Lack of funds is no obstacle to seeing live music this summer in Champaign-Urbana. We’ve put together a list of some of some of the best (and cheapest) events to attend. And don’t forget that bikes are the best way to get there!

For non-music events in C-U this summer, read our list of summer events.

If you want ideas for where to go on your own time, check out our Guide to Summer: Top 5 Places.

Concert Series

Sounds at Sunset Concert Series

Enjoy evenings in Champaign parks with live music, friends, and family. Most of the dates are on the last two Sundays of each month. Bring your own lawn chairs and refreshments!

Neighborhood Night Concerts – 6:30-8 p.m.

Neighborhood Night Concerts highlight Urbana’s parks and local bands every Wednesday evening. Lots of different parks, lots of different bands.

Bach’s Lunch Summer Concert Series, Noon-1 p.m.

This concert series is held on the second Friday of each month in the Bilbrey Band Stand in Champaign’s West Side Park. Bring your own lunch or pre-order a catered lunch for $9.

Folk and Roots Friday Concert Series – Noon-1 p.m.

Hear a wide variety of folk and roots music from this concert series. Concerts are held the first and third Fridays of the month in Crystal Lake Park‘s Lake House. Last year’s concert series was so popular they’ve doubled the number of events this year!


June 18 – Strawberry Jam – 4-8 p.m.

Spend your Saturday in Meadowbrook Park, enjoying live music along with ice cream and strawberries, hayrides, and guided meadow tours.

  • 4 p.m. | Wildwood String Band
  • 5:30 p.m. | High Cotton
  • 7 p.m. | Burr Oak String Band

June 18 – StreetFest – 7 p.m. – Midnight

Held both in June and July, StreetFest offers live music paired with local food and drink in downtown Champaign. The June edition will be held at Neil and Main St.

  • 7-8 p.m. | The New and Slightly Used
  • 8:45-10 p.m. | Jim Markum Swing Band
  • 10:30-midnight | Sun Stereo

June 24-25 – Blues, Brews, and BBQ

What this festival consists of is clear from its name alone. Running for two days in the News Gazette Building parking lot in downtown Champaign, this event has lots of well-known blues bands and musicians—too many to name here.


June 8 – Outside at Research Park – 6:30 p.m.

The Krannert Center is hosting this free festival outside of UIUC’s Research Park.

  • 6:30 p.m. | Bones Jugs
  • 7:30 p.m. | Las Cafeteras

July 18 – StreetFest – 7 p.m. – Midnight

Held both in June and July, StreetFest offers live music paired with local food and drink. The July edition will be held at Walnut and University.

  • 7-8:15 p.m. | Kilborn Alley
  • 8:45-10 p.m. | Candy Foster and Shades of Blue
  • 10:30-midnight | Tons O’ Fun Band

If you know of any other free concerts or festivals held in the C-U area this summer, let us know and we’ll add it to the list!


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