The hottest outdoor concerts and music acts coming to CT this summer

The next three months are jam-packed with amazing live outdoor music performances in virtually every corner of Connecticut. Whether your tastes lean country or hip-hop, jazz, blues or rock ‘n’ roll, there’s a seemingly endless supply of summer events that are sure to appease even the most finicky music palates. From seasons and rising local talent to Grammy-winning superstars, stages across the state have something for everyone this summer.

June 1–Sept. 29
Pratt Street Sounds — For four solid months, historic Pratt Street in downtown Hartford hosts free, outdoor music every Thursday and Friday evening. Pratt Street Sounds brings together some of Connecticut’s best and brightest original music acts from a wide range of genres. Pratt Street, Hartford.

June 4–Sept. 17
Music Mountain Summer Festival — You’d be hard-pressed to find a more bucolic setting for live music than Music Mountain in Falls Village. From June through mid-September, Music Mountain hosts jazz concerts on Saturdays, and chamber music performances on Sundays. Both series feature world-renowned artists performing both classic and contemporary pieces. Music Mountain, 225 Music Mountain Road, Falls Village.

June 9 & 10
Hartford Taste — Now in its second year, the Hartford Taste festival features more than two dozen of the best restaurants in the greater Hartford area. But this free event also offers two stages of live music with original local acts performing Latin jazz, reggae, hip-hop, country, blues, folk and more. Constitution Plaza, Hartford.

June 9–12
Connecticut Sea Music Festival — If sea shanties and folk songs about the seven seas are of interest, then this event is a must-attend. This festival aims to keep the tradition of maritime music alive through performances and educational programming, and places performers in a variety of venues throughout historic Essex.

June 9–11 & 16–18
Connecticut Early Music Festival — This festival focuses on European music penned prior to 1800, and encompasses medieval, Baroque, Renaissance and early classical periods. This year their six concerts over two full weekends feature pieces from Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and more. Connecticut College, New London.

June 10
CT Localpalooza Music & Art Festival — This annual local music festival brings together some of the state’s best original acts. The ninth iteration features Connecticut State Troubadour Kala Farnham, blues/rock legends Christine Ohlman and Rebel Montez, and a half-dozen other performers. Three Saints Park, 112 Miller Road, Bethany.

June 10
Dave Matthews Band — One of the first shows of the Xfinity Theatre season also happens to be one of their biggest. Jam rock legends Dave Matthews Band once again return to Hartford for a special one-night performance. Xfinity Theatre, 61 Savitt Way, Hartford.

June 10–25
International Festival of Arts & Ideas — Now in its 28th year, New Haven’s International Festival of Arts & Ideas offers over 150 events, including dozens of free concerts across multiple venues. Some highlights this summer include Grammy Award winner Angelique Kidjo backed by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra on June 10, Grammy Award winner Jon Secada on June 22, Trinidadian Soca artist Mical Teja on June 24, and several fantastic local acts sprinkled throughout the month.

June 22–25
Spring Hill Arts Gathering — Nestled on the grounds of Spring Hill Vineyard in Washington, the Spring Hill Arts Gathering is quickly gaining a reputation as a must-attend event for artists and fans of multiple disciplines. This year’s music lineup is stacked and includes a headlining performance by alt-country star Orville Peck, as well as an array of talent across multiple styles. Spring Hill Vineyards, 292 Bee Brook Road, New Preston.

The Mystic River Jam is scheduled for June 23 and 24, 2023, at the Mystic Shipyard.

The Mystic River Jam is scheduled for June 23 and 24, 2023, at the Mystic Shipyard.

Mark Briggs

June 23 & 24
Mystic River Jam — You can arrive by boat to this show, as views of Mystic Harbor mix with music ranging from rock to reggae to country. The lineup comprises The Pneumatics, The Troublemakers, Mystic Dead, The Toneshifters, The Subliminals, Glaucoma Suspect, American Nomads, Wooly Mammoth and Mystic Dead. Mystic Shipyard, 100 Essex St., Mystic.

June 28, July 5, 12, 19 & 26
Music at the Mansion — This five-week series takes place on the grounds of the historic Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown. Go early for a BYO picnic, or to partake in one of the many available food trucks, before being entertained to the sounds of swing, jazz, soul/funk and more. The Wadsworth Mansion, 421 Wadsworth St., Middletown.

June 30
My Morning Jacket — One of the most unique and eclectic alt-rock bands to spring out of the 2000s is Louisville’s My Morning Jacket. Their fantastic live set made them household names in the alt-rock world, and they’ll bring nine albums worth of Grammy-nominated material to the Westville Music Bowl for one night. Westville Music Bowl, 45 Yale Ave., New Haven.

