“It may be just for a few hours, but for that time when we’re all listening to music, dancing, eating and drinking together, we form a sense of community that can inspire us to take that uplift and good feeling home with us,” said Andrew Howitz, Vice President and Director of Programs at Skirball Cultural Center.
LA’s Skirball Cultural Center, located between Westside LA and the San Fernando Valley, will be holding its annual “Sunset Concerts” every Thursday beginning July 21 and ending Aug. 25 in the courtyard. The concerts start at 8 p.m. and end around 10 p.m., featuring a view of the hillside setting, modern architecture, and the surrounding museums.
“Music fans of all ages sing along, dance in the aisles, (or on a dance floor if the music calls for it), and gather at the foot of the stage to celebrate with performers,” said David Monnich, Junior Publicist for LC Media.
The Sunset Concerts began in 1996 and intended to welcome people of all different cultures and communities to enjoy a friendly and beautiful atmosphere in the courtyard, Howitz said. This summer will be the twentieth series of Sunset Concerts, featuring a variety of musical genres and performers.
The Sunset Concerts are also in the middle of surrounding restaurants, bars, and shops for people to browse as they please. Outside food is allowed into the concerts, but no outside alcohol will be permitted, Monnich said.
“There is no art form more welcoming, inclusive, and uplifting than music, and we keep the Sunset Concerts free so that anyone can come and be a part of it,” Howitz said.
Howitz explained that the Sunset Concerts are special because they welcome back audience members who’ve been attending since the beginning as well as newcomers who want to join a fun and meaningful experience.
Another place for students to attend free concerts is the Santa Monica Pier. The “Twilight Concerts” are held every Thursday night for 10 weeks in the summer on the Pier parking deck.
“The music is an eclectic mix of rock, jazz, alternative, and more,” said Santa Monica Pier Activation Manager Anne Railsback.
The Twilight Concerts began in the early 1980s and have continued every year since, Railsback said. They begin July 7 and end Sept. 8, and run from approximately 7 p.m. to 10
“The community loves the concerts,” Railsback said. “It’s a great way to bring everyone together to enjoy music under the stars and a fun evening at the Pier.”
More free musical entertainment can be found at Venice Beach for the “Venice Spring Fling” festival. The Venice Spring Fling takes place on May 21 and features live music, art, dancing, and literature. Event Producer Milton Rosenburg said the purpose of the festival is to encourage the young to pursue their passions and create art in many forms.
“We hope students will gain a desire to create art from the experience,” Rosenburg said. Rosenburg informed that the festival will showcase the best of the community and national
The Venice Spring Fling’s sister festival, the “Venice Music Fest” will be held on Aug. 27 and is also free to the public.
CSUN Jazz Performance major Nick De La O has played at many venues that hold free concerts with his rock band, “Mleo.” His band enjoys playing at Los Globos, but he has also seen jazz shows at places like Satellite, Blue Whale, and Curve Line Space. He attends free concerts of other genres to support his friends who play music, he said.
“Free concerts should be attended in droves by the community because they are a great thing for fans, even if they aren’t the best for the musicians,” De La O said. “One really awesome thing about going to a show is being with a ton of people that want to have a good time and if it’s free you can save the money and grab a bite to eat or a drink.”
CSUN Sociology major Will Garcia said he has never been to any free concerts himself, but has heard about many of them by passing by or through word of mouth. He once passed by L.A. Live and saw huge crowds of people for a concert as well as police to regulate the area. Garcia said having free concerts available would be beneficial to many students. “I know a lot of people like music and it would be a wonderful way for them to be able to get out of the house over summer,” he said.CSUN Psychology major Samantha Gari said she has attended a concert a couple years ago at Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills and the vibe was family-oriented, laid back, and relaxed. She said free summer concerts would be a good stress reliever for students after finishing exams.
“It would be a nice break from the hecticness of school life,” Gari said.Woodland Hills’ Warner Center Park concerts are held annually from June through September on Sundays. The series is called “Concerts on the Green” and starts around 6 p.m.
● Century Park in Century City holds the “Sound in Focus” series, which features a variety of musical performers and DJs
● The “Summer of Soul” takes place in UCLA’s Hammer Museum courtyard, showcasing four nights of concerts free to the public. The museum galleries also stay open later to accommodate visitors. The concerts are July 9, 16, 23, and 30 starting around 7:30 p.m. The Fowler Museum also holds free concerts on select dates.
● Manhattan Beach holds “Concerts in the Park” at the Polliwog Park every Sunday from July 10 to Sept. 4. There is a mixture of musical genres as well as food vendors.
● Playa Vista has free concerts in Concert Park and Central Park from June 14 to Aug. 16, featuring jazz, pop, Cuban, and covers of current hits. Food are stationed all around both parks.
● The “Grand Performances” in Downtown LA are held in the California Plaza where music such as electronic, jazz, Latin, Indie, hip-hop, and dance are performed
● Downtown Chinatown’s “Summer Nights” has a variety of music, dancing, food trucks, and bars and takes place June 18, July 16, and Aug. 20.
● At the Redondo Beach Pier, people can attend the “Summer of Music” every Thursday and Saturday in July and August to listen to a mixture of musical genres with an ocean view
● “Pop Saturdays” and “Symphonic Thursdays” are held every week at Marina Del Rey’s Burton Chace Park to showcase evenings of classical and pop music.
● Several musical acts as well as street performers will be spread along the Long Beach Promenade and throughout Downtown Long Beach over the summer from June to September.
● The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) also has nights for free admission to concerts. Over 100 musical performances take place at LACMA from May to June, including classical music, jazz, Latin, and more.
● At the Original Farmers Market you can experience a mixture of soul, swing, Brazilian, Latin, jazz, and other styles at the “Friday Night Music” events. The events are held from May 29 through Aug. 28 over select days from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
● Hollywood’s Amoeba Music store showcases aspiring performers on their way to be upcoming stars. Free concerts are held inside the store on select dates throughout the summer during store hours.
● “Saturday Night Music” can be found in Pasadena at One Colorado, where performers play free concerts every Saturday night during the month of August.
● Country, pop, and jazz concerts take place every Wednesday night in July during the “Summer Concert Series” in scenic courtyard amongst shoppers at The Grove.
● The Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park holds a total of 50 concerts from June 14 to Sept. 20 every Thursday through Sunday. The concerts are also surrounded by food vendors and street performers.
● The “Boulevard Music Summer Festival” takes place in Culver City at the courtyard of the Culver City Hall during July and August, featuring genres such as flamenco, rock & roll, reggae, jazz, salsa, acoustic, and more.
There are plenty of concerts throughout Los Angeles that students can attend over the summer, while experiencing new things along the way. Whether it’s a deep appreciation for a certain genre of music, or simply a way to go out and make memories, students can meet, listen, dance, and create, all without spending a penny.