outdoor music

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.

Our Favorite Milwaukee-Area Spots for Outdoor Music:


Musical Mondays – Lake Park – Musical Mondays offers a variety of music genres including woodwind quartets, folk, Celtic, and barbershop quartets. The 8 free Monday concerts will be held from July 11 to August 29.

Live Music on the Patio – Harbor House – Enjoy free live music on the patio overlooking Lake Michigan every Sunday and Monday night starting at 4 PM! Season runs June 2 through September 17.


Chill on the Hill – Humboldt Park –Chill on the Hill, brought to you by the Bay View Neighborhood Association and Milwaukee County Parks, is a weekly free summer concert event with live local music, food trucks, and fun for the whole family. The event happens at Humboldt Park in Bay View. Bring your own food and drink or patron one of the food or beverage vendors on site. The session run June 7 through August 30.

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! The season runs July 12 through August 23.


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. New in 2022, Tosa Bike Garage will be hosting a bike corral. Ride your bike down to the concert, leave the heavy bike locks at home and enjoy the show. Food and beverage purchases from vendors directly raise money for the operation of the Rotary Performance Pavilion and Tosa Tonight concerts. Season run June 17 through August 17.

Waterfront Wednesdays – Lakefront Park, Pewaukee – Everything from classic rock to Irish music can be enjoyed on the beach of Pewaukee Lake. Season runs June 8 through July 27.

Wednesdays at the Shell – Washington Park – A variety of local artists of various sorts (including dancers, musicians, children’s performances, and more) make up this concert series. The concert series is supported by Washington Park Neighbors, this year’s season sponsor, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, and many other community organizations, to bring cultural events to local families for free. Season runs June 13 to August 31.

Wonderful Wednesdays – Lake Park – Wonderful Wednesdays is a series of seven concerts specifically geared toward children and their families. The series of 6 free concerts is geared for children and their families. These concerts will be held on Wednesdays from July 13 to August 17.

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. Season runs July 13 through August 17.

Wednesday Night Live – Budweiser Music Pavilion, Wisconsin State Fair ParkThe Budweiser Pavilion prides itself on providing the best bands in southeast Wisconsin, having the best staff, and entertaining the best customers. Season runs May 25 through August 21.


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. Dates for 2022 run from July 14 through August 18.

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.

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. Season runs July 21 through September 29.

Music On Main – Old Settlers Park, West Bend – 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. Season runs from June 2 through September 1.


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. Season runs June 3 through September 2.

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. Season runs June 17 through August 19.

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. Season runs July 8 through August 12.

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.


Live Music on the Patio – Harbor House – Enjoy free live music on the patio overlooking Lake Michigan every Sunday and Monday night starting at 4 PM! Season runs June 2 through September 17.

Don’t see your favorite outdoor music hotspot or festival listed above? Share it below and tell us why we should check it out!!



  1. We are home visiting from Texas this Summer and would like to hear Jim Liban one more time. o you know how/where we can get his July 12-17, 2018 performances? Thaks


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