2024 Free Summer Movies and Concerts

Enjoy toe tapping music and box office hits this summer in Santa Cruz County! Free concerts and movies by the beach, music in the park, and more, are waiting to take a spot on your summer schedule! The whole family will love these events, so get your calendar out and start planning your summer fun in Santa Cruz County!

And scroll to the bottom of this blog for even more great live music this summer! Although not free, these are concerts you don’t want to miss!

FREE MOVIES AT THE BEACH AT THE SANTA CRUZ BEACH BOARDWALK

There’s nothing like watching your favorite movies right on the beach with the smell of kettle corn, corn dogs, and saltwater taffy filling the air! The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is welcoming back Movies on the Beach in front of the Colonnade near Neptune’s Kingdom. Bring the family and your blanket or low-back chair. Movies at the Beach are on Fridays beginning at 9pm from June 14 – August 9, 2024. See the full movie lineup below:

  • June 14, 2024: The Lost Boys
  • June 21, 2024: Book of Life
  • June 28, 2024: Barbie
  • July 5, 2024: The Sandlot
  • July 12, 2024: The Endless Summer
    • Special Event: Special Endless Summer 60th Anniversary Merch for sale at The Walk on the Colonnade. 12pm-3pm: Surf Band, The New Shockwaves, free performance at Coasters Patio. 7pm-8:30pm: Meet & Greets from Endless Summer II’s Robert “Wingnut” Weaver, Big Wave Surfer Jeff Clark, and Jimbo Phillips at The Walk on the Colonnade. 9pm: Movie starts.
  • July 19, 2024: Wonka (2023)
  • July 26, 2024: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • August 2, 2024: Trolls (2016)
  • August 9, 2024: The Goonies

EVENINGS ON THE COLONNADE AT THE SANTA CRUZ BEACH BOARDWALK

Come for the rides and stay for the entertainment with Evenings on the Colonnade! Where you can listen to live music with delicious food & drink in your hand, be amazed by magicians & acrobats, and show off your best dance moves with a DJ dance party at the Plaza stage. Evenings at the Colonnade are from June 17 – August 9, 2024 from 9pm – 10:30pm on the Colonnade Deck. Live Music is on Mondays & Tuesdays, Musicians and Acrobats is on Wednesdays & Thursdays, and DJ Dance Parties are on Saturdays & Sundays (DJ Parties are from July 22 – August 4).

Evenings on the Colonnade Monday & Tuesday Live Music Lineup:

  • June 17, 2024: Ripatti & Rose
  • June 18, 2024: Simon Santiago
  • June 24, 2024: Ted Welty
  • June 25, 2024: Scott Cooper and Fred Rodriguez
  • July 1, 2024: Lucas Lawson
  • July 2, 2024: Billy Reese
  • July 8, 2024: Jim Lewin & Diana Z
  • July 9, 2024: 7th Wave
  • July 15, 2024: Anthony Arya
  • July 16, 2024: Paul Hayward
  • July 22, 2024: Matt Masih Duo
  • July 23, 2024: Amy Obenski
  • July 29, 2024: Noach Tangeras
  • July 30, 2024: Shawn Yanez
  • August 5, 2024: Shotgun Suitor
  • August 6, 2024: Liam Gillespie

THURSDAY NIGHT BEACH PARTIES AT THE CROW’S NEST

Each Summer on Thursday evenings, the Crow’s Nest offers its Summer Beach Party series with fun and funky live entertainment right on the beach. The party starts at 5:30 pm each week and goes until sunset. With live entertainment on the outdoor beach stage and Crow’s Nest’s famous BBQ and outdoor bar, beach parties are a unique and popular event. Families are welcome, and there is no admission charge! After the sun sets the fun begins upstairs with dancing to the best of local live bands beginning at 8:30 pm with only a $5 cover charge.

For the beach parties, parking is very limited. Walk, ride a bike, get dropped off, take a cab or ride the bus, but leave the car at home. If you must drive, please do not park in local neighborhoods or on private property. Thank you!