June 30, July 7, 14, 21, 28
Talcott Mountain Music Festival — The Hartford Symphony Orchestra returns to the gorgeous confines of Simsbury Meadows this summer for their annual Talcott Mountain Music Festival. Taking place over the course of five consecutive Friday nights, HSO will perform the hits of Broadway, ABBA, The Eagles and more. On June 30 the Celebrate America! show will also feature a can’t-miss fireworks display. Simsbury Meadow, 22 Iron Horse Blvd., Simsbury.

The Rose Arts Festival returns to Norwich on July 1.

The Rose Arts Festival returns to Norwich on July 1.

Rose Arts Festival Committee

July 1
Rose Arts Festival — For one day every summer Norwich becomes the epicenter of live music in Connecticut, as the Rose Arts Festival brings together national touring acts with a bunch of local greats. This year’s top-line acts are the funk-pop group Ripe, instrumental prog-rockers Consider the Source and funk-hip-hop band Sophistafunk. A free concert in Chelsea Parade Park during the day spills into close to a dozen different downtown venues in the evening. Chelsea Parade Historic District, Norwich.

July 13, 20, 27, Aug. 3
Alive At Five — Thursday nights in the summer don’t get much better than attending this acclaimed Stamford series. Annually bringing in heavy hitters from throughout New England and beyond, this year’s headliners are rapper Lil John (July 13), rock band All Time Low (July 20), indie pop and neo soul outfit Fitz and The Tantrums (July 27) and R&B singers Ashanti and Ginuwine (Aug. 3). Mill River Park, 1010 Washington Blvd., Stamford.

July 13–16
Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz — One of the largest annual events in Connecticut, the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz brings an estimated 70,000 people to Bushnell Park in Hartford over its four-day run. Those numbers aren’t surprising considering the stellar lineup filled with international talent each year. These free concerts are virtually required attendance for jazz fans of all ages. Bushnell Park, Hartford.

Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean

John Medina/Getty Images

July 15
Jason Aldean — Dave Matthews might get most of the headlines as being one of the biggest concerts to hit the Xfinity Theatre on an almost yearly basis, but country superstar Jason Aldean has become quite the annual staple in his own right. Expect another massive event. Xfinity Theatre, 61 Savitt Way, Hartford.

July 28–30
Litchfield Jazz Festival — Since 1996 the Litchfield Jazz Festival has filled its stages with some of the biggest names in the genre. This year’s lineup is loaded with internationally acclaimed talent including such contemporary stars as Peter Bernstein, Champian Fulton and Steve Nelson. The Frederick Gunn School, 22 Kirby Road, Washington.

Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg

Simone Joyner/Getty Images

July 29
Snoop Dogg — Few rappers have become cultural icons the way Snoop Dogg has. This summer he brings his “High School Reunion” tour featuring Wiz Khalifa, Warren G and several others to Hartford for a one-night show that promises to be the hip-hop event of the year. Xfinity Theatre, 61 Savitt Way, Hartford.

Musician Carlos Santana

Musician Carlos Santana

Jason Squires/WireImage/Getty Images

July 31
Santana — Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Carlos Santana brings his legendary band back to Connecticut this summer with a set list celebrating over 50 years of guitar prowess. This show promises to contain songs pulled from his Grammy-nominated back catalog, as well as his renowned Woodstock performance. Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater, 500 Broad St., Bridgeport.

Aug. 10–13
Podunk Bluegrass Festival — This has become a must-stop for some of the genre’s biggest names each summer. This year’s lineup once again gathers a stellar array of acts from all over the country gracing multiple stages over multiple days. Goshen Fairgrounds, 116 Old Middle St., Goshen.

Aug. 19
Stafford Springs Blues Festival — Blues fans have multiple opportunities to catch some of their favorite bands, and one of the best is at the annual Stafford Springs Blues Festival. Rocking music plus a gorgeous setting equals a memorable day every time out. Hyde Park, 1 Hyde Park Road, Stafford Springs.

Aug. 26
Silk City Fest — Taking place on the street in the heart of downtown Manchester, the Silk City Fest brings together local food, art and, of course, music. Featuring two stages of local, original talent, this is one of summer’s last, best events. Downtown Manchester.

Aug. 30
Rod Stewart & Cheap Trick — Following the success of their 2022 tour, rock icons Rod Stewart and Cheap Trick will once again hit the road together this summer, with a stop in Bridgeport helping to close out the summer season. Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater, 500 Broad St., Bridgeport.