Outdoor Music Concerts | Charlotte’s got a lot | Charlotte NC Travel & Tourism
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Summer Outdoor Music Concerts

Charlotte is full of local outdoor music concerts to explore this summer including Charlotte Symphony’s Summer Pops at Symphony Park, Friday LIVE! at the Factory at NC Music Factory and the River Jam Series at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

Charlotte Symphony's Summer Pops Series  

Grab your picnic basket, blanket and favorite beverages – the Charlotte Symphony is returning to Symphony Park for another season of summer music and fun! This popular summer series, conducted by the spirited Albert-George Schram, has been a Charlotte tradition since 1983, and was recently voted “Best Concert Series” in the city by the readers of Charlotte magazine. Families and friends gather at Symphony Park at SouthPark Mall to enjoy live symphonic music outside, just as the sun is setting each Sunday in June, plus a special Independence Day performance including fireworks on July 3.

Tickets are just $12 and music lovers under 18 are free, making Summer Pops affordable for the whole family.  The July 3 concert is $16 for adults and free for children. Summer passes include all five Summer Pops concerts for $48. Gates open at 5 p.m., the prelude performances are at 7 p.m., and the Charlotte Symphony takes the stage at 8:15 p.m. Local food trucks are also on site if you don’t want to bring your own food. For tickets, call the Charlotte Symphony ticket office at 704.972.2000 or visit charlottesymphony.org

Upcoming Schedule:

  • Sunday, June 7 An Old-Fashioned Concert in the Park
  • Sunday, June 14 Tchaikovsky Spectacular
  • Sunday, June 21 Classic Film Scores
  • Sunday, June 28 Hot Spanish Nights
  • Friday, July 3 Celebrate America (concert followed by fireworks)

Friday LIVE! at the Factory at NC Music Factory 

Friday LIVE! at the Factory, brought to you by Lexus, is a summer concert series that goes down every Friday night from 6-11 p.m. during the months of May and June at the Fountain Plaza located in the heart of the NC Music Factory.

Tickets are $8 per show and parking is free in the parking lot behind Mattie’s Diner; valet is also available. This is an outdoor party for all ages, but everyone needs a ticket to be admitted.

For those who want to indulge in a cold Sierra Nevada beer (an official sponsor of the series), please bring your ID. Be sure to experience the party responsibly by taking advantage of a special Friday LIVE! Yellow Cab of Charlotte code to get to the NC Music Factory and home safely. Proceeds from this year’s series benefit the Greater Charlotte SPCA.

Get all the details about Friday LIVE! at the Factory at ncmusicfactory.com

Upcoming Schedule:

  • Friday, June 5 Shovels and Rope
  • Friday, June 12 North Mississippi Allstars
  • Friday, June 19 Cowboy Mouth
  • Friday, June 29 Surfer Blood

River Jam Series at the U.S. National Whitewater Center

The River Jam concert series at the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) provides a unique outdoor venue to enjoy live musical performances through the spring and summer months. Local, regional and national acts will take center stage on Belmont Abbey Island, located right in the middle of the world’s largest manmade whitewater river.

Throughout the season 39 musical acts are slated to perform, including names such as George Porter, Jr., The Mantras, The Hackensaw Boys, Dead 27’s, Samantha Fish and many more. In addition to live music, the USNWC features a wide variety of food and beverage options to enjoy at River Jam including the new Pump House Biergarten featuring 40 taps of local and national beer selections and full-service dining at the River’s Edge Bar and Grill. For those looking to enjoy some outdoor adventures, the USNWC offers River Jam Run on Thursday evenings, featuring a 1.5-mile, 3-mile and 6-mile trail run through the Center’s woodland trail system.

River Jam takes place every Thursday and Saturday night from 7-10 p.m. from May through September. All concerts are free of charge; however, there is a $5 parking fee. Annual parking passes can be purchased for $40. Guests are welcome to bring chairs and blankets for lawn seating.

For more information about the River Jam series and the most updated band lineup, visit usnwc.org/riverjam

Upcoming Schedule:

  • Thursday, June 4 Mingo Fishtrap
  • Saturday, June 6 The Floorboards
  • Thursday, June 11 Mustered Courage
  • Thursday, June 18 Anthony D’Amato
  • Saturday, June 20 Dank
  • Thursday, June 25 Charlie Parr
  • Saturday, June 27 Jamie McLean Band

This article ran in the June 2015 issue of Happenings.

Virginia Brown, Corri Smith and Eric Osterhus contributed to this story.