Mark Your Calendar for These Outstanding Outdoor Concerts

First Fridays Downtown Street Party, Kat Wright
Kat Wright

First Fridays Downtown Street Party

May 3, June 7, Aug. 2, Sept. 6 from 5–8:30 p.m.
Downtown Norfolk

The Sounds: On May 3 the headliner is Kat Wright, a gritty and emotive rock ‘n’ roll performer (300 Block of Granby St.). On June 7 the opening act is Illiterate Light, rock with gritty guitar melodies, honest lyrics and a thundering bass (The Plot in the NEON District). On Aug. 2 Yarn, hailing from North Carolina, will meld bluegrass-influenced music, a gentle spirit and a rock and roll heart (300 Block of Granby St.). On Sept. 6 Liz Cooper and The Stampede will play dream-folk psychedelic rock (300 Block of Granby St.).

The Scene: This Downtown Norfolk street party features music, drinks and fun for all. It’s an excellent time to check out the hippest bands both local and from afar.


Blues, Brews & BBQ

May 4 from noon–6 p.m.
Riverwalk Landing, Yorktown

The Sounds: At 12:30 p.m. On the Verge will deliver a mix of funk, rock and blues. Then at 3:30 Brasswind will blend funk, soul, R&B, blues, Motown, rock ‘n’ roll and beach music, bringing a strong classic horn-band sound.

The Scene: Overlooking the York River, attendees can sample more than 25 craft beers and taste barbecue. New this year is a wine garden with limited tastings included in admission. Guests can peruse vendors’ wares during the festival.


Downtown Hampton Block Party

May 4, 11, 18, 25, June 8, 15, 22, 29, July 6, 13, 20, 27, Aug. 3, 10, 17, 31 from 6–10:30 p.m.
Downtown Hampton

The Sounds: On May 4, in anticipation of the following Cinco de Mayo, the Block Party will welcome Orquesta Tropikiimba, bringing Afro-Cuban (salsa), mamba, cha cha and merengue. The band’s complex and rhythmic sounds are sure to have you moving in your seats and headed for the dance area.

The Scene: Set in Downtown Hampton, this free concert features a children’s area from 6–8 p.m. and food and beverages available for purchase.


Virginia International PAN Fest

May 10–11
24th Street Park, Virginia Beach

The Sounds: You’ll feel like you’re on island time as the soothing sounds of steel drum music fill the air. Friday evening features a concert, and on Saturday, high school, college and community bands compete for ratings and the coveted Grand Champion Award. Saturday evening, steel drum headliners play on the main stage.

The Scene: Fusing together the rhythm of steel bands, ocean breezes and international food, the Oceanfront becomes an “island paradise” for the weekend.


Bambambetty, Summer Concert Series at Port Warwick

Summer Concert Series at Port Warwick

May 22, 29, June 2, 12, 19, 26, July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Aug. 7, 14, 21, 28
Styron Square, Newport News

The Sounds: The 2019 lineup includes the following: Strictly Bizzness, Slapnation, Deja, Brasswind, Bambambetty, Anthony Rosano & the Conqueroos, USAF Heritage of America Band Full Spectrum, Bobby Blackhat, Forte Jazz Band, Woah, Buckshot, The Wampler Brothers, On the Verge, Hotcakes and The Original Rhondels.

The Scene: Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, food and drinks (beer and wine allowed) or enjoy music from one of Port Warwick’s restaurant patios while enjoying tunes at this free concert series.


Sunsets on the River

May 23, June 6, 20, July 5, 18, Aug. 1, 15, 29
The Hermitage Museum, Norfolk

The Sounds: 2019 artists include Bennett Wales & The Relief, Jeremy Mangrum, The LifeHacks, Lucky 757, Grateful JED, The Fuzz Band, Jesse Chong, Lewis McGehee, Court Street Company and Anthony Rosano and the Conqueroos.

The Scene: This kid-friendly event features food vendors from some of the area’s most beloved food trucks, along with craft beer and wine for purchase and a chance to see the latest exhibits at the museum. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and enjoy the subtle breezes from the shoreline.


Ynot Wednesdays Free Summer Concert Series

Wednesdays, June through August
Virginia Beach Town Center

The Sounds: Music genres will range from rock to blues to Motown.

The Scene: Guests can enjoy pizza, sandwiches and gelato from Ynot Italian as they peruse a lineup of artisans and vendors.


Big Bands on the Bay

May 26, June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21, 28, Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25, Sept. 1
Ocean View Beach Park, Norfolk

The Sounds: Step back in time to hear some of the best big band music of yesteryear. Past musicians have included The Terry Chessen Orchestra, Glen Boswick and the Sounds of Swing, The Top Hats Orchestra, The Original Super Band and more.

The Scene: End the weekend with a sunset celebration on the Chesapeake Bay. Bring a blanket and snacks and bask in the final hours of Sunday.


Sounds of Summer Concert Series, Tidewater Drive Band
Tidewater Drive Band

Sounds of Summer Concert Series

June 6, 13, 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Riverwalk Landing, Yorktown

The Sounds: A mix of beach music, Motown, disco, funk, R&B, pop and more, this year’s summer lineup includes the following: En’ Novation, Right On Band, Tidewater Drive Band, The Main Event Band, TFC Band, Hot Cakes Band, Strictly Bizzness, Brasswind, Slapnation, Party Fins, Soul Expressions and Band of Oz.

