Outdoor entertainment is a staple of the Wisconsin summer. For locals, it’s a chance to socialize and enjoy the warmer weather; for out-of-towners, it provides a unique glimpse into Wisconsin’s laid-back, friendly culture.
As gathering outdoors to listen to music grows in popularity – more venues are on the rise. So no matter where you go, you’re sure to find something for every music lover and most likely for free!
This hidden gem is located off the beaten path but well worth the trip. Housed in a 900-person canvas tent theater, Big Top Chautauqua is a beloved community-supported summertime event. Since 1986, they've offered national and affordable entertainment suitable for the entire family.
Thursdays have become synonymous with one of the city’s most popular outdoor music venues – Jazz in the Park. Located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee in Cathedral Square, the event showcases different jazz, funk and blues musicians each week.
This concert series runs June to September, and the music starts promptly at 6 p.m. Bring a picnic, or get your fill from on-site food and drink vendors.
The easy-going nature of Bay View is epitomized in this weekly concert series featuring a variety of local acts. Crowds of up to 3,000 people gather in spacious Humboldt Park; the environment is perfect for all ages, including the little ones. Plus, the stage is located at the bottom of the hill so there really isn’t a bad seat in the house, even if you come late!
This year’s concert series runs every Tuesday, June through August, and the music starts at 6 p.m. Carry-ins are welcome, but there are plenty of food and beverage vendors as well, along with indoor bathrooms.
Madison has your Wednesday and Thursday evenings covered. The much-loved Jazz at Five free concert series is more than two decades strong on Capitol Square. Take in the best local, regional and national jazz talent on Wednesdays, August through September. Seating opens at 3:30 p.m.
Then on Thursday nights, take in one of the best views of the city – from the rooftop of the impressive Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Monona Terrace. The live music starts at 7 p.m., so pack a picnic or just a hang out and listen to some great music. This series runs June through July.
Showcasing a wide variety of music, Whitney Park draws music lovers young and old for its free Thursday afternoon music series running June to August. This is a great event for the kids with a fun playground area and crafts provided by the Children’s Museum of Green Bay.
No need to worry if it rains, as this event moves to the nearby ARTGarage should summer showers set in.
Where’s your favorite place to enjoy live music outdoors? Let us know in a comment below!