Concerts in L.A. in August
The Original Farmers Market is host to a plethora of fun, family-friendly outdoor events, and its summer music series are some of its best. Take a load off at the end of the work week and stop by the West Patio from 7 to 9pm to hear live music during or after your shopping trip or dinner al fresco.
Summers in Los Angeles mean scores of live outdoor tunage, and beginning in June, Angelenos will have something to groove about through Labor Day. Memorial Park hosts Levitt Pavilion Pasadena’s summer concert series every Thursday through Sunday, providing more live music than you’ll know what to do with. Likewise, the Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles in MacArthur Park will host its own free summer music series, inviting concertgoers to roll out the picnic blanket and vibe out to shows Thursday through Sunday. Basically, double the concert lineups—completely gratis. Expect a diverse roster of acts spanning all genres, in addition to kid-friendly performances every Sunday at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles and every Thursday at the Levitt Pavilion Pasadena. There will be more than 50 concerts by the time the season is through, and admission is always free. Just bring yourself, a foldout chair, some eats, good company and open ears.
This epic (and free) outdoor concert series features live performances by artists from around the world at the gorgeous water-encompassed California Plaza stage in DTLA. With Japanese hip-hop and a pan-African funk band, this series spans multiple genres and continents. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Gaby Morena and Buyepongo are among this year's performers on the Downtown stage. Don’t miss a diverse and highly intriguing mix of musical performances, live scores, films, poetry and theater.
Head to Echo Park on Mondays for free residencies at one of the best venues on the East side, the Bootleg. Theater shows happen in the Gallery, and music in the Theater (in back) and the Bar (in front). Residencies take place in the bar, with high tables and stools in the back, a bar with great craft brews and a high, open-beamed roof with great acoustics. Check the Bootleg's calendar to see who's on the bill month to month.
It's free music every Monday when sponsored, up-and-coming local bands call the Echo stage home for a one-month stint, honing their stage presence and giving various opening acts a chance at the spotlight as well. If you're worried a Monday night will fill up to capacity, you can RSVP on the Echo website for VIP entry. When a band is on its third or fourth Monday and killing it, this is a pretty convenient way to make sure you're in on the action.
Silver Lake's legit little music venue offers up some of the best local music in the city every Monday night... for free. Check out LA bands that are about to make it big (acts like Fitz & the Tantrums, Superhumanoids and even Local Natives have graced the residency stage) without spending a dime—well, except on maybe a beer, or a round for the folks onstage. Check the Satellite calendar to see who's on the bill each month. Acts often have a rotating cast of openers, so you can see different bands each week while watching the main act work on material, become more comfortable onstage and find their rhythm as the month goes on. Then a few years from now, you can say "I saw them when...."
Everyone’s favorite NPR affiliate has a hand in over a half-dozen summer concert slates at locations like Union Station and the Hammer Museum. But the party-till-midnight bashes at Chinatown Central Plaza have become a particular favorite. Familiar KCRW personalities like Garth Trinidad, Travis Holcombe, Anne Litt and Jason Bentley spin the tunes at these food truck-fueled block parties. Participate in cultural workshops before busting a move on the dance floor to DJ sets and live bands. A craft beer garden, cooking demonstrations and a vintage market round out the fun to be had at this music-centric event.
The Skirball puts on its annual series of free summer concerts, highlighting indie, folk and world music from L.A. and beyond. Guests can arrive early and visit the museum’s galleries for free, dine under the stars and grab a seat for the show in the beautiful central courtyard. Mosey around the Jim Henson and Leonard Bernstein retrospectives, which will stay open late and also for free. Attendees are encouraged to sing along, dance in the aisles and gather at the foot of the stage to celebrate with the performers. The concert is free, but parking is $10 cash only.
Animal Collective’s David Portner, a.k.a. Avey Tare, has always been fascinated by the idea of an alien band. If you’ve ever experienced the glitchy beatscapes, oddly stretched-out melodies and synthesized digital mayhem of the group’s epic live shows, then you have a taste for what he’s talking about. Get ready, as the avant-pop MVPs will bring their spacey, jammy anthems to L.A. to play its 15-year-old freak-folk record, Sung Tongs.