The Scene: The most relaxing way to spend a Thursday—bring your lawn chairs and coolers to enjoy a free concert by the river as the sun sets.


Sunset Thursdays—Concerts on the Water

June 13, 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Sept. 5
High Street Landing, Portsmouth

The Sounds: The 2019 lineup includes Strictly Bizzness, Hotcakes, Rajazz, Original Rhondels, 2nd Wynd, Soul Intent, Elements Band, Cool’ In Out, Michael Clark Band, Blaque Velvet Band, Island Boy and Good Life Band.

The Scene: Get an early start to the weekends this summer by grabbing a bite from food vendors and relaxing along the waterfront.


Williamsburg Live

June 21–22
Lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

The Sounds: On Friday, nine-time Grammy winner Norah Jones takes the stage with her smoky voice, top-shelf piano chops and wide-ranging curiosity. Also on Friday, audiences can hear Parker Millsap, known for his captivating live performances, soulful sound and character-driven narratives. On Saturday, 14-time Grammy winner and Billboard Century Award recipient Emmylou Harris will enchant the crowd with her eloquently straightforward songwriting and expressive singing. North Carolina-based Americano duo Mandolin Orange will combine guitar, banjo, fiddle and mandolin with close harmonies and bittersweet melodies.

The Scene: Attendees can enjoy delicious food truck fare and regional craft beers and wines.


Sandstock—A Tribute To Rock & Roll

June 28–30
24th Street, Virginia Beach

The Sounds: A beach-inspired variation on Woodstock, the event will feature national and regional tribute artists covering songs from some of the greatest rockers in history.

The Scene: It’s a psychedelic good time as all performances are held on the Hippy Dippy Stage built right into the sand.


Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Bayou Boogaloo Music & Cajun Food Festival

June 28–30
Town Point Park, Norfolk

The Sounds: On Friday the Dirty Dozen Brass Band will bring bebop jazz, funk and R&B/soul, presented in genre-blending romps and high-octane performances. The same evening, Grammy Award-winning Chubby Carrier, an accordion-playing virtuoso, will treat audiences to a high energy, swamp funky sound. On Saturday Chubby Carrier will delight attendees again, along with JJ Grey, a Jacksonville, Fla. blues, funk, soul and rock musician. The festival concludes on Sunday with Dumpstaphunk—bringing a deep, gritty groove that dares listeners not to move—along with The New Orleans Suspects wowing the crowd with funky drumbeats, wailing saxophones and vocal harmonies.

The Scene: Attendees can browse unique, one-of-a-kind wares from Louisiana at the Arts Market of New Orleans. And, of course, no Bayou celebration would be complete without the food—crawfish, jambalaya, gumbo, etouffee, alligator, muffuletta, andouille and beignets are all on the menu. Cold beverages will include beers from New Orleans’ own Abita Brewing Company and New Orleans Jack Daniel’s Hurricanes.


Thank Goodness It’s Ocean View (TGOV) Concert Serices

July 12, 26, Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Ocean View Beach Park, Norfolk

The Sounds: Past performers have included Bill Deal’s Original Rhondels, Vinyl Headlights, TFC Band and more.

The Scene: Kick off the weekend with a family-friendly concert series by the bay.


Norfolk Latino Music Festival

July 27
Town Point Park, Norfolk

The Sounds: Live explosive Latin music will encourage the hottest salsa, meringue and guaguanco dancing around.

The Scene: Guests can sample the true flavors of Latin cuisine and enjoy beverages for purchase. Other activities including face painting, crafts, soccer and bilingual story time.


Brian McKnight
Brian McKnight

Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival

Aug. 23–24
Town Point Park, Norfolk

The Sounds: On Friday, featured artists are Sax to the Max (Michael Lington, Paul Taylor and Vincent Ingala); West Coast Jam (Peter White, Richard Elliot and DW3 featuring The West Coast Horns); and Sheila E. Saturday’s artists are Lindsey Webster, Jazz Funk Soul (Everette Harp, Paul Jackson and Jeff Lorber); along with Brian McKnight.

The Scene: There’s a reason this is Coastal Virginia’s longest running outdoor jazz festival. There’s nothing better than gathering with friends on a warm summer evening to relax to the legendary sounds of smooth jazz music. Along with an array of seating options available, guests can partake in fine foods and beverages, plus a festival marketplace with crafts and retail items.


Chartway Federal Credit Union American Music Festival

Aug. 30–Sept. 1
5th Street Stage, Dairy Queen Grill & Chill 17th Street Park, 24th Street Park, 31st Street Park, Virginia Beach

The Sounds: The festival will feature four major headline bands ranging from rock to jazz to country to R&B, as well as national, regional and local acts.

The Scene: One of the largest outdoor music events on the East Coast, it’s the perfect way to cap off the summer.


Opera in the Park

Sept. 7
Town Point Park, Norfolk

The Sounds: It’s opera in the most approachable form. Enjoy opera’s favorite arias and Broadway melodies under the stars.

The Scene: The whole family will love this event where lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets are welcome. Listen to music in a relaxing waterfront setting, and stroll the Artist’s Market to browse paintings, jewelry, crafts and more. Food and adult beverages will be available for sale.

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