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7 Cheap Houston Summer Concerts to Check Out

Summertime in Houston presents lots of opportunities to enjoy outdoor music concerts or festivals – plus many are free! The featured musical styles satisfy those with tastes from classical to rock to New Orleans Jazz. Whether it's outdoors at Miller Outdoor Theatre, Discovery Green or the beautiful downtown Jones Hall – there are plenty of summer concerts in Houston to choose from.

Houston summer concerts are a great reason to grab your lawn chairs and coolers out of storage, settle in and enjoy summertime on the cheap! It is great to be able to take advantage of these free and low-cost Houston entertainment options, since your pocketbook can become strained around moving time.

1. Thursday Night Concerts presented by UH Downtown and Discovery Green

band playing on stage to a crowd of people at Discovery Green in Houston
Image via Katya Horner

This free annual summer series takes place Thursday evenings throughout May and June. It features local and regional artists in the fabulous downtown setting at Discovery Green. Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are always welcome!

2. Juneteenth Celebration

A 153-year tradition, Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration recognizing the end of slavery in the United States. In 1865, Union soldiers learned the war had ended when they landed in Galveston, Texas, and the enslaved were then free. Find live music and concert performances throughout the area.

3. Texas Music Festival

students playing instruments at the Texas Music Festival in Houston
Image via Robert Carson

TMF is Houston's largest classic music presenter with nearly 30 performances every June. It serves as Houston's summer international music residency where rising stars perform in concert with world-class soloists, distinguished conductors, and faculty artists. Students learn 12 major classical works over 12 weeks. Performances take place over a few weeks in June at University of Houston's Moores Opera House, Dudley Recital Hall, and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. The cost is $15 for adults, $10 students & seniors. Bet of all, several concerts are free.

4. Freedom Over Texas

fireworks show over a crowd of people
Image via City of Houston

The Mayor's Official July 4 Citgo Freedom Over Texas family event is one of Houston's largest annual festivals. The day features five stages of entertainment featuring national and regional talent, Children's Entertainment Zone, plus the favorite spectacular fireworks display- all in celebration of our nation's independence.

Wednesday, July 4, 4 pm – 10 pm
Eleanor Tinsley Park
$5: before June 1, $8: June 1-July 3, $10: day of show, free: kids 5 and under

5. Houston International Jazz Festival

In its 28th year, Houston International Jazz Festival exposes Houstonians to great jazz artists from the area and beyond. Proceeds from the festival benefit Jazz Education Inc.'s educational programs. This mid-summer concert, with both indoor and outdoor venues, usually happens around the first weekend in August.

6. NOLA Nights

people watching live music outdoors

Shine your dancing shoes for an evening of Louisiana Creole style music from Houston's favorite zydeco band, The Zydeco Dots. The sound of musical wash boards, accordion, bass, drums and vocals celebrate the New Orleans musical influence that is a fixture at venues throughout the city.

Friday, August 31, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Sugar Land Town Square

7. Houston Symphony Summer Concerts

The Houston Symphony puts on a variety of live music and entertainment during the summer.

Summer Series

From Harry Potter to the Beatles, catch a tribute to some of the most iconic people and cultural phenomenons in history. All performances are located in Jones Hall.

ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights

Starting June 22, enjoy five evening performances located at the Miller Outdoor Theatre.

Neighborhood Concerts

Catch free neighborhood performances held at various high schools in the area. The first concert is June 5 @ 7:30 pm.

Houston Symphony at the Pavilion

Eight performances at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, starting May 31 @ 8pm.

About the author

Vicki Powers

Vicki Powers, formerly of Houston on the Cheap, is a native Texan and freelance journalist. She loves helping Houstonians learn how to live in a big city without spending big bucks.

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