  • May 23, 2024: Sambada / Fuse
  • May 30, 2024: Harry & The Hitmen / Burnin Vernon
  • June 6, 2024: Izzy & The Haze / Big Bad Wolf
  • June 13, 2024: The Cruzers / Fire Peach
  • June 20, 2024: Jive Machine / Locomotive Breath
  • June 27, 2024: Extra Large / Hall Pass
  • July 11, 2024: The Lost Boys / Velvet Jones
  • July 18, 2024: Fishhook / Cake by the Ocean
  • July 25, 2024: The Messengers / Afrohilife
  • August 1, 2024: The Houserockers / John Michael Band
  • August 8, 2024: The Joint Chiefs / Rusty Rock N Roll
  • August 15, 2024: The Dylan Rose Band / Anthony Arya Band
  • August 22, 2024: Laex Lucero Band / The Messengers
  • August 29, 2024: Sambada / Sweet Voodoo

CAPITOLA TWILIGHT CONCERT SERIES

Popular local bands rouse fun-loving crowds on Wednesday evenings in the Capitola Village. The free Twilight Concert Series features everything from classic rock to funk to dance hits and Latin fusion. All concerts are 6pm – 8pm and take place at the Esplanade bandstand with ocean views in the picturesque Capitola Village. Enjoy the performance from your own low-back chair on the beach or grab an outside table at one of the village restaurants. 

  • Wednesday, June 12, 2024: Spun (Funky Rock)
  • Wednesday, June 19, 2024: Pacific Roots (Reggae Rock)
  • Wednesday, June 26, 2024: Ribsy’s Nickel (Rock/Reggae)
  • Wednesday, July 3, 2024: Dirty Cello (Blues & Rock)
  • Wednesday, July 10, 2024: Mike Hammar & The Nails (Contemporary Blues)
  • Wednesday, July 17, 2024: Extra Large (Original Pop)
  • Wednesday, July 24, 2024: The Joint Chiefs (R&B, Funk, Soul & Blues)
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2024: Dolce (Old School, R&B, Soul & American Roots)
  • Wednesday, August 7, 2024: Space Heater (Funk/Dance/Jam)
  • Wednesday, August 14, 2024: The Inciters Band (60’s Style Original Soul)
  • Wednesday, August 21, 2024: Cowboys After Dark (Classic Rock/Funk)
  • Wednesday, August 28, 2024: Alex Lucero (Soul/Americana)

CAPITOLA SUNDAY ART & MUSIC AT THE BEACH 2024

Get ready to have a blast at the Sunday Art at the Beach event in Capitola Village this summer! Join us at Esplanade Park, where you can soak up the stunning views of Monterey Bay while exploring an incredible collection of artwork. From beautiful paintings to captivating photography, unique sculptures to dazzling jewelry, and everything in between, you’ll find it all here. Best of all, this family-friendly event is totally free and open to everyone. Don’t miss out on this fabulous day of creativity and fun! 

  • June 23, 2024
  • July 7, 2024
  • July 21, 2024
  • August 4, 2024

CAPITOLA MOVIES AT THE BEACH

Capitola wraps up summer with a few Fridays of free family movies at Esplanade Park. Bring a picnic dinner or dine locally at area restaurants. Low-back chairs, blankets, and jackets are recommended. No alcohol or dogs on the beach. Movies begin at dusk. All movies are shown on the bandstand stage in Esplanade Park.

  • Friday, August 30, 2024 at 7:30pm: Grease
  • Friday, September 20, 2024 at 7:30: Shark Tale

TUESDAY NIGHT LIVE SUMMER WHARF CONCERT SERIES

Welcome back to Tuesday Night Live at the Wharf Common’s stage!  Every 2nd Tuesday of the month, head to the Wharf for live music and games from 6 to 8pm. Check out wharf business pop ups, game and photo booth by The Booth Biz in the Commons. Get a stamp validation from any business on the Wharf on Tuesdays and receive 2 hours of free parking! Be sure to bring a chair or wear your dancing shoes! 

  • May 14, 2024: TinMan
  • June 11, 2024: Tsunami Band 
  • July 9, 2024: The Joint Chiefs 
  • August 13, 2024: The Lost Boys Featuring James Durbin
  • September 10, 2024: Viva Santana Show (Nor Cals #1 Tribute Band)
Midtown Fridays Summer Block Party

MIDTOWN FRIDAYS SUMMER BLOCK PARTY 2024

Come Celebrate all the vibrancy of Midtown at our Summer Block Party, happening every Friday! Food – Artists – Live Music – Vendors! The summer series of free events will feature the talents of 30+ local bands. In addition to live music, event goers will enjoy a selection of local eats as well as the opportunity to check out the work of local artists and vendors. Midtown Fridays starts May 31 and runs through to August 30. Midtown Friday Summer Block Parties are located at Midtown Square, 1111 Soquel Ave, in Santa Cruz, beginning at 5pm and going until 8:30ish.

