Here at VisitNewEngland.com, our editorial style is to capitalize Green – as in “Town Green” – because those spaces have been the gathering places of the populace for centuries.* Town Greens also are where a ton of free, outdoor summer music is performed for you and me, usually weekly on the same night at the same location.
Let’s quickly mention that outdoor summer music also is performed at other iconic New England places: on the beaches, on the lawns of historic houses, on the decks and open spaces at ski resorts, at town gazebos and bandstands, on college quads. (A small number of the music series do charge an admission fee.)
Outdoor music usually runs on a weekly schedule most evenings of the week and the music genres are as varied as your imagination: ska to chamber music; smooth jazz to hard rock. Many series make sure to schedule children’s musicians and entertainers. Often, food trucks are on hand.
Guest are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, picnic blankets, and picnics. Alcoholic beverages and pets are usually invited to stay home for the evening.
Among our top favorites is “Concerts Under the Elms” at the historic John Brown House adjacent to the Brown University campus on the East Side of Providence, RI. One especially magical part of the evening is simply: the elms that arch above a sloping lawn.
That’s just one of many:
Bands on the Beach in Salisbury, MA, on Saturdays. Great honky-tonk boardwalk is fun for kids and the beach itself is long and gorgeous.
Music in the Meadow at Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT, on Sundays. Yes, the proprietors of this property are part of the family described in “Sound of Music”
Guilford Concert Series on the Green of Guilford, CT, on Saturdays and Thursdays. A classic Green with weekly programs that also include a night of fireworks, a tasting night, and Shakespeare
Summer Music Series at Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury, VT on Sundays. Enjoy dog-related art at the gallery and say a prayer at Dog Chapel, Dogs always welcome.
Arts Jubilee Concert Series at Cranmore Ski Resort in North Conway, NH on Thursdays.