Good live, FREE music is easy to find in southeastern Wisconsin. Many of the area's villages and towns have regular summer concert series, as do most of the larger cities. One simple way to find out what’s available locally is to contact your community’s recreation department.
You can also use the list below to help plan your musical outings. Keep in mind that this list is NOT comprehensive. That's because there's so much available in southeastern Wisconsin.
Brookfield Concert Series
Civic Plaza, just north of City Hall
2000 N. Calhoun Road, Brookfield
Pack up the kids and enjoy FREE concerts every Wednesday between noon and 1:00 p.m., from Mid June through Mid August. Additional FREE concerts monthly, between 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. Information about the performers is available on the web site below.
Refreshments can be purchased at each event.
For more information, call (262) 796-6675 or visit www.ci.brookfield.wi.us/index.asp
Concerts in the Parks
Throughout the summer, FREE concerts take place many Milwaukee County parks. All shows go on, weather permitting. There are no rain dates.
All performances are subject to change. Start times vary by location and performer. Concerts usually start between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m., but check the web site for specifics.
A wide range of musical styles and performers are featured. Some of the parks that host concerts almost weekly include:
Humboldt Park Concerts, "Chill on the Hill," 3000 S. Howell Ave.
"Jackson Park Concerts," 3500 W. Forest Home Ave., Picnic Area 2
"Mitchell Boulevard Park Concerts," 5115 W. Bluemound Road
Washington Park Concerts, "At the Shell," 1859 N. 40th St.
Boerner Botanical Gardens, "Concerts in the Gardens," Whitnall Park, 9400 Boerner Dr.
"Grant Park Concerts," 100 E. Hawthorne Ave., Picnic Area 5A
Brown Deer Golf Course, "Concerts at the Course," 7625 N. Range Line Rd.
This is only a partial list. Call your local park to ask about dates, or visit the web site for a complete schedule: www.county.milwaukee.gov/ConcertsintheParks11320.htm.
Also, the Lake Park Friends organization hosts a series of concerts as well. For more information and schedules, visit www.lakeparkfriends.org
Kidz Days at the Center
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
929 N. Water St., Milwaukee
FREE music and theater make Kidz Days on the Marcus Center grounds in downtown Milwaukee very popular every summer. Events include interactive entertainment and educational programs by local and national groups, including the Milwaukee Ballet, First Stage Children’s Theater and others. Performances start at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from Mid June through Mid August. Special programming, when it occurs, usually happens at noon.
For more information, call (414) 273-7206, ext. 211 for Bridgett Gonzalez or visit www.marcuscenter.org/kidsdays.html
Farmers Market in the Park
Zeidler Union Square
301 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee
Every Wednesday from Early June through Late October. vendors come to Zeidler Union Square to sell Wisconsin-grown produce, prepared food items, and handmade artwork during the Westown Farmer’s Market.
The Farmer’s Market runs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..with live music between 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m… Special event days at the market include chef demonstrations, Children's Day, Customer Appreciation Day and the Pumpkin Carving Extravaganza at the end of the season!
There is street parking as well as access to nearby parking structures.
For more information, call Marissa Miller at (414) 276-6696, or visit www.westown.org
Jazz in the Park
Cathedral Square, Milwaukee
FREE concerts are scheduled to every Thursday night, between 6:30 and 9:00 p.m., from June 3 through September.
Check the web site below for details of performers and musical styles:
For more information, call (414) 271-1416 or visit www.easttown.com/events/jazz-in-the-park
Jazz in Cutler Park
Cutler Park, 321 Wisconsin Ave., Waukesha
FREE concerts occur every Wednesday from June through August. Concerts are held in the Band Shell between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. Bring your own cushions, chairs, blankets, seats, etc.
Performers vary from week to week.
For a schedule, call (262) 542-0330.
Pere Marquette Park, on Old World Third Street; between State & Kilbourn, Downtown Milwaukee
Enjoy FREE music every Wednesday from early June through late August, between 6:30 and 9:00 p.m. The musical line-up and styles vary, so check the web site for schedules and descriptions.
River Rhythms takes place rain or shine, except when severe weather is imminent. In such cases, even an in-process performance may be canceled.
River Flicks - Movies Under the Stars
River Flicks is a series of great family movies. It takes place the first four Fridays in August at dusk in Pere Marquette Park. It's a good opportunity to visit downtown Milwaukee and enjoy some great summer weather while watching FREE movies under the stars. This summer's features will be updated when they are available.
For more information, call (414) 276-6696 or visit www.westown.org
Starry Nights Outdoor Concert Series
Gerlach Outdoor Theater, Mitchell Park, 19805 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield
Enjoy FREE outdoor concerts with family and friends all summer long. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to the Wilson Center’s backyard and relax. All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m.
Visitors can bring a picnic basket or purchase delicious foods and beverages from a number of fine cafes and caterers.
Check the website for this season's line-up.
For more information, call (262) 781-9470 or visit www.wilson-center.com
Tuesday Tunes on the Paramount Plaza
Paramount Plaza - Downtown Grafton
This FREE summer concert series, which features local and regional performers, will be held on alternating Tuesdays between 11:30 am and 1:00 pm in Grafton’s Paramount Plaza.
- Schedule of performers available after May 1
For more information, call the Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce, at (262) 377-1650, or visit grafton-wi.org/Index.htm
Village Centre Concert Series
Downtown Menomonee Falls
Afternoon concerts in Village Centre, the area around Main Street and Appleton Ave.
Evening concerts in Village Park, on Garfield and Appleton Ave.
The afternoon FREE concert series will take place on the dates, and feature the performers, listed on the website. The concerts will start at approximately noon at the Village Center/Mill Pond Plaza.
The evening FREE concert series will take place on the dates, and feature the performers, listed on the website. The concerts will start at approximately 6:30 pm at the Village Park.
Check the website for this season's line-up.
Concert goers can bring their own blankets, seats, and refreshments; refreshments can also be purchased on site.
For more information, call (262) 251-8797 or visit http://menomoneefallsdowntown.com/index.iml and browse "Upcoming Events" for more details.