Every summer I check out the schedule for my favorite concert series and pick out the shows I’d like to attend. Invariably, I don’t make it to half those shows. I get lazy, and don’t feel like packing snacks, chairs or blankets, driving across town, finding free parking, etc. When I don’t let work or other obligations get in the way, I get out and enjoy some free entertainment and a cheap date.
If you need to save your pennies, but don’t want to stay home, you’re in luck, I’ve compiled a list of [mostly] free concert series at local parks and museums. It’s not exhaustive, so feel free to add others in the comments. Check back in a few weeks, some these schedules are not online yet!
En La Noche Summer Series
Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach
The En La Noche series features local DJs. It’s free for museum or KCRW members. If not, it’s $10 admission.
California Plaza, Downtown LA
The GP series features music, dance, film and shows in the evening as well as noon on Fridays.
The Hammer features the Also I Like to Rock and Jazzpop concert series along with speakers and films. Parking at the museum is $3 after 6 pm.
Latin Sounds by LACMA
I’ve never checked this out because the series is on Saturday and I’m usually busy those days. Maybe this year I’ll get out to Hancock Park.
Levitt Pavilion, MacArthur Park
The Levitt Pavilion series at MacArthur Park and in Pasadena feature concerts Thursday through Sunday. Each night is a different theme (e.g., family/kids night, roots, Latin). There’s really something for everyone.
Levitt Pavilion, Pasadena
I’ve never been out to Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena. It’s far enough (with traffic) that going on a weeknight can be more trouble than it’s worth. However, I don’t want to miss Girl In A Coma on Thursday (June 30th) and Ximena Sariñana with Carla Morrison (July 21st).
Pershing Square Downtown Stage
[Edit] The schedule was just posted today. 10,000 Maniacs will headline on July 30th. You can also catch some other throwback bands (Flock of Seagulls!).
Saturdays off the 405
The Getty Museum
Getting to the Getty may be a hassle this summer with construction on the 405. However, entrance at the museum is free as are the shows. You just have to pay for parking. It’s still a cheap date.
Summer Sunset Concerts
UCLA Fowler Museum
For the folks on the Westside!
The Sunset Concert series features music from around the world. I’ve never been to the Skirball Center despite it’s proximity. The Skirball is right off the 405, so make sure to check construction updates on the I-405 twitter page.
Twilight Dance Series
Santa Monica Pier
The Twilight series schedule isn’t online yet, but they usually have a variety of music each Thursday night. Even if you’re not too interested in the music, an evening on the beach with friends, food and drink (hidden, of course) is still a good time.