There’s always a show happening in Music City. Any time of the day or night, you can stroll through downtown and enjoy our live music scene. What further sets Nashville apart as a true jewel when compared to other music scenes throughout the country is the dedication our local artists show toward making live music available FOR FREE to locals and guests all year long.
Here are a few of our favorite places where you can hear music for free or cheap here in Middle Tennessee. We hope to see you out at the parks and on the dance floors!
From 12 – 5 pm in May, June, September, and October, Centennial Park hosts this famous family-friendly concert series. This casual event features food trucks, local artisan vendors, the Musicians Corner Pub, and a whole section called Kidsville just for the younger music fans. Bring your picnic blanket and sunscreen and kick back to enjoy this relaxed community event.
For more details, visit: www.musicianscornernashville.com
The Nashville Symphony holds various free community events throughout the year, with a series of free music events taking place in June and early July. A favorite every summer, these events can become full quite quickly, so arrive early to secure prime seating.
For more details, visit: https://www.nashvillesymphony.org/communityconcerts or call 615-687-6500.
This year marks the 44th annual art show and music festival! From June 15 – 17, visit the front lawn of Centennial Park to participate in live music and enjoy local cuisine. Wander through 150 of the most talented local artists’ booths, and encourage your children to create their own art with some of the free children’s art activities the American Artist Festival makes available.
For more details visit: americanartisanfestival.com
Although the world-famous CMA Music Festival will always draw the biggest stars in country music to headline the massive stadium nighttime shows, Nashville locals know there are also four full days of music ABSOLUTELY FREE. See hundreds of artists on seven stages throughout downtown Nashville, and wander into local pubs and cafes for even more hidden musical moments.
CMA Fest is happening from June 7 – 10.
Crockett Park Concerts
On Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., the Eddy Arnold Amphitheater in Crockett Park in Brentwood is host to a different musical guest every week from May 27 – June 24. There are no concerts scheduled in July, but there is one final concert on the first Sunday in August.
For more details, visit orbrentwood-tn.org or call 615-371-0060.
Formerly called OnStage, this free Chamber Music Series is now able to host much larger audiences. Now when you attend, you’ll be seated on the main floor of the beautiful concert hall. If you attended the OnStage events at the Nashville Symphony in prior seasons, you’ll be pleased to hear that the Chamber Music Series is still an intimate experience. Come meet the orchestra musicians and join the Nashville Symphony for an exploration of the rich history and fine artistry behind the music.
These tickets go quickly. First-come, first-served, so please reserve your spot as soon as possible.
For more details, visit nashvillesymphony.org
Vanderbilt ConcertsThe Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University presents dozens of free concerts during the school year. Parking is provided for free in the West Garage located between 24th and 25th Avenues. Also, be sure to explore the University’s other musical offerings, like full opera productions presented by the University Orchestra and the Vanderbilt Opera Theatre.
For more details, visit blair.vanderbilt.edu or call 615-322-7651.
Belmont University ConcertsThe Belmont University School of Music offers a truly remarkable range of free concerts, including symphony tickets and much more.
For more details, visit www.belmont.edu/music or call 615-460-6408.
Symphony Free Day of MusicThe annual Nashville Symphony’s Free Day of Music is happening October 27. Mark your calendars to be at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center for a day of full orchestral music in the concert hall followed by all genres of music represented by more than 20 musical guests on four stages. This lively event will feature food trucks, an instrument petting zoo, and much more.For more details, visit nashvillesymphony.org
This popular mini-festival music series takes place on Thursdays in August and September. As of this writing, the lineup has not been released, but check the website for the full lineup slated for release on June 21. Bring your beach blankets, personal umbrellas, leashed pets, photo ID for any adult beverage purchases, and head out for an amazing free concert experience.
For more details, visithttps://www.liveonthegreen.com.
Bluebird Café’s Early Show
This iconic Nashville venue gets the night started early at 6 or 6:30 p.m., and these early shows are almost always free. Writer nights, Sunday Spotlights, and Open Mic nights are also free, but all other shows have a small $10 food/drink minimum for each patron.
Book online at bluebirdcafe.com. For more details, visit bluebirdcafe.com or call 615-383-1461.
During the summer, the event shelter at the back of Centennial Park transforms into a rollicking big band dance hall. The orchestra strikes up at 7:30, and you can stay and dance until 10 p.m. These family-friendly dance parties take place June through August and include free dance lessons and a completely different 20-piece band weekly.
For more details, visit nashville.gov/parks or call 615-862-8440.
Honky-Tonk HighwayNashville’s famed honky-tonks line both sides of Lower Broadway. Wander down the street day or night and enjoy endless free music. It’s always appreciated if you slip some cash into the ol’ tip jar, but there’s no cover charge. The music really gets going around 10 a.m. and keeps going until the partiers wander home around 3 a.m.
For more details, visit nashvilledowntown.com.
Concerts at the WineriesThere are a handful of beautiful Middle Tennessee wineries that are open to the public for free concerts throughout the spring, summer, and fall seasons. Pack a picnic, bring some low chairs, pick up a delicious bottle of Tennessee wine, and relax to some excellent live music at one of these scenic spots:
- Arrington Vineyards, “Music In the Vines”
These concerts are held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from April through October.6211 Patton Rd, Arrington Tenn.
- Beachaven Winery, “Jazz on the Lawn” These concerts take place on select Saturdays from May through October.
- “DJ on the Dock,” also at Beachaven, is a happy hour concert series that takes place early evenings on Thursdays in June and July. Beachaven goes all out for this event, so expect dancing, delicious food trucks, and plenty of beach games.1100 Dunlop Lane, Clarksville Tenn.