The Guide to Outdoor Music in Los Angeles

Enjoy music under the sun and stars

Thanks to the beautiful year round weather, Los Angeles is home to some of the best outdoor music venues and events in the country. Whether you’re in the mood for pop, jazz, blues, alternative or electronica, there are music events taking place day and night that will keep you in the groove from the spring all the way to the fall.

Dance DTLA Bachata Night at Grand Park | Photo: The Music Center, Facebook

Dance DTLA (June 21 - Aug. 30, 2019)

Dance DTLA returns for its 15th season of dancing under the stars. Downtown L.A. is the place to be on Friday nights from June 21 through August 30. Each Friday night features a different dance genre and beginner dance lessons led by top L.A. dance instructors alongside a live band or DJ. So step outside, get your groove on, show off your dance moves and enjoy these free events all summer long!

This year, Dance DTLA will take place at three locations - Grand Park, Walt Disney Concert Hall (BP Hall) and The Music Center Plaza, which will celebrate its grand opening weekend on Friday, August 30.

Dance DTLA Summer 2019 Lineup

  • June 21: Bollywood at Grand Park Performance Lawn
  • June 28: Bachata at Grand Park Event Lawn
  • July 5: Line Dance & Two Step at Walt Disney Concert Hall (BP Hall)
  • July 12: Hip Hop at Grand Park Performance Lawn
  • July 19: Argentine Tango at Grand Park Olive Court
  • July 26: Disco at Grand Park Event Lawn
  • August 2: K-pop at Grand Park Performance Lawn
  • August 9: Salsa at The Music Center Plaza (Sneak Peek)
  • August 16: Motown/Funk at The Music Center Plaza (Sneak Peek)
  • August 30*: Cumbia at The Music Center Plaza (Grand Opening Weekend Celebration)
    *Extended hours to midnight

Free and open to all ages. Enjoy a picnic or purchase food and drinks on site. Cocktails and beverages available for purchase at all sites, valid ID required.

Grand Performances - Audacity of Sound (July 6, 2019)

Hailed as the “Best Free Outdoor Summer Concert Series” by Los Angeles Magazine and called “a grand gift to the public... democracy in musical action” by the Los Angeles Times, Grand Performances (GP) has presented high-quality music, dance, theater, and more at the breathtaking Watercourt at California Plaza in Downtown LA for more than 30 years. Earlier this year, the Watercourt began a major redesign that will extend through the summer. During the renovation, GP will expand its community-based programming, which currently includes LAX Presents, Grand Avenue Arts All Access, and more.

On Saturday, July 6, Grand Performances presents Audacity of Sound, a free, non-stop, immersive and interactive live music extravaganza. Taking place from 3pm to 10pm on the 300 block of South Grand Avenue, the festival showcases GP’s love for music from around the world and L.A.'s own deep talent pool. Highlights include gospel (with a sing-a-long!), opera, capoeira, marching band, boogie woogie piano, food trucks, a children’s reading room and more. With an anticipated attendance of 10,000 - 15,000 this will be one of the largest events in GP’s history. For more info, visit the Grand Performances website.

Legendary DJ Doc Martin at Sunday Sessions | Photo: Grand Park, Facebook

Sunday Sessions - Grand Park (June - September 2019)

Now in its seventh year, Grand Park’s Sunday Sessions is a free, summer-long celebration of L.A.'s contributions to the global House music culture. Sunday Sessions will take place on select Sundays from 2–8 p.m. on the Performance Lawn, just north of Hill Street. The 2019 lineup includes Forward Rhythm (July 21), 6AM (August 18), and Dublab's 20th Anniversary on September 22.

Guests can purchase food from food trucks and cocktails from the bar (21+), and enjoy the sounds of summer in a beautiful setting right in the middle of the city.

Nature Gardens | Photo: Natural History Museum

Summer Nights in the Garden - NHM (June 28, July 12 & 26, 2019)

Get outside and enjoy the evening breeze, late sunset, and starry skies from 5-9 p.m. on select Fridays in June and July. Summer Nights in the Garden celebrates all things summer in the enchanting Nature Gardens at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (NHM). Spend your Friday night sipping a garden-infused cocktail, stumbling upon a myriad of outdoor experiences while exploring the museum's backyard, and brightening your life with nature-inspired take-home activities. Have a picnic or get a little lost in the gardens – all while the beats from live music performances set the mood.

KCRW Summer Nights @ CAAM (June 28, 2019)

Enjoy a warm night and cool vibes with KCRW Summer Nights at CAAM, featuring live sets from KCRW DJs Garth Trinidad and Aaron Byrd, after-hours museum access including CAAM’s hit summer exhibition, Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective, food trucks, a beer garden, and more.

