14 Places for Outdoor Summer Concerts in Los Angeles

Catch outdoor concerts around Los Angeles this summer. Photo courtesy of Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Spend your summer evenings under the stars with these Los Angles outdoor summer concerts. From free concerts, to top acts in iconic venues, check out what shows not to miss this year. These upcoming concerts are sure to define the Los Angeles music scene!

By Christina Xenos

Hollywood Bowl
No Los Angeles outdoor summer concert experience is complete without a visit to the iconic Hollywood Bowl. The nearly 18,000-seat amphitheater is the summer home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which offers world-class classical programming on Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout the summer. Also check the schedule for Wednesday night Jazz, cutting edge tunes on Sunday’s KCRW World Fest and Weekend Spectaculars and more.

Wine & Jazz Summer Concert Series at Hollywood & Highland Center
Hear live music from jazz greats every Tuesday night in the Hollywood & Highland Center’s central courtyard through July 29. Sip Stella Rosa wines and sample light appetizers from Wolfgang Puck Catering. Proceeds benefit Project Angel Food. 7-9 pm. Free; wine and appetizers $10.

Farmers Market Music Nights
Through Aug. 29. Celebrate The Original Farmers Market’s 80th birthday all summer long with free music performances on Thursday and Friday nights through the end of August. Thursday Night Jazz and Friday Night Music at Farmers Market offer an eclectic and entertaining summer of performances which draw heavily on Los Angeles’ many musical and ethnic sub-cultures. The series welcomes the California Feetwarmers, purveyors of 20s & 30s gypsy jazz on July 10, the Jennifer York Quartet (sans traffic reports) on July 24, and the renowned Bill Watrous with his musical best friend Rob Stoneback on July 31. The jazz roster also includes Sydney Weisman and the Wayne Peet Trio, jazzing up the American songbook on August 7 and Cow Bop, a cowboy jazz band, on August 21. Free. 7 p.m. 2 hours free parking with validation from purchase at all Farmers Market shops.

Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concerts
The 30th anniversary of the summer concert series at the famed Santa Monica Pier features contemporary and classic bands. Let your beach days extend into the evening while you watch performances by Cults (July 10), Cayucas (July 24), Jagwar Ma (August 7), Ok Go (September 4), Charles Bradley (September 11) and many more from July 10-September 11. 7–10 pm. Free.

Friday Flights and Saturdays off the 405 at the Getty Center
Enhance your art experience with live performances at the Getty Center this summer. For Friday Flights, join Los Angeles-based musicians, visual artists, and creative thinkers for vibrant evenings of sounds and sights at this monthly event; No Age performs July 18, while Mikael Jorgensen & Cassandra C. Jones wrap up the series on August 8. During Saturdays Off the 405,  enjoy performances by up-and-coming bands and DJ sets to wrap up your weekend evening. Highlights include Chicano Batman (July 12), Caught a Ghost (July 26), BADBADNOTGOOD (August 23), and Kan Wakan (September 13).

Greek Theatre
Catch a concert from one of your favorite bands this summer with the hills and trees of Griffith Park as your backdrop. The intimate outdoor venue seats just under 6,000 people and was originally dedicated to the city in the fall of 1929. This summer’s lineup features shows from New Order (July 13), Tori Amos (July 23), Chicago and REO Speedwagon (August 1), Jack Johnson (August 27-28) and more.

Made in L.A. Music at the Hammer Museum
Head to the Hammer Museum in Westwood this July for evenings that kicks off with happy hour and move into live music performances that showcase L.A.’s vibrant and diverse music scene. The four-night lineup features The Do-Over w/ De Lux + Mystery Guest DJs + KCRW DJ Mathieu Schreyer (July 10), An Evening of Community Music w/ crash + The Shoe + My Hawaii + KCRW DJ Liza Richardson, hosted by Alex Ebert (July 17), Afro Funke’ w/ Rocky Dawuni + KCRW DJ Jeremy Sole & DJ Glenn Red (July 24) and DEEP w/ DJ Marques Wyatt, DJ Doc Martin + KCRW DJ Raul Campos (July 31). Free. 6:30 happy hour, 7:30 performance.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery 
The iconic Los Angeles landmark and resting place for some of Hollywood’s most famous actors, writers and directors comes alive with outdoor concerts on their Fairbanks Lawn. This summer pack your picnic basket and head to the cemetery to see concerts by Spoon (August 8), Johnny Ramone Tribute 10th Anniversary (August 24), Phantogram (September 5); Hollywood Forever also holds concerts inside their beautiful Masonic Lodge and this summer’s lineup includes performances by The Album Leaf (July 15), Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal (August 1), Christopher Owens (August 6) and more.

Country in the City
KCRW returns to Century Park in Century City for three nights this summer for free all-ages outdoor concerts inspired by the Annenberg Space for Photography’s newest exhibit, “Country: Portraits of an American Sound.” Performances include Gregg Allman with Sturgill Simpson (July 19), Shelby Lynne with Jamestown Revival (July 26), Wynonna and The Big Noise with Nikki Lane (August 2).

Roaring Nights at the Zoo
Get in touch with your wild side at the summer’s first Roaring Nights music fest at the L.A. Zoo. Enjoy live music, a DJ dance party, food trucks, full-service bars, pop-up zookeeper talks, animal encounters and visits to Zoo’s new Rainforest Of The Americas and other animal habitats. New this year is “Animal Artistry Paint Party,” where you can express your creativity by painting a favorite animal (or whatever inspiration strikes them) on a small canvas to take home as a souvenir. Dates include July 25 and August 22. $18, or $15 for GLAZA members (age 18 and up with valid ID for both price levels).

Sunset Concerts at the Skirball Cultural Center
This summer the 18th season of the Skirball’s Sunset Concert series features an exciting line-up of world and American roots music stars. The series kicks off on July 24 with a performance by Arab and African artist Noura Mint Seymali, who plays California for her first time. Other artists set to perform are The Haden Triplets (August 7), Yiddish Tango Club (August 21), Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys (August 28), and more. Free. Doors 7 p.m., concert 8 p.m.

Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Hear performances from everyone from well known artists to rising stars outdoors at Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena every Weds.-Sun. through Aug. 23. The summer series of more than 50 free concerts includes Latin, Jazz, Americana, World and Children’s night as well as dance shows. Highlights includes performances by Carlos Nuñez (July 12), Dublab: Kamasi Washington & Teebs Band (July 17), Dustbowl Revival (August 1), Mariachi Divas (August 9), and many more.

Levitt Pavilion Downtown Los Angeles
Set among the sprawling grasses and fountains of McArthur Park in downtown Los Angeles you can stop by for weekly concerts every Thurs.-Sun. through Aug. 30. Highlights of the summer series include Loudon Wainwright lll (July 17), Beatles Retrospective with the Omega String Quartet (August 16), Young Dubliners (August 22) among others.

Ford Theatre
The cozy outdoor amphitheater nestled in the Hollywood Hills offers a summer packed with music, dance, theatre and film events. Musical highlights of the summer series includes Broadway Under the Stars (August 16) from Chris Isaacson Presents; other concerts include Jazz Masters: A Tribute to Billy Higgins (August 24), Vaud and The Villains (September 9) and many others.

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