Free Sundown Summer Concerts Rock San Diego

> Check out the 2013 list of free summer concerts

Pacific Beach Summer Concerts on the Green

Pacific Beach Summer Concerts on the Green. Photo courtesy of Paul Grimes

Free twilight concerts have become summertime traditions in neighborhoods throughout San Diego County. They’re an opportunity for visitors, locals and their families to socialize, picnic, enjoy music together – and maybe even dance as the sun sets on another perfect San Diego summer day.

Here’s a sampling of what’s being staged this summer:

San Diego

  • The Bird Park Concert Series in North Park will open June 16 with Bluesman Nathan James. More concerts are scheduled June 30, July 14, July 28 and Aug. 11. All shows run 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Bird Park is at 28th and Thorn streets.
  • Balboa Park’s Twilight in the Park concert series kicks off at 6:15 pm June 19 and continues on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 30 at the park’s Organ Pavilion. The hour-long shows feature everything from classical music to R&B.
  • Enjoy organ music? Then check out the free Monday evening concerts, beginning at 7:30 pm on June 25 at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Top organists from around the country will perform. The 2012 season concludes on Aug. 27.
  • The Point Loma Summer Concert Series opens July 13 with Atomic Groove and continue on consecutive Fridays through Aug. 10. Shows run 5:30 – 8:30 pm. Bring blankets and lawn chairs, picnics and Frisbees to Point Loma Park, 1049 Catalina Blvd. Too tired to pack a picnic? A different neighborhood eatery, ranging from Barons Marketplace to Gabardine, will sell food at each concert.
  • Mission Hills’ Concerts in the Park series opens July 4 at Pioneer Park, 1425 Washington Place. Eleven more concerts are planned through August.
  • Pacific Beach Concerts on the Green are set for Sundays July 22 through August 12. Shows run from 4:00 – 6:30 pm at Kate Sessions Park (Lamont Street, just north of Beryl). The Palominos open the season and the Navy’s Big Band closes it.


  • Coronado’s Promenade Concert Series opens May 27 at Spreckels Park, 7th and Orange in Coronado. The 90-minute shows start at 6:00 pm Sundays through September 9. Groups on stage range from the Navy Southwest Show Band to Rockola.
  • Coronado Ferry Landing Concert Series features live music with views of the Bay and San Diego Skyline. Performances are on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 – 5:00 pm starting on May 26 and ending on September 30.

North County

  • Del Mar’s Summer Twilight Concerts are set for Powerhouse Park, overlooking the Pacific, at 1600 Coast Blvd. Shows begin at 7:00 pm on the third Tuesday of June, July and August. There’s a 5:00 pm concert on Sunday Sept. 9. The Mar Dels open the season.
  • Carlsbad’s TGIF Jazz in the Park is staged at three community parks. The season opens at Stagecoach Park (3420 Camino de los Coches), with concerts on June 29, July 6 and 13. The party moves to Poinsettia Park (6600 Hidden Valley Road) for concerts on July 20, 27 and August 3. The season closes at Calavera Hills Park (2997 Glasgow Drive) with concerts on Aug. 10, 17 and 24. Showtime is 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

East County

  • El Cajon Concerts on the Promenade was the first to open its 2012 season (on May 4). Concerts will be staged from 6:00 – 8:00 pm on Fridays through September 30, at Prescott Promenade near East Main Street and Rea Avenue in downtown El Cajon. The family oriented venue is smoke-, alcohol- and dog-free.
  • Santee’s Free Summer Concerts are scheduled 6:30 – 8:30 pm on Thursdays, June 14 through Aug. 16 (except July 5), at Town Center Community Park East (550 Park Center Drive) in Santee. Picnics are welcome, but know that food trucks rally nearby.

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Did we miss a free concert series in San Diego? Let us know in the comments below.

This entry was posted in San Diego Events and tagged , , , , , , , by Alison. Bookmark the permalink.

About Alison

I’m a junkie. Addicted to travel. Logged 15 years as Travel Editor at the San Diego Union-Tribune – a labor of love. But always appreciate coming home to my favorite city: San Diego. My newest labor of love is an app – San Diego Essential Guide – a tool that lets me share with other travelers what I love most about my hometown.

How would you describe your ideal San Diego Day?

I’d meet girlfriends at South Mission for a low-tide walk along the ocean front to Pacific Beach. Before heading back, we’d hit a boardwalk restaurant for an eggs Benedict breakfast.  We’d spend the afternoon at La Jolla Shores with our boogie boards – sun and fun in 72-degree-plus waves.  I’d meet my husband for a sunset picnic on a grassy oceanfront bluff at Coast Boulevard Park. We’d end up at Humphreys Backstage Live on Shelter Island, dancing the night away.

If you were invisible, where would you go?

Can’t think of anyplace I wouldn’t want to be seen in San Diego – except maybe Lindbergh Field, if it would help me speed through security and avoid the body scanner.

Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguini and red wine?

Dad was a commercial fisherman, so I’m spoiled. Give me barely seared ahi, fresh crab or a fish taco.

What’s your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?

Fishing – it’s in my blood. But I’m happy doing anything where I can smell saltwater: paragliding from Torrey Pines, kayaking the La Jolla Ecological Reserve, riding my boogie board, picnicking on the beach, chillin’ at a Summer Pops concert.

Latest music purchases for my iPod/MP3 player?

I’m downloading more apps than music these days. My iPod is full of funky Old School stuff – the best of MJ, Gap Band, Gnarls Barkley, Cameo, Hammer and lots of old Motown sounds: Temptations, Four Tops, The Miracles.

10 thoughts on “Free Sundown Summer Concerts Rock San Diego

  1. Poway Summer Concert Series is a free Event held every Sunday, located at Lake Poway and,alternately at Old Poway Park. Show time for all is 5:30pm to 7pm. There  are mostly tribute bands from different genre’s of music scheduled to perform. Seating is very accessible– Events going thru August 12.

  2. Acoustic Blue, featuring members of Liquid Blue ( will be performing from 2 pm – 4 pm on Sunday, July 1, 2012 in the Big Lots parking lot located at 333 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024 to promote Chela Gala Charity Productions, Inc. and their upcoming Lila Fest musical festival. Lila Fest will be held on August 11, 2012 ( The Acoustic Blue performance is free, and tickets to Lila Fest will be available at a special rate.

  3. Pingback: 5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego | June 18, 2012

  4. Pingback: Summer Fun in San Diego « « San Diego Mama San Diego Mama

  5. Wow a free concert! just by looking at the image i see that the people are excited and having fun. who performed at this concert?

  6. Solana Beach should be starting their concerts soon at Fletcher Cove.  I think they’re every Thursday.

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