Chinatown Summer Nights | Photo: KCRW

Chinatown Summer Nights (June - August 2019)

Presented by L.A. Chinatown and KCRW, Chinatown Summer Nights is a global mix of music, food and summer party. Taking place in Chinatown’s Central and West Plazas, the Chinatown Summer Nights series offers a variety of experiences, including bites from Chinatown restaurants and gourmet food trucks; cooking demos; and hands-on, Chinese cultural activities presented by local organizations and museums. Guests can also sip on craft brews and dance to sets by KCRW DJs. Chinatown Summer Nights takes place on the second Saturday of the month: June 8, July 13 and August 10. Each event runs from 5 p.m. to midnight and admission is free.

The Greek Theatre | Photo: Francisco Saiso Alva/The Greek Theatre

Greek Theatre (June - September 2019)

Opened in 1929, the historic Greek Theatre is one of L.A.’s premier outdoor music venues. The 5,900-seat venue offers an intimate concert setting, with state-of-the-art acoustics and excellent sight lines, surrounded by trees in a picturesque setting within Griffith Park. The Greek was named Best Small Outdoor Venue by Pollstar Magazine seven times in eight years.

Highlights of the 2019 season include LANY (June 27), Coheed and Cambria + Mastodon (June 29), Steve Martin & Martin Short (July 16), '70s Soul Jam (July 20), Rodrigo Y Gabriela (July 23), The Raconteurs (July 26), Chicago (July 27), George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Aug. 2), Elvis Costello & The Imposters + Blondie (Aug. 5), Bush & Live (Aug. 6), Psychedelic Furs & James (Aug. 7), La Familia Tour feat. Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys, Ozomatli (Aug. 8); Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Aug. 9), Weird Al's Strings Attached Tour (Aug. 10), Joe Russo's Almost Dead (Aug. 16), Steve Miller Band & Marty Stuart (Aug. 21), Kacey Musgraves (Aug. 23 & 25), Keith Seat (Aug. 24), The Stray Cats 40th Anniversary Tour (Aug. 28), Bryan Ferry (Aug. 29), Maze Feat. Frankie Beverly (Aug. 31), Ringo Starr (Sept. 1), The National (Sept. 2), King Crimson (Sept. 3), Tycho (Sept. 5), Lost '80s Live (Sept. 6), Brian Wilson & The Zombies (Sept. 12).

Hollywood Bowl (June - October 2019)

The Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural amphitheater in the United States and is renowned as one of the world's premier outdoor cultural venues. The Bowl hosts a wide variety of the world’s greatest artists from all genres of music, with Gustavo Dudamel and the acclaimed LA Phil at its core.

Following the annual Playboy Jazz Festival (June 8-9), the 2019 season officially kicked off on June 15 with John Legend. Get your tickets early for perennial favorites like the the July 4th Fireworks Spectacular with Nile Rodgers & CHIC (July 2-4), John Williams: Maestro of the Movies (Aug. 30 - Sept. 1), Fireworks Finale with Earth, Wind & Fire (Sept. 13-14); and the Sound of Music Sing-A-Long (Sept. 21).

Other highlights include ABBA: The Concert (June 30), Leon Bridges (July 5), Chrissie Hynde (July 6), Cyndi Lauper (July 12-13), Hugh Jackman (July 19-20), "Into the Woods" (July 26-28), The Gipsy Kings (Aug. 2-3), Buddy Guy (Aug. 7), Death Cab for Cutie (Aug. 11), Pink Martini (Aug. 23-25), Barry Manilow (Sept. 6-7), Gladys Knight (Sept. 8), Ben Harper & Neneh Cherry (Sept. 11), Café Tacvba (Sept. 15), and Gary Clark Jr. (Sept. 29).

Throughout the year, the Hollywood Bowl hosts fantastic "Lease Events" (non-L.A. Phil-produced events). Upcoming Lease Events include Lionel Richie (Aug. 5), Heart + Joan Jett (Sept. 9), Rod Stewart with Jeff Beck (Sept. 27), Vampire Weekend (Oct. 2), Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience (Oct. 5), Van Morrison (Oct. 6), The Who (Oct. 11, 13, 24), Logic (Oct. 12), and the Jonas Brothers (Oct. 20-21).

Photo: Gennia Cui, Ford Theatres

Ford Theatres (through November 2019)

Nestled in a picturesque setting in the Hollywood Hills, Ford Theatres has been one of L.A.'s favorite outdoor music venues for generations. Each year, the Ford hosts an eclectic calendar of cultural performances that represent music and dance styles that span the diverse communities of Los Angeles County.

The Ford Theatres 2019 season got off to a jazzy start on April 27 with The Spring Quartet – comprised of jazz powerhouses Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese – and comes to a triumphant conclusion in October with a spectacular two-day Día de los Muertos Concert and Community Celebration.

The 2019 season is filled with favorites like Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Co. (July 6), ¡Viva La Tradición! (Sept 7), celebrating some of the most influential female mariachi groups; the always romantic Boleros De Noche (Sept 15), and the return of Rock Out! with Wayne Kramer and friends (Sept 28). 

New faces at the Ford include visionary vocalist and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello; legendary electronic/funk/rock band Kinky, an evening of South African-inspired music by Siya Makuzeni and Thandi Ntuli, hosted by actor Don Cheadle with KCRW’s Garth Trinidad; and GRAMMY® Award-nominated We Are KING. Special Lease Events include Guster (July 12), The Bird and the Bee (Aug. 2) and John Prine (Oct. 1).

