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Entertainment & Lifestyle

Summer full of free area concerts

6/5/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

GREATER AKRON — The days are getting longer and the weather warmer — perfect conditions to enjoy the area’s free summer concert series.

Industrious concert-goers can find free entertainment nearly every night of the week in one of several area communities. 

Lock 3 Park in Downtown Akron began its free Friday and Saturday night concerts May 23, but most communities are just getting started. [For Lock 3 and Lock 4 concert schedules, see the May 22 edition of the West Side Leader or check the archives at www.akron.com, or go to www.lock3live.com.]

Here’s a rundown of free concerts scheduled in the West Side Leader’s coverage area:


Akron Art Museum Downtown at Dusk

Free Thursday concerts at the Akron Art Museum this summer will be located in the shade of the Northeast Ohio Golf Charities Terrace. The museum’s iQcafe will be open and, since it’s Free Thursday, visitors can stroll the museum’s galleries for free. Concerts are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The museum is located at 1 S. High St. in Downtown Akron. For more details, go to www.akronartmuseum.org.

June 19: Anne E. DeChant

June 26: The Numbers Band

July 3: Wanda Hunt Band

July 10: The Speedbumps

July 17: Zach

July 24: Horns and Things

July 31: JD Eicher and The Goodnights

Aug. 7: Blu Monsoon Jazz Concerts

Akron Symphony Orchestra

The symphony will perform throughout the Akron area this summer on selected Sundays and July 4. The following free concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted: July 4 at Lock 3 (8 p.m.); July 20 at Goodyear Heights Metro Park; July 27 at Hardesty Park; Aug. 3 at Glendale Cemetery; and Aug. 10 at Firestone Park.

Downtown Akron Partnership Lunch Hour Concert Series

Weekly concerts will take place on Fridays, June 20 through Sept. 12, at the Lock 3 Farmers’ Market from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

June 20: John Perry Jazz Trio

July 18 and 25, Aug. 1 and 8: Summer Arts Experience Steel Drum Band.

Other acts are being scheduled. Schedule updates can be found at www.downtownakron.com/enjoy/summer-concerts.

Hardesty Park

Concerts in this Wallhaven area park are at 7 p.m. most Mondays. The park is located at 1615 W. Market St.

June 9: The Cover Band

June 16: Ryan Humbert

June 23: Colin Dussault’s Blues Project

June 30: Larry Alltop and Nostalgia Gold

July 7: Rudy and the Professionals

July 14: The Michael Weber Show

July 21: Howard Street Blues Band

Aug. 4: Funkology

Aug. 11: The Ozone Band


Bandstand concerts are Sundays at 7 p.m. in the bandstand at Copley Circle, located at the intersection of Cleveland-Massillon and Copley roads. Attendees should bring a chair or blanket. For more details, go to www.copleybandstand.com.

June 8: LaFavour

June 15: Hey Mavis

June 22: Belairs

June 29: Voices of Ohio

July 6: Freedom Brass Band

July 13: Phil ’n the Blanks

July 20: Barbershop Harmony — Akron Derbytown Chorus and Akron Chapter Quartets

July 27: Logan Wells

Aug. 3: The Prodigals

Aug. 10 Akron Big Band

Aug. 17: Greased Lightning


Concerts are Fridays at 7 p.m. in Bicentennial Park, 3486 S. Smith Road, unless otherwise noted. This year’s schedule includes food trucks at each concert.

June 13: Celebration

June 20: LaFlavour

June 27: Shivering Timbers

June 29 (Sunday): Brass Band of the Western Reserve at 8 p.m. and fireworks begin at 10 p.m., weather permitting. Food trucks open at 7 p.m.

July 11: Jeff Varga with Mike Criscione

July 18: Rudy and the Professionals

July 25: Tony Rio


Cuyahoga Falls Community Band

Bring a lawn chair or blanket to hear this 50-member community band directed by Kristan Crane. All concerts are free and start at 7:30 p.m. In case of rain, concerts will be moved indoors to the Quirk Cultural Center Newell Theatre, 1201 Grant Ave.

June 9: Quirk Cultural Center

June 16: Linden Park

June 23: Newbery Park

June 30: Oak Park

July 7: Keyser Park

July 14: Lions Park

July 21: Valley Vista Park

July 28: Peninsula Shelter at Water Works Park

Additionally, Akron Pops Orchestra concerts will be June 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Lions Park and July 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Quirk Cultural Center Newell Theatre.

Cuyahoga Falls Parks and Recreation Department

The concerts at Keyser Barn, 851 W. Bath Road, are back for a second year. Concerts are on Sundays and start at 6 p.m. Food vendors will be on site. Attendees should bring a chair or blanket.

June 8: Akron Big Band

June 20: Amanda Jones Band

July 13: Wanda Hunt Band

July 27: Blue Lunch

Aug. 10: Like the Record Production

Aug. 24: To be announced

Sept. 14: Mary’s Lane

Rockin’ on the River

Rockin’ on the River events start at 5 p.m. Fridays at Falls River Square, 2050 Riverfront Parkway. Backpacks, duffel bags and coolers are prohibited. No outside food or drinks are permitted. For more information, go to www.rockinontheriver.com.

June 6: Draw the Line (Aerosmith) with Velvet Shake

June 20: Head Games (Foreigner) with Almost Famous

June 27: Limelight (RUSH) with Jukebox Heroes

July 4: Zoso (Led Zeppelin) with Human Nature

July 11 Battery (Metallica) with SchoolGirl Crush

July 25: Elevation (U2) with The Juke Hounds

Aug. 1: Girls Girls Girls (Motley Crue) with That 80’s Band

Aug. 8: Escape (Journey) with Straight On (Heart)

Aug. 15: Hollywood Nights (Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band) with JD Eicher & The Goodnights

Aug. 22: Vicious Cycle (Lynyrd Skynyrd) with Butch Armstrong and the Armstrong Bearcat Band

Aug. 29: Buck Naked Band with Coalies Run Band


The all-volunteer Summit Metro Parks Ensemble will perform a program of marches, big band standards and oldies June 10 at the Silver Creek Metro Park Bathhouse, 5000 Hametown Road in Norton. Free lake swimming will be available from 5 to 8 p.m., with the concert beginning at 6:30 p.m. The concert will be canceled if it rains. Call 330-865-8060 after 4 p.m. if wet weather is in the forecast.


The Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Music in the Meadow concert series is back on selected Wednesdays at Howe Meadow, 4040 Riverview Road. Picnicking is encouraged (no alcoholic beverages). Family activities will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by music at 6:30 p.m. Call 330-650-4636, ext. 228, after 2 p.m. for updates. For more details, go to www.conservancyforcvnp.org.

June 11: The Womacks

June 25: Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band

July 9: Pitch the Peat

July 23: Mo’Mojo

Aug. 6: Cletus Black Revue


Music in the Circle concerts will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on select Wednesdays. All performances are on Sharon Circle, at the intersection of Copley-Sharon and Ridge roads in Sharon Center, or at the Town Hall in case of bad weather. Refreshments will be available from nonprofit organizations.

June 11: Max’s Farm

June 25: The Madison Crawl

July 9: The Hit Men

July 16: MacKaren

Juy 23: Paul Bryant and Kentucky Border

Aug. 6: Sharon Center United Methodist Church

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