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.
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!
- June 19, 6-8 p.m. | Eisner Park, Kittens Incorporated
- June 26, 6-8 p.m. | Sunset Ridge Park, Decadents
- July 24, 6-8 p.m. | Scott Park, We the Animals
- July 31, 6-8 p.m. | Centennial Park, Mike Ingram and the New Souls
- August 2, 5-7 p.m. | Beardsley Park, National Night Out
- August 28, 3-7 p.m. | Hessel Park, Gospel Jazz Fest
Neighborhood Night Concerts – 6:30-8 p.m.
- June 8 | Southridge Park, Big Creek Guitar Band
- June 15 | Blair Park, Keith Harden
- June 22 | Dog Park, Prairie Dogs
- June 29 | Victory Park, Bruiser and the Virtues
- July 6 | Crestview Park, ESP
- July 13 | AMBUCS Park, Pet Roxx
- July 20 | Larson Park, Kittens Incorporated
- July 27 | Prairie Park, New Souls
- August 3 | Meadowbrook Park, Surreal Deal
Bach’s Lunch Summer Concert Series, Noon-1 p.m.
- June 10 | Maria Merkelo – Music from Around the World
- July 8 | John Coppess – Folk, Country, Cowboy
- August 12 | Paul Hinson – Highland Bagpipe
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 6:30 p.m. | Bones Jugs
- 7:30 p.m. | Las Cafeteras
July 18 – StreetFest – 7 p.m. – Midnight
- 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!