Outdoor music at the Dome Arclight Entertainment Center | Photo: Gregg Young & the 2nd Street Band, Facebook

Dome Arclight Entertainment Center (May through September 2019)

A hidden gem outdoor music venue in the heart of Hollywood, the Dome Arclight Entertainment Center on Sunset and Vine features house band Gregg Young & the 2nd Street Band from May through the end of September. The family friendly Summer Concert Season is taking place from 6-9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. The space on the courtyard directly in front of the Arclight Cinema entrance has an outdoor cafe with seating, as well as concrete seating circling around the cafe. Guests can enjoy the music from the cafe, the free concrete seating, to standing and dancing. Special guests and band line-ups TBA.

Anthony Wilson Nonet performs at Jazz at LACMA | Photo: LACMA

Jazz at LACMA

Jazz at LACMA is a celebration of L.A.’s finest jazz musicians, and features the art of jazz as practiced by leading Southern California artists. Celebrating more than two decades at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the program continues to be one of the museum’s most popular offerings, having previously featured legends such as Wayne Shorter, John Clayton, Kenny Burrell, Les McCann, Billy Childs, Arturo Sandoval, Cannonball-Coltrane Project and Ernie Watts. Over 42,000 visitors attend the program annually from April through November. Jazz at LACMA takes place at 6 p.m. every Friday at the central BP Pavilion, near Chris Burden's iconic Urban Light. Admission is free, there are no reservations for seating. For the full lineup of performers, visit the Jazz at LACMA event page.

EB's Rock & Roll Tribute Night - The Original Farmers Market

Every Friday night, EB’s at The Original Farmers Market cranks up the volume with Rock & Roll Tribute Night. The line-up features tribute bands playing the greatest hits from groups as The Pretenders, Tom Petty, Bad Company and more. The free performances take place on the lively West Patio from 7-9 p.m.

Ex Hex at Teragram Ballroom in Downtown LA | Photo: Ex Hex, Facebook

Off the 405 - Getty Center (through Sept. 14, 2019)

The Getty Center's annual outdoor summer series, Off the 405 features performances by up-and-coming bands, along with DJ sets to open and close the night. The 2019 season kicked off on May 18 with Los Angeles-based polymath Sasami Ashworth. Upcoming performances include West Wales singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon (July 6), indie rock band Lala Lala (July 27), singer-songwriter San Cha (Aug. 24), and power trio Ex Hex (Sept. 14). All performances take place from 6-9 p.m. in the Museum Courtyard, with a cash bar offering local beer, cocktails, and bites. Arrive early to enjoy the Getty Center’s spectacular views and explore the world-class art collection and exhibits.

The Marias performing at Sunset Concerts in 2018 | Photo: Lindsey Best - Skirball Cultural Center, Facebook

Sunset Concerts at the Skirball (July 18 - Aug. 22, 2019)

Now in its 23rd year, the popular Sunset Concerts series at the Skirball Cultural Center kicks off on July 18 and runs through August 22. Taking place in the Skirball's stunning courtyard, Sunset Concerts features both emerging and established talents, drawing music fans from across greater Los Angeles. The 2019 season features Gaby Moreno (July 18), Río Mira (July 25), The Klezmatics (August 1), Cha Wa (August 8), Tamar Ilana & Ventanas (August 15), and Josef Leimberg (August 22). Concert admission is free and open to the public.

Arrive early to check out the current exhibitions, Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich and Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite - free and open until 10:00 pm. Beginning at 5:30 pm, enjoy grab-and-go light fare and full bar service from Zeidler’s Cart and shop Audrey’s Museum Store, open until 8:00 pm.

Jessica Fichot at Arboretum Summer Nights | Photo: @jessicafichotmusic, Instagram

Arboretum Summer Nights (June - August 2019)

Taking place June through August, Arboretum Summer Nights will feature live music and a variety of family-friendly entertainment such as crafts, storytelling, lawn games, and a Bookmobile. The 2019 series kicks off on June 29 at 6 p.m. with Northern California psych-pop folk/rock band Strawberry Smog and fellow NorCal musician Christine Shields. Local food trucks will be onsite with food for purchase, and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, umbrellas, food and wine. General admission is $7 and $4 for children ages 5-12. Arboretum members and children 4 and under are free.

Warpaint at Twilight on the Pier | Photo: DoLA, Facebook

Twilight on the Pier (Aug. 21 - Sept. 25, 2019)

Now in its 35th year, Twilight on the Pier is a weekly outdoor music festival at the landmark Santa Monica Pier that spotlights talented artists from SoCal and around the world. Each night of the series will be a Pier-wide festival, complete with immersive art, food offerings, a beer and spirits garden, games and interactive activations all along the Pier promenade. Taking place on Wednesdays from 6:30-9:30pm, the 2019 season of Twilight on the Pier will begin on August 21 and run until September 25. This year’s concert lineup is TBA.