Free Summer Concerts in and around Vancouver

Photo Credit: Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Vancouver’s brief and beautiful summers are filled with long days, blue skies and lots of music.  Here’s a quick guide to three free concert series in and around the city.

Know about more free music?  Tell us about it in the comments section.

1. The 2011 Vancouver International Jazz Festival, June 24-July 3: BC’s biggest music festival features more than 1800 artists, 400 concerts and 40 different venues around the city.  From noon until well past midnight, you can hear jazz, blues, funk, Latin, fusion, electronica and world music at venues big and small, indoor and outdoor.

Now, to see the big name acts – which this year include Wynton Marsalis, Madeleine Peyroux, Paco de Lucia, Steve Earle and others – you’ll have to pay for tickets.  But the good new is that there are approximately 150 free concerts including Gastown Jazz on opening weekend (June 25-26), Canada Day on Granville Island and the Jazz at the Roundhouse & David Lam Park free concert extravaganza on closing weekend (July 2-3).  For a complete list of free concerts, check out this link.


2. Summer Live in Stanley Park, July 8-10:  In honour of Vancouver’s 125th birthday, the city is holding a free, three-day celebration at the Brockton Oval in Stanley Park featuring plenty of great live music.  Performances will take place on multiple stages and include local rock legends Spirit of the West, emerging talents like Said the Whale and Hey Ocean, salsa, jazz and even appearances by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and First Nations drummers.   Here’s the full list of artists.


3. Summer Sunday Concerts in Port Moody, Sundays from July 10-Aug. 28: Here’s the perfect excuse to get out of the city and explore one of Vancouver’s most beautiful ‘burbs, situated along the eastern shores of the Burrard Inlet.   The free jazz, rhythm and blues and rock concerts start at 2 p.m. every Sunday at Rocky Point Park, right near the waterfront.  Acts this year include Aurora Jane (the “female Hendrix”), Mostly Marley (a great local reggae band) and Brickhouse (another set of local funk legends).  For a complete lineup, check out this link.


4. Cates Park Concert Series in Deep Cove, Saturdays beginning July 17:  Another of Vancouver’s prettiest suburbs, Deep Cove is just a 30-minute drive from downtown but offers a little glimpse of B.C.’s raw and rugged interior, with tall mountains tumbling down to the cold waters of Indian Arm, a 20-kilometer glacial fjord.  Cates Park is right on the water and makes a great concert setting.   The emphasis is on on local, original music, and 24 acts will perform throughout the summer.  This is also a very pet friendly event.  The music lineup has yet to be released.

Burrard Inlet from Cates Park

Know about more free music?  Please leave a comment below.



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3 Responses to Free Summer Concerts in and around Vancouver

  1. Free Performances At the Robson Square Artisan Market

    Our opening weekend (June 4-5) featured performances from Patrick Spencer, Kate Morgan, Matt Lowen, Sound Refuge (see below) as well as Peak Performance Project finalists and Shore Song contest finalists The Matinee (,, a 6-piece roots-rock act from Vancouver, and Redgy Blackout (,, an acoustic duo consisting of Scott Perrie and Jeremy Breaks, writing and performing their original blend of folk and roots music together since 2006. Performance video from opening weekend shows by Redgy Blackout is online here and The Matinee is online here.

    *Upcoming at the Robson Square Artisan Market in June*

    June 11
    10 AM Patrick Spencer from Case Closed
    11:50 AM Sound Refuge
    1:40 PM Danny Echo

    June 12
    10 AM Katie Rox
    11:50 PM Kate Morgan
    1:40 PM Danny Echo

    June 18
    10 AM Patrick Spencer from Case Closed
    11:50 AM Kate Morgan
    1:40 PM Danny Echo

    June 19
    10 AM Katie Rox
    11:50 PM Kate Morgan
    1:40 PM Sound Refuge

    June 25
    10 AM Jodi Doidge
    11:50 AM Matt Lowen
    1:40 PM Sound Refuge

    June 26
    10 AM Jodi Doidge
    11:50 AM Norine Braun
    1:40 PM Scott Verbeek

  2. Olivia Blander

    July 17th (Sunday)
    The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra will play its annual FREE concert at Deer Lake in Burnaby.

    It’s a great place to picnic, stretch out on the grass and hear the symphony! (and there are frequently mini-donuts..)

  3. The Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association will be putting on free community events throughout the summer.

    June 18 Surrey Fest Downtown: Over 100 crafters, community groups, businesses and services attending this event at Central City Plaza. Entertainment this year includes tribute bands representing ABBA, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Rod Stewart, Johnny Cash and Billy Joel. For more information check out

    July 9: 11am to 4pm Q-Fest: A community festival that will feature live bands, dancers, and other entertainment. The North Surrey Lions Club will be holding a BBQ and Cinemazoo will be in attendance, showing off their animal actors. This Block Party will be held on the Boulevard at Quattro (Whalley Blvd at 107A).

    August 6, 13, 20, 27 Movies Under the Stars @ Holland Park (King George at 100 Ave): Bring the whole family out for a night under the stars. This year the Downtown Surrey BIA will be showing Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2, Ramona and Beezus, Tangled and Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never. Fun activities start at 4:30pm and movie starts at dusk.