Vancouver is a fabulous place for free concerts in the summer. Music genres include Rock, Classical, Country, Jazz, Folk and more.
Free Summer Music Concerts in 2023
Below are some of the best places to find live outdoor music in the summer, with most if not all of the venues being free. In 2020 and 2021, because of COVID-19, most of the following concerts didn’t happen. Most, but not all, were back in 2022! 2023 will be a great summer too!
Free Summer Music in Vancouver
Vancouver has a number of great summer festivals and events which feature free outdoor live music, including the following:
Free Vancouver Music Festivals
- Monstercat Compound – a block party with live music, video games and art displays in Vancouver. The festival takes place on Saturday, August 26th, 2023.
- Vancouver International Jazz Festival – free and ticketed concerts throughout Metro Vancouver from late June until the first weekend in July. In 2023 the festival takes place from June 23rd until July 2nd.
- Khatsahlano Street Party – a major street party on West 4th Avenue, billing itself as “Vancouver’s largest free music and arts festival” in mid-July. The street party happens on July 8th in 2023.
Other Vancouver Festivals that Feature Free Music
- African Descent Festival – a free event featuring African food, live music and other activities at English Bay Beach on August 12th and 13th in 2023. Artists performing this year include international headliners Eddy Kenzo and Ghetto Kids as well as popular local bands like The Boom Booms, Mazacote, Samba Fusion and others.
- Carnaval del Sol – a Latin carnival with outdoor concerts in Vancouver. In 2023 the festival takes place on various dates in July with the main event on the weekend of July 7th to 9th. Admission in 2022 was free for everyone on the first evening of the weekend it was held and free for children and seniors on the other two days. 2023 will likely be the same, but with exact details to be confirmed.
- Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival – a celebration of Taiwanese and Canadian artists in the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 2023 the festival is from June 30th until July 8th.
- Honda Celebration of Light – a fireworks festival in English Bay near Stanley Park’s Second Beach on two Saturdays and one Wednesday in late July. The festivities include live entertainment in the afternoons, with headliner bands in the evenings. In 2023 the fireworks happen on July 22nd, 26th and 29th.
- Canada Day Celebrations – July 1st is also a great time to find free outdoor concerts, including at Canada Place, Granville Island, North Vancouver’s Shipyards and other venues throughout the Lower Mainland.
- Black Block Party – an event featuring music and art by Black artists in šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (outside the Vancouver Art Gallery) in August.
More Events in the City of Vancouver
- Music on Main – a series of pop-up concerts usually happen outdoors at Mountain Pleasant Park. 2023 details, however, are to be confirmed.
- Kitsilano Showboat – live music takes place at Kitsilano Beach on various days of the week between late June and late August.
- Trout Lake Summer Concert Series – free weekly concerts outside the Trout Lake Community Centre at 3360 Victoria Drive on a few evenings in July and August (but with 2023 details to be confirmed).
- Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – informal drumming sessions take place at Third Beach in Stanley Park on sunny Tuesday evenings from May until September. They aren’t “concerts,” but they are free, musical and entertaining! If it’s a sunny evening, there will be drummers (plus lots of people).
- CBC Musical Nooners – a free concert at noon used to happen every weekday outside the CBC building at 700 Hamilton Street from early July to mid-August. (Note: They haven’t taken place since 2019 because of COVID-19. Whether they happen again in 2023 is to be confirmed.)
- Summer Jazz on the Porch – a “pay-as-you-can” Jazz concert outside the Roedde House Museum in Vancouver’s West End once a month in the summer.
Free Concert in Abbotsford
- Symphony in the Park – a free classical music concert at Mill Lake Park in Abbotsford. In 2022 the event featured music from popular shows like West Side Story, Mission Impossible and Phantom of the Opera. It 2023 the concert happens on August 18th.
Free Concerts in Burnaby
The premier free music event in Burnaby each summer is a one-day event involving the Lower Mainland’s finest classical music.
- Symphony in the Park – a free outdoor concert by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at Deer Lake Park. The event happens on July 15th in 2023.
- Summer Stages – free live music in Civic Square, Edmonds Park and Confederation Park. The performances take place on a number of weekdays in July and August.
Free Summer Music in Coquitlam
- Summer Concert Series – free live music at Town Centre Park Plaza at 1299 Pinetree Way on a few Fridays in the summer. In 2022 the events took place on July 15th with a Rock Night, August 6th with a Jazz Night, and September 2nd with a Pop Night. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
In addition to the above concerts, there is also free live theatre at Place des Arts. The Summer Theatre Troupe performs Through the Looking Glass which is a roving adaptation of the play by Lewis Carroll. It takes place on July 25th to 30th in 2023.
