Live On The Lawn: Outdoor Concerts In The RI Region
By Amy Krzanik
This list, by no means exhaustive, offers a starting point for you to explore some of our region’s many outdoor music events, where you don’t need to have RSVPed to drop in on the scene. Some venues offer food and drink for purchase, and some are BYOS (bring your own snacks). Most of the events are free (unless otherwise noted) and all of them are located on the gorgeous grounds of public and private parks, historic mansions, museums and other sites boasting some of the area’s most amazing views. Don’t forget to bring a chair or blanket!
Shaker Barn Music, Pittsfield
Hancock Shaker Village is kicking off summer with a new American roots music series in its 1910 Barn, which hasn’t seen more than hay and cows in 100 years. Sip local beer and spirits while you take in a view of the fields and forests of an authentic Shaker village. The series kicks off on Friday, June 16 at 7 p.m. with Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and continues through Sept. 23. Tickets: $15 advance/$20 day of show.
Music After Hours, Lenox
Enjoy free music on the Terrace at The Mount on Friday and Saturday evenings in July and August from 5 to 8 p.m. Food and beverages are available from the Terrace Café, and a pop-up of the delicious downtown Pittsfield restaurant Lucia’s Latin Kitchen will offer kebabs, veggie rice, plantains and more. Don’t miss local favorite Wanda Houston, who will perform on the first night, Saturday July 1, and again on Saturday, Aug. 5 as part of the Lift E’vry Voice Festival’s Struttin’ with Some Barbecue.
The Chalet, North Adams
Every Thursday night this summer, beginning June 29 and running through Aug. 31, MASS MoCA opens up The Chalet, artist Dean Baldwin’s riverside beer garden. Mixed drinks are also available. The bar opens at 5:30 p.m. and events begin around 8. Don’t miss a special night of karaoke with Bang on a Can on Aug. 3 and A Musical Celebration of Unity, a community event that begins in the Nick Cave gallery on Aug. 17. The music and chilled out atmosphere are free. Bring cash for the bar.
Naumkeag at Night, Stockbridge
On Thursday evenings from June 29 – Sept. 7, relax with friends on the patio or lawn and enjoy live music from some of the area’s most popular bands. Sip cocktails while you take in what is sure to be an amazing sunset over Naumkeag’s famous gardens. Members: $5, Nonmembers: $10.
Concert in The Fields, Ghent
Experience a unique concert of global music with the artists-in-residence of Music Omi, presented in The Fields Sculpture Park. The new music collaborations will be set amid the 80+ works of contemporary sculpture in Omi’s 120+ acre pastoral landscape. Saturday, Aug. 26 at 5 p.m. Free.
Harmonies on the Hudson, Germantown
Clermont State Historic Site will host a free outdoor concert series kicking off on June 22 with local singer Kayla Rae. On one Thursday night each month through September, guests are invited to relax on the shores of the Hudson River with a BYO picnic (no alcohol allowed). Musicians include James Mongan of Star Children in a solo acoustic set and Sin City Woodstock. Concerts begin at 6 p.m.
Front Porch Concert Series, Red Hook
Red Hook Public Library will kick off its second annual free summer music series on Friday, June 9 from 5-8 p.m. This first of three live concerts features performances from four local musicians. Enjoy folk, pop and original music from Dave Feroe, Frank Murasso, Katie Pierce and Matthew Kobalkan. The series will continue on the second Fridays of July and August and will feature 4–5 musicians at each event. Bring a blanket, chairs and dinner and make yourself at home on “the porch.”
Music in the Parks, Hyde Park
Free Wednesday night lawn concerts at the Vanderbilt National Historic Site and the Staatsburgh State Historic Site will begin at 7 p.m. during the months of June and July, and at 6:30 p.m. in August. The series will offer an eclectic mix of music that includes big band, orchestra, fiddle music and more. Check the sites to see which groups are performing at each venue.
Free Summer Concert Series, Poughkeepsie
You might want to get your dancing shoes ready for the upcoming Tuesday night concerts at Greenvale Park (rain moves them to the Poughkeepsie Senior Center). From June 27 – Aug. 22, shake off the mid-week blahs with rock, country, blues, swing and soul groups. Performances begin at 7 p.m. during the months of June and July, and at 6:30 p.m. in August.
Summer Sunset Concert Series, Millbrook
The Millbrook Arts Group will host summer concerts on select Saturdays, beginning on June 24 with the band Buffalo Stack. The free concerts will begin at 7 p.m. and include rock, big band, bluegrass, country, funky blues and American roots groups. All performances will be held at the Bandshell on Franklin Avenue except for the final one, on Sept. 9, which will feature the band Long Steel Rail on the Village Green.