5 Places for FREE Outdoor Concerts This Summer

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Summer is a wonderful time in Rochester: sunshine, (hopefully) great weather, and lots of outdoor activities. So, without further ado, here are 5 Places for FREE Outdoor Concerts you won't want to miss this summer:

1. Bands on the Bricks

For five Friday nights this summer, the City of Rochester Public Market will be overtaken by bands as well as food and drink vendors for Bands on the Bricks. This year's dates are: July 14, July 21, July 28, August 4, and August 11. Seating is extremely limited so BYOC (bring your own chair)!

2. Hochstein at High Falls

Every Thursday, June 8th through August 17th, take your lunch break in High Falls. Concerts begin at 12:10pm at the Granite Mills Park near the Pont de Rennes Bridge at 104 Platt Street (map). See the website for a list of performances. Grab lunch or coffee at Fina's Cafe while you're there!

3. Jazz in the Reading Garden

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

If you've followed along with us for a while, you may have seen us mention the Dorris Carlson Reading Garden at the Central Library. We LOVE it, it's like the Secret Garden of our city, only accessible through the library!

Enjoy your lunch breaks here on Tuesdays for their June Jazz Duets (June 6th, 13th & 20th) as well as during the Jazz Fest (June 26th - June 30th). To see the full list of concerts happening in the Reading Garden use the events search feature and select the Library: Central Library, and Category: Musical Performance.

4. RPO: Around The Town & More

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is a gem and throughout the summer they play a handful of FREE outdoor concerts in the city called Around The Town as well as a special 4th of July show and Concert by the Shore. Check out the list for dates & times:

5. Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Speaking of the Jazz Fest (June 23rd-July1st)... the amount of FREE concerts throughout the week is unbelievable. While the website may have a ton of information about the concerts listed by artist, date, venue and so on.... don't get too overwhelmed, the XRIJF has a schedule of all the free events broken down by day and time, check out the schedule.

Now you just need the official MAP (PDF) and you'll be on your way in no time.

BONUS: $5 - Party in the Park

While Party in the Park concerts are not free, for 5 bucks you'll get in to see some great bands.  Bring a blanket, relax on the lawn and enjoy some great food trucks and local beer offerings. Concerts run every Thursday night June 15th through August 10th in Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park.

Know of an awesome free outdoor concert happening in the city that we missed? Let us know!


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Stefanie is co-Founder of the Rochesteriat and is very happy to live in a music-filled city. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

This is what Jazz in an Urban Oasis looks like

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the Rochesteriat Under a 3-layer canopy that includes city skyscrapers, bright-green beautiful trees, and actually a real wooden canopy - Danny Ziemann and band played a real treat for a packed crowd on Tuesday at the Central Library's Reading Garden. This is a noon-time series played everyday this week for the Jazz Fest (thru Friday), and a FREE one at that, the perfect time to take in a bite to eat for lunch, sit, relax, and enjoy a true urban oasis.

the Rochesteriat

Make your way towards the newer Bausch and Lomb Building at the Central Library, near the old Tim Hortons, where you'll see signs for the Dorris H. Carlson Reading Garden leading outside. This is what you'll find -

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

-so bring a lunch, bring a co-worker or a friend, and enjoy the live music for a quick respite from your hectic day.

the Rochesteriat

See the remaining schedule for The Jazz Starts Here.

And aside from the remaining weekdays this week during Jazz Fest, there will be a few other opportunities to enjoy this outdoor space and live music before the summer is over:

Wed. July 15th, 12:15pm: West Side Jazz Quartet Tues. August 11th, 12noon: Ad Hoc Music  Tues. August 25th, 12noon: Ad Hoc Music


Jason2Jazz week in Rochester is the perfect time to find out what this city is really made of. Even if you're not a jazz fan, the urban experience is well worth the effort. Check out more @theRochesteriat or Facebook.