  • May 31st: Dylan Rose Band (with special guest James Durbin for a couple songs) – Opener: Shoreline Middle School Band
  • June 7th: Doah’s Daydream – Opener: Soquel High Jazz Band 
  • June 14th: Funkranomicon – Opener: Trianna (GTRI) 
  • June 21st: The Cruzers – Opener: Ripatti & Rose
  • June 28th: Hijinx – Opener: Mo Cruz (Animo) 
  • July 5th: The Money Band – Opener: Jim Buhisan 
  • July 12th: Santa Cruda – Opener: The New Horizon Band
  • July 19th: The Joint Chiefs – Opener: Jake Nielsen & Triple Threat
  • July 26th: Locomotive Breath – Opener: Joshua Cremer
  • August 2nd: Anthony Arya – Opener: TBA
  • August 9th: Cowboys After Dark – Opener: Shawn Yanez
  • August 16th: Ribsy’s Nickel – Opener: The Rayburn Brothers
  • August 23rd: Spun – Opener: Dave Miller (Nomad)
  • August 30th: Alex Lucero Band – Opener: Honey Disposition

MUSIC IN THE PLAZA – WATSONVILLE

Presented by the City of Watsonville, Music in the Plaza Concert Series! The summer outdoor Music in the Plaza concert series is back and will feature a variety of bands to help you get your groove on! Grab a bite at our downtown restaurants and join us for the music from 6 pm – 8 pm.

  • June 21, 2024: Band TBA
  • July 5, 2024: Band TBA
  • July 19, 2024: Band TBA
  • August 2, 2024: Band TBA
  • August 16, 2024: Band TBA
  • September 6, 2024: Band TBA

MUSIC AT SKYPARK

The “Music at Skypark” concert series in Scotts Valley returns for its 15th season on the last Sundays of August and September! Kiwanis and local businesses will offer food, wine, beer and other concessions for sale. Concerts run from 2:30 to 6:00.

  • Sunday, August 25, 2024: American Underdog (1:30pm-3pm); Jive Machine (3:30pm-5pm)
  • Sunday, September 29, 2024: The Shady Rest Band (1:30pm-3pm); Extra Large (3:30pm-5pm)

BARGETTO WINERY’S THURSDAY NIGHT MUSIC IN THE COURTYARD

Join Bargetto Winery’s creekside courtyard in Soquel on Thursday evenings for Live Music and Wine! There is no cover charge and wine by the glass and light snacks are available for purchase. Each week Bargetto features a new local band (see schedule below). Reservations are required and they ask that you call the Sunday/Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday prior to that week’s performance to make your reservation. Reservations: (831) 475-2258 ext. 14

  • May 2, 2024: Alex Lucero
  • May 9, 2024: Ted Welty & Guest
  • May 16, 2024: 7th Wave
  • May 23, 2024: 10 O’Clock Lunch Band
  • May 30, 2024: The Joint Chiefs
  • June 6, 2024: Alex Lucero
  • June 13, 2024: Ted Welty & Guest
  • June 20, 2024: Next Blues Band
  • June 27, 2024: The Joint Chiefs
  • July 4, 2024: Band TBA
  • July 11, 2024: Band TBA
  • July 18, 2024: Band TBA
  • July 25, 2024: Band TBA
  • August 1, 2024: Band TBA
  • August 8, 2024: Band TBA
  • August 15, 2024: Band TBA
  • August 22, 2024: Band TBA
  • August 29, 2024: Band TBA
  • September 5, 2024: Band TBA
  • September 12, 2024: Band TBA
  • September 19, 2024: Band TBA

Not Free, But Not-To-Miss Summer Concert Series

Nashville Nights at Chaminade Resort

Nashville Nights at Chaminade Resort

Ranch 1917 and Chaminade Resort are bringing Nashville to Santa Cruz! Get up close and personal with some of Nashville’s hottest musical acts. Experience an intimate concert while watching the sunset over Monterey Bay. These have been a total hit and should definitely make your summer bucket list! Get more info and purchase tickets here.

  • Friday, May 24, 2024: Eric Paslay
  • Friday, June 21, 2024: Gracee Shriver & Noel Bisesti
  • Friday, July 26, 2024: Craig Campbell
  • Friday, August 23, 2024: Canaan Smith
  • Friday, September 2024: Artist and Date TBA