Need plans? Check out these free & cheap outdoor summer concerts across Kansas City
It’s the season for outdoor concerts, and Kansas City has all genres on deck. If you’re not looking to pay big bucks for a headliner at Starlight, there’s still plenty to check out.
All around the city are free concerts and performances that anyone can sit back and enjoy. Bring a lawn chair, set up a picnic and enjoy the show.
JAMMIN’ ON THE GREEN
Shawnee Town Museum hosts free concerts on the last Wednesday of each month, and they even provide snacks and water bottles. You’re encouraged to bring your own chairs, since picnic tables and benches are limited.
A variety of performances are scheduled for this season, including:
June 28: Betse & Clarke String Band, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
July 26: Grand Marquis, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Aug. 23: AnnaLee and the Lucky So & Sos, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 20: Hot Club KC: 6:30 to 8 p.m.
KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY
The Symphony hosts the free Future Stages Festival on June 11 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The community festival showcases hundreds of Kansas City-based youth performers.
Performances are happening inside Helzberg Hall, Muriel Kauffman Theatre, the outdoor stage and on the symphony’s Mobile Music Box. Find out which local bands and schools are performing here.
The Kansas City Symphony also brought back its “Mobile Music Box” for the summer weather and free concerts are already underway. Check out our breakdown of what to expect and the scheduled dates below. More will be announced throughout the season.
June 4 at 7 p.m., AdventHealth South Overland Park, 7820 W. 165th St., Overland Park
June 6 at 6 p.m., Smith’s Fork Park Campground, 1601 DD Highway, Smithville
June 7 at 9:15 a.m., Liberty North High School, 1000 N.E. 104th St., Liberty
June 7 at 6 p.m., Meadowbrook Park, 9101 Nall Ave., Prairie Village
KANSAS CITY MUSEUM
The museum on 3218 Gladstone Boulevard is hosting summer concerts on the east lawn starting on June 9 and every second Friday of the summer months. Bring your picnics and lawn chairs and enjoy the shows. All shows run from 7 to 9 p.m. and the gates open at 6:30 p.m.
June 9: Kemet Coleman and Marcus Lewis celebrating hip-hop
July 14: Boxcar Bretheren celebrating bluegrass
August 11: Clayton Delong Trio celebrating jazz
September 8: Quinteto Cucharada celebrating tango
It’s $5 for each adult and kids ages 12 and under are free as long as an adult accompanies them. Dogs and cats are also welcome to join the party.
Check out this outdoor venue in the West Bottoms for a wide selection of artists, ranging from local acts to tribute bands. Prices range from $8.51 to $42.49 per ticket.
There are shows every Friday and Saturday, with special shows scattered throughout the weekdays from now until Sept. 24. Check out the full schedule of performers here.
You have to be age 18 and up to attend any of these shows.
LENEXA’S CONCERT SERIES
Enjoy free concerts in Sar-Ko Park’s grand pavilion in Lenexa. From 5 to 6:30 p.m., enjoy performances from artists of all genres, including:
June 4: JJ and the Old School Players
June 11: Hard @ Play
June 18: Stolen Winnebagos
Sept. 17: Back Alley Brass Band
Sept. 24: Vigil Annie
That’s not all that takes place in Lenexa, as the Lenexa Public Market hosts its Friday Night Sound Bites series. Take a look at the schedule below:
June 2: The Butch Carson Band
June 9: KC Groove Therapy
June 16: Suburbans
June 23: The HooDoo’s
June 30: Velvet Jackson
Each performance has a special dinner and dessert to accompany the show from local food trucks. Lenexa Public Market will announce more concerts as the season rolls on.
SHAKESPEARE IS HERE
If that’s not enough, check out The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, running from June 13 to July 2 at Southmoreland Park, right by the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum. While this event is free to attend, you can also get reserved seating for $25 on Sunday through Thursday performances or $35 for performances on Friday and Saturday shows.
You’ll have to visit the schedule, click on your preferred date and reserve your seats there.
KC WINE CO.
Head over to KC Wine Co. in Olathe for free performances from local acts in the vineyard. You have to be 21 and older to attend these events and they all run from 2 to 5 p.m on Saturdays all summer long.
$5 Fridays also run throughout the summer, with live music and $5 pints, glasses of wine and flatbread pizza. Check out the schedule of performances here.
THEATRE IN THE PARK
“Freaky Friday,” a play based on the Disney hit movie, is coming to the amphitheater inside Shawnee Mission Park from June 3 to 11. More plays are scheduled after, including “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “13,” “White Christmas,” and “Footloose,” from now until Aug. 5.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for kids ages 4-10 and free for children ages three and under. Buy tickets here.
The North Kansas City backyard concert series is on for the summer, and they’re still taking bookings for Kansas City and Lawrence performers. If you fit the bill, submit an application here and you could be performing at a show later this season.
Each show costs $5 and showtimes vary for each performance:
June 9: Major Matt Mason USA and Big Fat Cow Band at 7 p.m.
June 10: Dan Jones and The Squids and The Proceeders at 7 p.m.
July 8: Keelon Vann and Nichi Weibel at 8 p.m.
July 14: Killer City and The Fur and the Fang at 8 p.m.
July 28:Escape Goats and Mic the Mains at 8 p.m.
July 29: Golden Groves and Beau Jennings at 8 p.m.
Tickets to each concert cost $5 and you must be at least 21 years old to attend.
WARD PARKWAY PERFORMANCES
The Ward Parkway shopping center is hosting a free summer concert series. Starting after Memorial Day and running until Labor Day, enjoy free music from local artists every Friday and Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Restaurant Pavilion.
Summer concerts in the park return to Zona Rosa. Every Friday and Saturday starting on June 10, see a free show by a local artist in Central Park, right next to Bravo Italian Cucina. Each performance is scheduled to go from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
June 9: The Zeros
June 16: Big Time Grain Co
June 23: Right On Red
June 30: Run With It
July 7: Boogie Nights KC
July 14: Stolen Winnebagos
July 21: Howard Mahan & Friends
July 28: The Suburbans
August 4: KC Rukus
New this year are fall concerts in the park. Zona Rosa said these concerts start Sept. 8 and run every Friday until Oct. 13.
We will be adding to this list as more events are announced. If we’re missing one of your favorite places to visit or you think there’s something everyone can enjoy, let us know at email@example.com.