Outdoor Music is a Milwaukee Tradition
There’s something about tunes floating on a summer breeze that makes you want to celebrate. And as we know so well in Wisconsin, just the fact that its summer is something to be celebrated. That’s why it’s fitting that on any given night in the Milwaukee area, you will probably be able to find a venue for outdoor live music. These concerts bring communities together, support local businesses, artists, and culture, and introduce listeners to music they might not otherwise be familiar with. Outdoor music is frequently a hidden gem in communities, so we thought we would compile a list of our favorite outdoor music venues to share with you. The extra benefit? These concerts are generally FREE unless otherwise noted.
The team at Milwaukee Mom is working hard to remain your go-to spot for parenting resources in the Greater Milwaukee Area. While we will do our best to be as up-to-date as possible, please be aware that we are still dealing with rapidly changing situations. Please consult your local public health authority for social distancing recommendations and call ahead to confirm hours and offerings of any business or organization listed.
Please note that in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, many vendors have canceled their events out of safety precaution.
Our Favorite Milwaukee-Area Spots for Outdoor Music:
Live At The Lot (new concert series)- Kapco Parking in Grafton – June 5-20. This outdoor concert series allows patrons in a limited number of vehicles to enjoy live music and films projected on a 24-foot screen – and some nights both – either from inside their vehicles or on their own lawn chairs next to their cars. cashless food delivery by local restaurants ensures a touchless experience. Alcohol will not be available. Grilling is not permitted.
Musical Mondays – Lake Park – Musical Mondays offers a variety of music genres including woodwind quartets, folk, Celtic, and barbershop quartets. Canceled.
Chill on the Hill – Humboldt Park – Chill on the Hill features local musicians. Bring your own food and drink or patron one of the food or beverage vendors on site. The season will be delayed with hopes to start on July 21st, 2020.
Skyline Music Series – Kadish Park – The Skyline Music Series is a community music series provided by COA Youth & Family Centers. Family-friendly food, fun, and music in the Riverwest neighborhood! No decision has been made.
River Rhythms – Pere Marquette Park – Priding itself in being Milwaukee’s most diverse outdoor concert series, River Rhythms features everything from salsa to reggae to cover bands. Both local and national artists are featured. Canceled.
Tosa Tonight – Rotary Performance Pavillion (68th and State) – Tosa Tonight features a unique blend of genres and artists. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and come hungry. Food and beverage purchases from vendors directly raise money for the operation of the Rotary Performance Pavilion and Tosa Tonight concerts. Canceled.
Waterfront Wednesdays – Lakefront Park, Pewaukee – Everything from classic rock to Irish music can be enjoyed on the beach of Pewaukee Lake. Currently postponed the first two weeks of Waterfront Wednesday and have moved those bands to the last two weeks of August. Hoping to start the concerts on June 24th, but that decision is not definitive.
Wednesdays at the Shell – Washington Park – June 12 to August 21 (excluding July 3) 6:00 pm. A variety of local artists of various sorts (including dancers, musicians, children’s performances, and more) make up this concert series. Follow their Facebook page for specifics as they are released. No decision has been made.
Wonderful Wednesdays – Lake Park – Wonderful Wednesdays is a series of seven concerts specifically geared toward children and their families. Canceled.
Florentine Wednesdays– Colectivo – This unique concert series highlights music from the Florentine Opera. Can’t make a Wednesday? Check out Florentine Opera at the Lake on Thursdays! Canceled.
Music in the Glen – Richard E. Maslowski Community Park – Fun for the whole family, you may purchase drinks and snacks at the Sprecher Brewing Outdoor Oasis Snack Bar on-site. Canceled.
Wednesday Night Live – Budweiser Music Pavilion, Wisconsin State Fair Park – The Budweiser Pavilion prides itself on providing the best bands in southeast Wisconsin, having the best staff, and entertaining the best customers. Canceled.
