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
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. Our list is of musicians, dates and locations for 2019. The 2021 lineup, however, will be similar and available closer to the summer. In 2020, because of COVID-19, most of the following concerts didn’t happen.
Free Summer Music in Vancouver
Vancouver has a number of great summer festivals and events which feature free outdoor live music, including the following:
- Summer Jazz on the Porch – a “pay-as-you-can” Jazz concert outside the Roedde House Museum in Vancouver’s West End. 2021 dates are to be confirmed.
- Carnaval del Sol – a Latin carnival with outdoor concerts in Vancouver that used to take place on the second weekend in July but in 2020 happened on August 7th to 9th. It used to be a free event, but now costs a few dollars (but is still really inexpensive).
- Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) – Vancouver’s premier fair from late August until the Labour Day long weekend features amazing live music. 2020 dates were August 22nd to August 30th (so a week shorter than usual). The concerts in 2020 didn’t happen because of COVID-19. The PNE did though still offer some activities last summer, although in a smaller than usual and modified format.
- Vancouver International Jazz Festival – free and ticketed concerts throughout Metro Vancouver from late June until the first weekend in July. In 2020 the concerts were going to run from June 19th to July 1st (but then got cancelled). In 2021 the festival is scheduled to run from June 25th until July 4th.
- 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 and/or the beginning of August. The festivities include live entertainment in the afternoons, with headliner bands in the evenings. 2020 fireworks nights were going to be July 25th, July 29th and August 1st, but in the end everything was cancelled.
- Canada Day Celebrations – July 1st is also a great time to find free outdoor concerts, including at Canada Place, Granville Island and other venues throughout the Lower Mainland. (Most live in-person celebrations were cancelled in 2020. A number of Virtual Canada Day Events did, however, still take place.)
- 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. In 2020 the event was going to be on Saturday July 11th until it got cancelled.
- Trout Lake Summer Concert Series – free weekly concerts outside the Trout Lake Community Centre at 3360 Victoria Drive on Wednesdays in the evening. They didn’t happen in 2020. (To be confirmed for 2021.)
- 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). (To be determined for 2021.)
- CBC Musical Nooners – a free concert at noon every weekday outside the CBC building at 700 Hamilton Street from early July to mid-August. They didn’t happen in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (To be confirmed for 2021.)
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 date in 2020 was going to be on July 18th until it got cancelled.
- Summer Sundays Concert Series – free live music outside Burnaby’s Bob Prittie Library – Metrotown Branch on Sundays from the second weekend in July until late August (except for on the BC Day Long Weekend). The concerts didn’t happen in 2020. 2021 details are to be confirmed.
Free Summer Music in Coquitlam
- Summer Concert Series – free live music from 7 to 9 pm at Town Centre Park Plaza at 1299 Pinetree Way on a couple of Fridays in the summer. Concert dates in 2020 were going to be July 10th, August 7th and September 4th. 2021 dates and details are to be confirmed.
Free Concerts in Langley
- Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival – a 3-day live music and art festival with both free and ticketed events in Fort Langley. The festival usually happens in late July. It got postponed until September in 2020, however, and took place mostly as a virtual event. 2021 dates and details are to be confirmed.
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). Concert dates in 2020 were going to be July 13th, July 27th, August 10th and August 24th. The concerts were cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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 Fridays starting at 7 pm. With the event there were different styles of music each week. The concerts didn’t take place in 2020, but hopefully will again in 2021.
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. In 2020, Uptown Live was going to take place on July 18th from 12 pm to 9 pm. It got cancelled though. Hopefully it will be possible in 2021.
- Columbia Street Food Truck Fest – a food truck street festival from one end of Columbia Street to the other in heart of the old town. It was going to be on July 25th in 2020. The 2021 date will likely be around the same time (world health conditions permitting).
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 take place in North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley Village, Deep Cove and Edgemont Village on Friday evenings from 7 to 9 pm in July and August. They were cancelled in 2020 but will hopefully happen again in 2021.
- Shipyard Night Market – a slightly upscale summer night market in North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale neighborhood that features great live bands on Friday nights. The market was cancelled for the entire 2020 season, but will hopefully be back this coming summer.
- Shipyards Summer Sessions Concerts – also taking place at Shipbuilders’ Square, these live performances are on Saturdays in July and August from 5 to 10 pm. They didn’t happen though in 2020.
- Cates Park Summer Concerts – free concerts from 4 until 7 pm on Saturdays from early July until mid-August at Cates Park at 4131 Dollarton Highway. Hopefully they’ll happen again in the future.
Free Concerts in Port Moody
- Summer Sundays – free concerts at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody on Sundays in July and August at 2 pm (although not in 2020). There’s a different band each week and the music ranges from Blues to Soul, R&B, Funk, and Reggae. On sunny days between 1000 and 2000 people attend. (2021 details are to be confirmed.)
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 Wednesday evenings (and the occasional Friday afternoon) during the summer. The concert season usually runs from early July until around the third week of August.
- Surrey Fusion Festival – a festival at Surrey’s Holland Park in mid-July each year. 2020 dates for the event were going to be July 25th and 26th.
Summer Music in Richmond
Richmond offers great outdoor summer music at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery on Friday evenings. They aren’t free, but they are very reasonably priced at around $7 for adults and $5 for children.
- Music at the Cannery – concerts take place Friday evenings in the summer in Steveston Village at 6:30 pm outside the Gulf of Georgia Cannery at 12138 Fourth Avenue. (Note: admission to this event used to be by donation, but now there is a fee, although it is still a great deal).
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 2020 the festival was going to run from July 31st to August 9th. 2021 dates are to be confirmed.
- Coho Festival – a festival in early September celebrating salmon in West Vancouver. In 2019 it took place on September 8th. 2020 dates would have been similar if COVID-19 hadn’t existed.
Free Concerts in White Rock
- TD Concerts at the Pier – White Rock’s free concert series takes place on a few Saturdays and Thursdays in July and August (although not in 2020).
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