Looking for free concerts in LA? Well, you're in luck—music (aside from film, possibly) is the city's most abundant form of entertainment. Whether you get your kicks dancing, at the club or along the Sunset Strip, there's always tons of live music options—and surprisingly enough, not all of them will cost you. Free shows are everywhere, especially during the summer months. Read on for our top picks for free concerts in LA.
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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.
It's free music every Monday when 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.
Stay out late on a school night with this series of free Monday night concerts in Bardot's sumptuous courtyard lounge. Though the sets are short, the price is certainly right, as is the lineup curated by resident DJ and KCRW tastemaker Chris Douridas; expect a mix of local bands and touring acts like Miguel, Eleanor Friedberger, Odesza and Father John Misty.
Feed your soul during lunchtime with free live music and lots of food trucks in DTLA's Grand Park. The "performance lawn" has soft green grass and hot pink lawn chairs where you can spread out a picnic and enjoy local talent during your lunch hour every other Thursday.
Head to Echo Park on Mondays for free residencies at one of the best venues on the Eastside, 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, exposed beam roof with great acoustics.
This all-ages concert series from KCRW sets up shop across the city every week from June through August, and is definitely among the liveliest of LA's summer concerts. Participate in cultural workshops before busting a move on the dance floor to DJ sets and live bands. Sample food-truck grub or cuisine from surrounding restaurants as you party ‘til midnight in the heart of Chinatown and Pasadena as well as at the Hammer Museum. A photo booth, craft beer garden and variety of fine art classes round out the fun to be had at this music-centric event.
Every Thursday, head to the Santa Monica Pier for free bands on the beach during their Twilight Concert series. Pack a picnic (and arrive early to get a spot on the sand near the speakers) to enjoy as the local talent plays sunset sets with crashing waves in the distance; past performers include Tune-Yards, Ariel Pink and Cults.
It wouldn't be summer in Los Angeles without free concerts in cool, outdoor places from KCRW. Sound in Focus, their latest collaboration with the Annenberg Space for Photography, is a month of free, all ages outdoor concerts. Headliners include Nas and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. The concerts will be on the lawn at Century Park, right next to the Annenberg Space for Photography. In addition to music and photography, visitors can take a tour of Skylight Studios, picnic on the lawn (bring your own or indulge in food truck fare) and grab a drink in the beer garden. The concerts are free, but you must RSVP beforehand, and entry is granted on a first-come, first-served basis.
KCRW and the Hammer Museum present a July full of free tunage on Thursday evenings in the Hammer’s outdoor courtyard. Like any good soirée, each music night has a theme—this year, it's "disappear here." Live performances and extended museum hours coupled with KCRW DJ sets, cash bars and a beer garden make this summer concert series one heck of a charge-free party. Tunes start playing at 8:15pm.
Saturdays Off the 405
Enjoy free outdoor music and evening views of the city on select Saturdays at the Getty throughout summer. Performances by your soon-to-be favorite bands (the past few years saw shows by Cold Cave, Dum Dum Girls, Lord Huron, Avi Buffalo and Best Coast, just to name a few) are sandwiched between DJ sets to open and close the night. Tip: Avoid the traffic and the crowds and arrive early. You'll get to visit the exhibits, watch the sunset and snag a seat at the restaurant before the dinner rush.
One of LA's best free live music offerings, Jazz at LACMA has featured such legends as Wayne Shorter, Kenny Burrell and Arturo Sandoval. Celebrating over twenty years at the museum, the program continues to be one of the museum’s most recognizable programs. It's a celebration of LA’s finest jazz musicians, and more than 42,000 visitors attend the LACMA program annually from April through November, making it a true LA rite of passage.
The Skirball puts on its annual run of free summer concerts, highlighting indie, folk and world music from LA and beyond. Guests can arrive early and visit the museum's galleries, dine under the stars and grab a seat for the show in the beautiful courtyard. Attendees are encouraged to sing along, dance in the aisles and gather at the foot of the stage to celebrate with the performers.
The Farmers Market at the Grove is host to plenty 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 7-9pm to hear live music during or after your shopping trip or dinner alfresco.
Summer Nights at Grand Central Market launches this summer by expanding their hours every evening until 10pm. Along with special programming, visitors can expect live music, evening menu specials, a massive happy hour and free shuttle service to destinations like Disney Hall, the Music Center, Orpheum Theatre, the Theatre at Ace Hotel and other entertainment venues.
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. 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. Don’t miss a diverse and highly intriguing mix of musical performances, live scores, films, poetry and theater.
Before you hop on the Hollywood Bowl shuttle, stop for a drink and a few tunes at Hollywood & Highland's annual Jazz & Wine series. Each week, KJazz 88.1 FM curates a free jazz performance in the Hollywood mall's outdoor courtyard. In addition, you can sample wine by Stella Rosa and an appetizer box for $10 (proceeds benefit Project Angel Food).