Wednesday Night Summer Concert Series – Fiserv Forum Beer Garden – May 29-August 28th from 5:00-8:00 pm. The Milwaukee Bucks will host weekly live music acts at the Beer Garden all summer long. The series brings local acts to perform at the outdoor bar each Wednesday. Admission is free. Awaiting an updated response.
Concerts on the Green – Enderis Park – A multi-genre four-concert series in Enderis Park. This year features everything from cello-infused alt-rock to New Orleans style horns. Canceled.
Concerts in the Gardens – Boerner Botanical Gardens – This outdoor concert series at one of Milwaukee County’s most beautiful parks offers a wide variety to please every musical palette, featuring dance, blues, soul, classical, and indie-infused rock to name a few. Admission to the gardens is free to concert goers after 6:00 pm and attendees are invited to explore the gardens during the concert. No definite decision has been made at this time.
Jazz in the Park – Cathedral Square – This unique lineup includes jazz, big band, funk, R & B, reggae, blues, and more. Vendors offer Happy Hour from 5:00-6:00 pm with the music starting at 6:00 pm. All June and July are postponed to later dates. No set dates have been made.
Florentine Opera at the Lake – Colectivo – This unique concert series highlights music from the Florentine Opera at Colectivo Lakefront on Thursday nights. Can’t make a Thursday? Check out a Florentine Wednesday! Currently set as Florentine Opera For Kids now viewed as a digital performance.
Música del Lago – Colectivo – Now in its fifteenth year, this series highlights some of our city’s finest Latin music groups. Canceled.
Music On Main – Old Settlers Park, West Bend – June 6 to Sept 5 at 6:30 pm. Also featuring a variety of locally and nationally acclaimed artists of various genres, this concert series also offers an indoor venue in the case of inclement weather. June and July events are canceled. It will possibly start in August.
Bike Night – Harley-Davidson Museum – Join your fellow riders (and non-riders) for free live music from some of Milwaukee’s favorite bands, fun, and drool-worthy rolling sculptures. Temporarily postponed. No set date has been posted.
Friday Night Live – Historic Downtown Waukesha – Park on the outskirts of downtown and walk your way into the heart of Waukesha. Roam the streets listening to live, local music from numerous artists on different stages. Grab some snacks along the way at the open vendors. Currently postponed until the end of June. No set date has been posted.
Summer Sounds – Cedar Creek Park, Cedarburg – Enjoy Cedarburg’s beautiful Cedar Creek Park for music, food, and fun. Pack a picnic or enjoy one of many vendors and food trucks. Canceled.
Starry Nights Series – Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts – One of our most popular Wilson Center summertime traditions, Starry Nights boasts performances by acclaimed local and regional artists across a wide range of genres including big band, Afro-Cuban, Latin jazz, bluegrass, polkas, and more—perfect for families and audiences of all ages. Canceled.
First Fridays – Downtown Racine – First Fridays is a group of small business owners of boutique shops, restaurants, art galleries, and museums who have worked together to put this event nine times a year for 12 years. We all stay open late, put live music outdoors in 3 parks, have horse & carriage rides, and an outdoor beer garden. June event is canceled. Possible restart in July.
Umbrella Bar Concert Series – Rock Complex – June 1 to September 21 at 6:30 pm. Featuring a tent-like umbrella structure with an open-air atmosphere and a spectacular 360-degree view, enjoy live music & scenic views from our newly branded ‘Callen Pavillion.’ No decision has been made yet.
Live Music on the Patio – Harbor House – June 2 to September 16 at 4:00 pm. Enjoy free live music on the patio overlooking Lake Michigan every Sunday and Monday night starting at 4 PM! Awaiting for an updated response.
Sounds of Summer – East Silver Spring, Whitefish Bay – August 17th from 5:30-10pm. A musical street festival on the east end of Silver Spring presented by Whitefish Bay’s Civic Foundation. No decision has yet been made.
Don’t see your favorite outdoor music hotspot or festival listed above?? Share it below and tell us why we should check it out!!