Free concerts abound in the Bay Area

Food prices make us want to cry. Shopping at the mall can completely wipe out the wallet. And don’t even get us started about what a gallon of gas costs these days.

In the midst of this inflationary environment, it can seem like pretty much everything we come across is targeted at decimating our bank account.

That certainly includes going to a concert, which can cost a (not so) small fortune in 2022.

Oh, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Thankfully, we live in the Bay Area, where free concerts abound this time of the year.

So, for those looking to cut down on costs and still enjoy plenty of live tunes, we’re presenting a lengthy roundup of free summer concert series happening all over the Bay Area.

Check out the picks and then make plans to attend a show or two — or 20. You certainly have plenty of options, ranging from rock and pop to jazz, classical, Latin and more.

Most of these shows are picnic friendly, but we still recommend checking the individual websites to see what patrons are allowed to bring to the shows.

Stern Grove Festival

When: 2 pm Sundays, June 12-Aug. 14

Where: Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco; sterngrove.org

Highlights: Legendary Bay Area doubleheader of with R&B/funk group Tower of Power and hip-hop great Too $hort plus DJ Shortkut (June 12); country star LeAnn Rimes, Americana talent Amythyst KiahAmythyst and DJ LadyRyan (July 24); Grateful Dead icon Phil Lesh and Friends (the Big Picnic fundraising event on Aug. 14)

Note: Yes, the series is back after being shut down by a water main break last year. Slightly fewer people will be admitted per show for the time being. While admission is free, fans most reserve their spots in advance by visiting the website.

Los Gatos Jazz on the Plazz

When: 6:30 pm Wednesdays, June 29-Aug. 17 (no concert on July 4)

Where: Los Gatos Town Plaza, West Main Street and Santa Cruz Avenue; jazzontheplazz.com

Highlights: Monterey Jazz Festival High School All-Stars (July 6); great Bay Area vocalist Paula West (July 13); the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (Aug. 10); longtime Santana singer Tony Lindsay and the Soul Soldiers (Aug. 17)

Redwood City Music on the Square

When: 6 pm Fridays through Sept. 2

Where: Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City; redwoodcity.org

Highlights: Heart tribute Heartless (June 10); Santana Tribute Carnaval (June 17); reggae act Native Elements (Aug. 5)

Concord Music and Market Series

When: 6:30 pm Thursdays, June 2-Sept. 29

Where: Todos Santos Plaza, between Mount Diablo and Grant streets, Concord; cityofconcord.org

Highlights: Diablo Symphony (June 16); reknowned harpist and violinist Carlos Reyes (Aug. 4); Pink Floyd tribute act House of Floyd (Sept. 29)

Evenings on the Colonnade

When: 8:30 pm Thursdays, June 16-Aug. 11

Where: Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz; beachboardwalk.com

Highlights: Amazing surf-rock act the Deadlies (June 30); Johnny Cash tribute act Man in Black (July 7); R&B/rock/jazz/funk outfit the Joint Chiefs (Aug. 11)

Mission College Summer Concert Series

When: 6 pm Wednesdays June 15 and 29, July 13 and 27, Aug. 10

Where: Central Plaza, Mission College, Santa Clara; missioncollege.edu

Highlights: Latin Jazz musician Ray Obiedo with vocalist Leah Tysse (June 29); Oakland soul singer Lilan Kane (July 27)

Redwood City Music in the Park

When: 6 pm Wednesdays June 22-Aug. 10; 5:30 pm Aug. 17 and 14

Where: Stafford Park, King Street and Hopkins Avenue, Redwood City; redwoodcity.org

Highlights: Celtic rockers Tempest (July 13); zydeco accordion great Andre Thierry (July 20)

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

When: Various dates and times through Oct. 26

Where: Yerba Buena Gardens lawn, Fourth and Mission streets, San Francisco; ybgfestival.org

Highlights: Alice Coltrane tribute with Brooklyn Raga Massive featuring Reggie Workman (1 pm June 11); Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu (Hawaiian dance company, June 18); Marcus Shelby New Orchestra: Blues in the City world premiere (1 pm Sept. 3)

Sunset by the Lake Summer Concerts

When: 6 pm Sundays June 12 and 26, July 10 and 24, Aug. 7 and 21, Sept. 4

Where: Pleasant Hill City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane; pleasanthillca.org

Highlights: Cajun-zydeco-blues act Tom Rigney & Flambeau (June 12); country-rock troupe the Bell Brothers (July 10)

Kids Rock!

When: 11 am Sundays June 26, July 24, Aug. 21, also 6 pm Fridays through Sept. 2

Where: Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City; redwoodcity.org

Highlights: Calypso artist Asheba (Aug. 21)

Morgan Hill Friday Night Music Series

When: 6 pm Fridays, June 17-Sept. 2

Where: Downtown Amphitheater, Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center, 17000 Monterey Road, Morgan Hill; morganhill.org

Highlights: Morgan Hill’s own blues-rocker Shane Dwight (July 1); San Jose country-rock-metal act Neverland (July 8)

Concord Tuesday Night Blues

When: 6:30 pm Tuesdays, July 5-26

Where: Todos Santos Plaza, Concord; cityofconcord.org

Highlights: “Midnight at the Oasis” singer Maria Muldaur (July 12); blues saxophonist Terry Hanck (July 19)

Sounds of the Shores

When: 5 pm Sundays, June 26, July 24, Aug. 21

Where: Marlin Park, 500 Cringle Dr., Redwood City; redwoodcity.org

Highlights: Bay Area classic rock cover band the Shanks (June 26)

Pub in the Park

When: 11 am-4 pm Saturdays, July 16, Aug. 6, Sept. 10

Where: Red Morton Park, 1120 Roosevelt Ave., Redwood City; redwoodcity.org

Details: Bluegrass bands perform while people enjoy beverages at an inflatable British-style pub in the park.

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