Free Concerts in Langley
- Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival – a three-day live music and art festival with both free and ticketed events in Fort Langley. The festival takes place from July 20th to 23rd in 2023. It’s a fabulous event and highly recommended!
Free Concerts in Maple Ridge
- Music on the Wharf – a series of outdoor concerts on the Port Haney Wharf at 22360 River Road in Maple Ridge every couple of Mondays in July and August (by donation).
- Happenings Summer Events – concerts and/or other family-friendly activities took place at Memorial Peace Park on Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm between July 6th and September 2nd in 2022. On most days there were family-friendly activities, not live music. The concerts in 2022 were the following Fridays (and 2023 will hopefully be comparable):
- July 8th, 2022 – Blues Night with Dalannah Gail Bowen.
- July 29th, 2022 – Pop Night with Paul Filek & Nette.
- August 12th, 2022 – Rock Night with Johnny Bootleg and Wyper & Parker.
- August 26th, 2022 – Country-Rock Night with Nicole Sumerlyn and Antonio Larosa.
- September 2nd, 2022 – Battle of the Bands featuring multiple local youth bands.
Free Concerts in Mission
A couple of years ago Mission joined the many other locales with their own version of free weekly outdoor music entertainment from June through August with the Twilight Concert Series at the Fraser River Heritage Park (7494 Mary Street) on Friday evenings. With the event there were different styles of music each week. The concerts took place on Wednesdays from July 6th to August 31st in 2022. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
Free Concerts in New Westminster
New Westminster has a couple of major festivals that feature free live music in August most years (or at least ones without global pandemics).
- Uptown Live – a giant street party and Indie music festival in New Westminster. The event happens on July 15th in 2023.
- Columbia Street Food Truck Fest – a food truck street festival from one end of Columbia Street to the other in the heart of the old town. The festival was rebranded as Car Free Day New West in 2022 and took place on August 6th. Details about the event in 2023 are to be confirmed.
- Queen’s Park Concert Series – free live music a couple of times a week at Queen’s Park in New Westminster. In 2022 the concerts took place on Thursdays and Sundays between July 14th and August 21st. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
Free Music in North Vancouver
North Vancouver is one of the best places in the Lower Mainland for free live outdoor music, with multiple concerts each week at the following venues:
- North Vancouver Summer Concert Series – now called the Live & Local Concerts & Culture Series, free outdoor concerts took place in Deep Cove on Friday evenings from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in August. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
- Cates Park Concert Series – free outdoor concerts take place at Cates Park with up to nine singer-songwriters performing each day. In 2023 the series runs on Saturday evenings in August.
- Shipyards Night Market – a giant market with artisan vendors, live music and a beer garden on Fridays at the Shipyards in North Vancouver. The market hasn’t happened for the past few years, but it does in 2023 between May 12th and September 15th.
- Shipyards Long Summer Nights – taking place at Shipbuilders’ Square, these live performances are on Saturdays from June 22nd to August 26th in 2023.
Free Concerts in Port Moody
- Summer Sundays – free concerts at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody on Sunday afternoons in July and August. There’s a different band each week and the music ranges from Blues to Soul, R&B, Funk, and Reggae. On sunny days between 1,000 and 2,000 people attend. In 2022 the concerts ran from July 10th until September 4th. The 2023 season will likely be similar.
Free Summer Music in Surrey
Surrey offers the following free outdoor concerts every week (in years without restrictions banning live events):
- Sounds of Summer Music Series – free outdoor live music at Surrey parks on Thursday evenings during the summer. In 2023 the events run from July 6th to August 24th. 2023 will likely be similar.
- Surrey Fusion Festival – a festival at Surrey’s Holland Park in mid-July each year. In 2023 the festival takes place on July 22nd and 23rd.
Concerts in West Vancouver
West Vancouver offers its free outdoor live music concerts in early August and early September at the following festivals:
- Harmony Arts Festival – a popular week-long community festival in West Vancouver in early August that features live music and free evening movies. In 2022 the festival ran on a slightly smaller scale than usual (i.e. without nightly movies), but still larger than it had in 2021. In 2023 the festival runs from August 4th to 13th.
- Coho Festival – a festival in early September celebrating salmon in West Vancouver. In 2019 it took place on September 8th. The event happened in a virtual format in 2020 and 2021. In 2022 the festival took place in its usual in-person format on September 11th. In 2023 it will likely take place on September 10th, although exact details are to be confirmed.
Free Concerts in White Rock
- TD Concerts at the Pier – White Rock’s free concert series takes place on Thursdays in the summer. There are around half a dozen concerts scheduled to take place from late June to late August.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Free Outdoor Movies in the Summer
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Vancouver Shows & Entertainment
- Lower Mainland Summer Activities
- What’s Happening This Weekend