during the summer. This year, the tunes start on Wednesday, June 21, at 6:30 p.m.

A man playing the keyboard at El Cajon's Dinner and a Concert series

An evening of fun in El Cajon.

Dinner and a Concert

El Cajon will rock out all summer with this ongoing series at its downtown Prescott Promenade. Shows are Fridays, 6-8 p.m., except for this week when the local act PHT /Patrick Howard Trampus Band takes the stage on Thursday, May 18. Pack food, or visit a nearby restaurant or vendor, and enjoy a picnic with a side of live music.

Coronado Promenade Concerts

For 50 years, this series has filled Coronado’s air with music. This year, the performances start on Sunday, May 28, and a new act will perform each Sunday evening until Labor Day.

Friday Nights Live

This 4-week series kicks off at Santee Trolley Square this Friday, May 19, with local rock band It’s Never 2 L8. The shows run weekly through June 9, then the city’s beat continues with Santee Summer Concerts just down the street.

TGIF Concerts in the Parks

Carlsbad’s annual summer music series features six weekly Friday shows starting July 7 through Aug. 11. The location varies by week, and the performances will tour four local parks.

Santee Summer Concerts

This Thursday night series will bring music to Town Center Community Park starting June 15 and concludes with the Aug. 17 show (there’s no concert July 6). Bring chairs or a blanket, and if you’re hungry, be on the lookout for food trucks on site.

Lake Poway Summer Concert Series

This summer series opens with a soulful show by Blue Breeze Band on Sunday, June 25, at 5:30 p.m. Performances are scheduled each Sunday through Aug. 13 — though there is no show on July 2. Food trucks will also be on site, so all you’ll need to bring is a comfortable spot to sit.

The San Diego Concert Band playing at Harry Griffen Park

The San Diego Concert Band puts on a great show.

Sundays at Six Summer Concerts

This Sunday series brings bands to Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa for six weeks. The shows start on June 25 with the San Diego Concert Band and conclude on July 30.

Scripps Ranch Symphony in the Park

This monthly series brings music to Hoyt Park on Sundays at 6 p.m. It kicks off on June 11 with a Jimmy Buffet tribute and ends with a show on Sept. 10.

University Heights Summer in the Park

Head out to Trolley Barn Farm, 6-8 p.m., for live music by local bands. This year, the shows are every Friday in July and on Aug. 4. Food will be available for purchase nearby, and there will be space for picnicking.

Psst... Some communities are still working on their roster, so more free concert series are likely to be announced.

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