Summer sounds: Local concert series kick off across the tri-county region

Airlie Gardens' 2018 Summer Concert Series kicks off May 18. The series features live music every first and third Friday through Sept. 21. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Airlie Gardens)
Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series takes place July 2 through Sept. 17, with tickets on sale now. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Airlie Gardens)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — As Greenfield Lake Amphitheater and Riverfront Park kick off the concert season with national touring acts coming through Wilmington starting this week, plenty of local concert series are taking place in city parks, boardwalks and squares beginning this week as well.

Even better, most of the shows are free!

Below is the rundown of the summertime sounds awaiting concertgoers from Topsail to Wrightsville beaches, Hampstead to Burgaw, Carolina Beach to Oak Island. Print it out, stick it to the fridge, and make the most of all the music offered.


Boardwalk Blast at Carolina Beach

Carolina Beach will be blasting off fireworks once again over the Boardwalk starting Friday, July 2, just ahead of Independence Day. The town will also will bring back live music every week through Sept. 30.

All free concerts take place at the Boardwalk gazebo at 6:30 p.m. and last until 9:30 p.m. Aside from this week’s Friday-night kickoff, the year’s lineup returns to Thursday nights after July 2.

July 2 — Johnny Folsom 4
July 8 — FEEBS 
July 15 — Carl Newton’s Review 
July 22 — The Justin Cody Fox Band 
July 29 — Painted Man
Aug. 5 — SPANK 
Aug. 12 — Uptown Easy
Aug. 19 — Polar Bear Blues Band
Aug. 26 — Massive Grass
Sept. 3 — Halden Vang 
Sept. 9 — Jamie Trollinger Band
Sept. 16 — The Amateurs Reggae Band
Sept. 23 — Big Bump & The Stun Gunz 
Sept. 30 — Ascension

More info can be found here.

Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series

Airlie Gardens began selling tickets to its summer concert series last week. The shows begin at 6 p.m. and take place every other Friday night at the live oak in the historic gardens. Beer and food vendors are on-site, though picnics are welcome.

Parking has changed for the 2021 season. A complimentary shuttle service will run from the New Hanover County Public Library – Northeast Branch (1241 Military Cutoff Rd.), where concertgoers can park. The shuttle begins to run at 5 p.m. continuously and per Covid-19 restrictions, face-coverings are still required on public transit.

Tickets are $10 ($3 for ages 4-12 or free for ages 1-3 and Airlie members); some shows already have sold out.

July 2 — Monkey Funktion 
July 16 — Jack Jack 180 
Aug. 6 — Wilmington Big Band 
Aug. 20 — Machine Gun 
Sept. 3 — Signal Fire 
Sept. 17 — L Shape Lot

More info can be found here.

WECT Sounds of Summer

Concerts take place on Thursday evenings at Wrightsville Beach Park from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Wheelz Pizza and Trolly Stop will be parked onsite, and concertgoers are welcome to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics. Coolers are allowed, but not alcohol.

Aug. 5 — Port City Shakedown
Aug. 12 — Jack Jack 180
Aug. 19 — L Shape Lot
Aug. 26 — Feebs

More info can be found here.

Summer Concerts at Fort Fisher

Taking place at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area at Kure Beach, the summer concert series hosts musical acts from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., twice a month on Fridays, starting July 9. The concerts are free and folks are welcome to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics. No pets are allowed.

Though bands have yet to be announced, dates have been: July 9, 23, Aug. 13, 27, Sept. 10 and 24.

More info can be found here.

Topsail Sounds

Pender County Parks and Rec and Topsail Beach present its annual summer concert series, Topsail Sounds. It kicked off June 23 at the Topsail Town Center (624 S. Anderson Blvd.). Shows take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. All concertgoers are encouraged to bring seating or a blanket. No alcohol or pets allowed.

June 29 — Cruise Brothers Band
July 27 — The Imitations
Aug. 24 — British Invaders

More info can be found here.

Hampstead Alive After Five

Taking place at the Kiwanis Park in Hampstead, the public is welcome to attend the free concerts every other Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome, as well as picnics; however, vendors are usually on site as well, selling food and desserts. No alcohol or pets allowed.

July 9 — The Revolution
July 23 — The Imitations

More info can be found here.

Summer on the Square

On the Pender County Courthouse Square (100 S Wright St.) in Burgaw, free local music will come to life once a month. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome, as well as picnics, but no alcohol. Food and dessert vendors will be set up. Concerts start at 6:30 p.m. — no pets allowed.

July 15 — Rivermist
July 29 — Cat 5 Band

More info can be found here.

Oak Island’s Summer Concert Series

Oak Island kicked off the town’s free concert series at the end of May, which takes place weekly at Middleton Park (4610 E. Dolphin Dr.) or the Oak Island Pier (705 Ocean Dr.).

Concerts take place 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Chairs and blankets are welcome, as are picnics; no alcohol.

Thurs., July 1 (6 p.m. – 9 p.m.) — Cat 5 Band at Middleton Park and McGuire Band at OKI Pier
July 9 — Chocolate Chip & Company Band
July 16 — Amani Smith
July 23 — Too Much Sylvia
July 30 — Jim Quick & Coastline Band
Aug. 6 — The Sand Band
Aug. 13 — Carolina Line Bluegrass Band
Aug. 20 — Rivermist
Aug. 27 — Old Man Mafia Band
Thurs., Sept. 2 (6 p.m. – 9 p.m.) — Lockwood River Band
Sat., Sept. 4 — Chairman of the Board feat. Ken Knox 

More info can be found here.

Southport’s Summer Concert Series

Southport’s Summer Concert Series takes place Thursday evenings through September, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Chairs and blankets are welcome, as are picnics; no alcohol. Concerts take place in Franklin Square Park (130 E. West St.).

July 8 – Carolina Line Bluegrass Band
July 15 – Christine Martinez Band
July 22 – Perfect Blend Trio
July 29– Luna Sea
Aug. 5 – Salty Dawgs
Aug. 12 – L-Shape Lot Duo
Aug. 19 – The Chance Union Band
Aug. 26 – Blues Kings
Sept. 2 – Back Porch Rockers

More info can be found here.

Leland Live at the Park

The Live at the Park series doesn’t take place in Leland until fall, but why not go ahead and save the dates? The events are free and take place from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Coolers, blankets and chairs welcome; all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes/vapes, are prohibited on town property.

Sept. 30 – Chocolate Chip & Co.
Oct. 7 – Ace Petty Band
Oct. 28 – The Tonez


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