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Skirball Cultural Center
Photograph: Courtesy Timothy Norris

Where to see free concerts in L.A.

Free concerts in L.A. aren’t hard to find. Check out our picks for the best live music and performances in the city.

Michael Juliano
Edited by
Michael Juliano
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Looking for free concerts in L.A.? 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.

Though L.A.’s clubs were once teeming with free Monday night residencies, these days you’ll find most spots charge at least a couple of bucks at the minimum—hey, your favorite venues need to pay the rent, you know? But that’s not the case during the summer months, when free alfresco shows pop up all over town. Read on for our top picks for free concerts in L.A.

RECOMMENDED: Find more free things to do in L.A.

Free upcoming concerts in L.A.

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  • Fairfax District

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 near the end of the work week and stop by the West Patio on Thursday nights from 6 to 8pm to hear a genre-spanning mix of live music, or Friday nights from 7 to 9pm for a lineup of tribute bands courtesy of E.B.’s Beer & Wine.

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  • Jazz
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  • Miracle Mile

One of L.A.’s best free live music offerings, Jazz at LACMA has featured legit legends over its three-decade run at the museum. The beloved program is back again for the season, and so too is its open seating and picnicking format (whereas last year you needed a reservation). You’ll find the series on Friday evenings in LACMA’s welcome plaza (just behind Urban Light) starting in April.

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  • Music
  • Latin and world
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  • Downtown

See a free salsa concert every second Friday of the summer during this series at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. This year’s lineup includes Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loka, TROMBOR, Echo Park Project, La Obsesión and La Verdad.

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  • Downtown

This epic (and free) outdoor concert series features live performances by artists from around the world at the totally overhauled California Plaza stage in DTLA, where the shallow water separating the stage from the audience has been replaced by a proper event lawn. Don’t miss a diverse and highly intriguing mix of bands, DJ sets and dance parties.

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  • Music
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  • Westlake

You know it’s summer in L.A. when the live outdoor music starts swelling all over the city, including at MacArthur Park’s Levitt Pavilion. The Westlake concert series returns this summer with free shows every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Expect a genre-spanning mix of local acts that range from cumbia to ska to EDM. Check out the full season lineup below. Courtesy Levitt Pavilion

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  • Westside

Hilltop sunset views and rising bands combine to make this Getty tradition a worthy destination for Angelenos on both sides of the 405. Back for the first time since 2019, this year’s lineup of free Saturday night shows includes Zsela (May 21), Bartees Strange (June 18), Los Retros (July 9), Hand Habits (July 23) and Standing on the Corner (Aug 27). Tip: Avoid the traffic and the crowds and arrive early. You’ll get to visit the exhibits (which stay open until 8pm starting in June) and beat the dinner rush.

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  • Westwood

Everyone’s favorite NPR member station has a hand in a slew of summer concert slates at public plazas and beloved museums, and this summer’s schedule is particularly packed. Familiar KCRW DJs and local buzz bands will be providing free, open-air tunes on select nights from July through September at the Hammer Museum, One Colorado, CAAM, Descanso Gardens, Bowers Museum, the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, JANM and—our favorite—the party-till-midnight bashes at Chinatown Central Plaza. This year’s lineup features Ambar Lucid, Hana Vu and Mark de Clive-Lowe, among others, and KCRW DJs including Anthony Valadez, Jason Bentley, Novena Carmel and more. The details slightly differ at each spot, but you can typically expect a bunch of food trucks, beer gardens and after-hours museum admission. Regardless of the location, you really can’t go wrong with any evening spent at Summer Nights.

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  • Classical and opera
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  • Koreatown

This open-air classical music concert is technically being held at and hosted by a Koreatown community center meant for older adults. But we think it’ll appeal to more than just elder Angelenos: The free performance from the ANBC+ Ensemble features free refreshments on the rooftop of the Audrey Irmas Pavilion, the swanky, architecturally distinct expansion of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, which includes the Wallis Annenberg GenSpace.

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  • Westside

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. The concert is free (and reservations are required), but parking is $10 in advance or $20 at the venue. This summer’s lineup includes Mamak Khadem (July 21), Rocky Dawuni (July 28), Nefesh Mountain (Aug 4), Booker T. Jones (Aug 11), Ak Dan Gwang Chil (Aug 18) and Son Rompe Pera (Aug 25).

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  • Downtown

While Santa may still be working with his elves to load up his sleigh, you can relax and enjoy a pre-Christmas Eve celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Gather up your friends and family and go hear L.A.’s biggest holiday show, which includes more than 20 choirs, music ensembles and dance troupes from all over the city. The free three-hour show celebrates L.A.’s multicultural observation of the holidays with everything from an all-female mariachi ensemble to a Korean dance troupe. Doors open at 2:30pm and guests are encouraged to come and go as they please throughout the show. Reservations and tickets are not necessary; parking at the Dorothy Chandler is also free. Those who still have last-minute holiday responsibilities to attend to can listen to a live stream of the concert on PBS SoCal.

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