Proving Des Moines is NOT boring

10 Places to Catch Free Concerts this Summer

When it comes to doing fun things around town, anything cheap – or better yet, free – tops my list. Summertime in Des Moines brings lots of free things to do, including music. Here’s your guide to free concerts this summer.

  1. FreeConcerts (1)This is the 33rd annual Jazz in July festival. The month-long series consists of 17 free jazz concerts performed at 17 locations around the metro. Concerts run July 3 through August 3.
  2. Music Under the Stars just opened its 69th season! Catch one of the four remaining concerts on Sundays at 7pm on the west grounds of the Iowa State Capitol. Hear the Des Moines Metro Concert Band and Metro Big Band in the heart of the city.
  3. Live at the Creek is a concert series at the Jordan Creek Town Center amphitheater. The first concert is Sunday, June 28 at 5:00pm followed by a fireworks show. Concerts are every Sunday through August.
  4. Enjoy your Tuesday nights at Colby Park in Windsor Heights for Music in the Park. The concerts showcase a different band each week include free beverages, snow cones and popcorn.
  5. On Thursday nights you can catch a free show during the Jasper Winery Summer Concert Series. Music starts at 6:00pm. Children are welcome, but dogs should stay at home.
  6. Mix up your work day with a lunch time performance by the Belin Quartet. The free concerts are every Friday (except July 3) through July at either the Downtown Library Lawn or Cowles Common.
  7. West Glen Town Center hosts Fridays at the Fountain once a month. The free concerts take place on the east side of Blue Moon from 6:30pm – 9:30pm. These are family friendly events with beer on hand for the adults.
  8. Expand your musical experiences by taking in a performance or two from the Des Moines Metro Opera. During June and July, the Apprentice Artist Scenes Program performs snippets from a variety of operas. The performances are held at Lekberg Hall at Simpson College in Indianola.
  9. Celebrate our country’s freedom at the 22nd annual Yankee Doodle Pops on July 2 at 8:30pm. The Des Moines Symphony will play at the West Terrace at the Iowa State Capitol while you catch a fireworks show. This year’s theme is “Iowa: America’s Musical Heartland.”
  10. The Iowa State Fair always has a ton of free music. Catch artists on four different stages from August 13 – 23. Most concerts start at or after 7:00pm. I know, technically, the concerts aren’t free because you have to pay to get into the fair, but think of that as the cost to see the butter cow and people watch.

Did I miss any? What are your favorite free concerts?