Free is the best price for any event, especially when gas prices and parking can cost more than the ticket itself. Luckily, Orange County often features a variety of free outdoor events centered on music and entertainment. This allows friends and family to convene on a warm summer day and enjoy some tunes without breaking the bank. Make sure to bring some sunscreen, as the cost of heat and exhaustion is a price few bodies can pay.
411 Olive Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
This annual event takes place on just about every Sunday from now until mid-October, but the summer dates out on Pier Plaza are the big draw. Combining the glory days of surf rock with the modern take on laid-back California vibes, the music is free, fun and fit for all ages. The surfing museum is also an awesome (and free) place to go trip around before and after the shows, so show up early and stay a little late. This is the 17th year of the concert series and will probably continue for as long as long-haired men and women continue to ride the waves.
Summer Concert Series at Boisseranc Park
7520 Dale St.
Buena Park, CA 90620
Northwest Orange County is the perfect location for a free event in the summer with its great weather and scenery. Buena Park hosts an annual concert series and past shows have included everything from big band swing to 80’s tribute, with a bunch in between. Between 7 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday night in July, the park fills with blankets, baskets and plenty of stuff for the kiddies to do. The event features some excellent food, so feel free to show up on an empty stomach and enjoy some of the offerings.
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Summer Concerts In The Park
Dana Point, CA 92629
Every Sunday in July and August, at least two bands will delight those in attendance at the beautiful Lantern Bay Park. Although cover bands still rear their head, as they tend to do when the price is free, this year does feature an “American Idol” finalist with Tim Urban. The park is large, clean and has easy parking and lots of space to see the event. Whether it’s for a date or a way to kill time for free, the geography is worth the price of admission alone.
Fullerton Summer Concert Series
560 E. Silver Pine St.
Fullerton, CA 92832
This is another Wednesday night-centric concert series in another awesome park, but this time Fullerton houses the free music. These shows start at 6:30 p.m. and run two hours long — long enough for the tribute bands and local upstarts to win you over. The Parks and Recreation department has created an area to purchase food, but bringing your own will keep the show truly free. The bands have yet to be announced, but expect an eclectic mix of oldies and modern music, as these shows tend to cover the entire spectrum.
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Rhythm of Riverside Summer Concert Series
2601 Fairmount Boulevard
Riverside, CA 92501
If you happen to find yourself in Riverside on a Wednesday night, head over to Fairmount Park, will host a series of free family-oriented concerts throughout the summer. Each night will feature a different theme, like Latin, Classic Rock, Disco and Motown. Come early and taste some of Riverside’s best cuisine from local food vendors. Concerts are from 6 to 9 p.m. and blankets or beach chairs are recommended.
Jesse Seilhan is a writer, editor and photographer from the California Bay Area. After moving to Long Beach, Jesse continues his passion for writing and music by covering concerts, interviewing top artists, and giving a dose of wisdom in a crazy, mixed-up musical world. His work can be found at Examiner.com.