Free Concerts Offer the Sounds of Summer in Eastern NC Locales

A Downtown Live! summer concert. Source: City of Rocky Mount NC
A Downtown Live! summer concert. Source: City of Rocky Mount NC

Compiled by Kay Whatley, Editor

Upcoming outdoor free concerts provided by area venues or town/city parks and recreation departments.

Downtown Live! (Imperial Centre / Rocky Mount)

Spend your Spring and Summer Thursday nights listening and dancing to live music in downtown Rocky Mount. The 2019 Downtown Live! series on the lawn of the Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences, 270 Gay Street, Rocky Mount, NC.

Scheduled this summer are crowd favorites:

  • Thursday, June 20, 2019 with Spare Change
  • Thursday, July 18, 2019 with The Tams
  • Thursday, August 1, 2019 with Jim Quick & Coastline
  • Thursday, August 15, 2019 with The Legacy Motown Review
  • Thursday, August 29, 2019 with The Catalinas
  • Thursday, September 12, 2019 with The Embers featuring Craig Woolard

Food and beverage vendors will be available. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

Downtown Live! is a free event that runs from 6-9pm every-other Thursday. The schedule is also available at


Friday Nights on the Tar (Louisburg)

The Town of Louisburg’s free concerts began in April and will continue through the summer. There will be live music, food trucks, and adult beverages for those of age. Upcoming Friday Nights on the Tar concerts will be held 6:30-9:30pm on:

  • Friday, June 21, 2019 with The Tyson Brothers
  • Friday, July 19, 2019 with East Coast Rhythm and Blues
  • Friday, August 16, 2019 @ with Shine
  • Friday, September 20, 2019 with the Johnny Folsom 4

Entry to concerts is free, as is parking around town. Find a seat in the outdoor amphitheatre, and enjoy! Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs for comfort. Food trucks will be located in the parking lot adjacent to the amphitheatre, 116 N Main Street, Louisburg, NC. Just around the corner from the food trucks and FCAC, patrons may purchase a cup of coffee or tea at Blue Collie Coffee. This unique coffee shop also served sweet treats and bagels. Adults will be “carded” to ensure alcoholic beverage drinkers are of age, so bring ID to Tar Banks Brewing Company for adult beverages.

Pets and coolers are not allowed.

See more on the town’s Facebook page and Twitter. Full Friday Nights on the Tar details and band details may be found at


Creekside Music Series (Nashville)

The first concert was held in April, with the next concert — featuring Meredith Davis Johnson and the band Charlie — scheduled for Saturday, September 21, 2019, 5-10pm.

The concert is held at Stoney Creek Environmental Park, 455 W Washington Street, Nashville, NC.

Bring family and friends for a night of live music, food, and adult beverages for those of age.

These concerts are made possible by supported from the NC Arts Council.


Summer Night Lights (Rocky Mount / Battleboro)

Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation Department’s Summer Night Lights program returns for 2019. The block-party style event is free and includes games, inflatables, a live DJ, arts and crafts and more. The first 200 guests will receive a free hotdog, chips and a drink.

For its ninth season, Summer Night Lights will take place Friday nights, from 6-8pm, in the following locations:

  • June 14, 2019 at Hornbeam Park, 150 Cunningham Drive, Rocky Mount, NC
  • June 21, 2019 at Meadowbrook Park, 1742 Bedford Road, Rocky Mount, NC
  • June 28, 2019 at Three Sister’s Park, 221 Walter Drive, Battleboro, NC
  • July 5, 2019 at Buck Leonard Park, 929 S. Grace Street, Rocky Mount, NC
  • July 12, 2019 at Branch Street Park, 1731 Branch Street, Rocky Mount, NC
  • July 19, 2019 at Stith-Talbert Park, 729 Pennsylvania Avenue, Rocky Mount, NC
  • July 26, 2019 at Aycock Park, 1200 Aycock Street, Rocky Mount, NC
  • August 2, 2019 at Lancaster Park, 1509 Barnes Street, Rocky Mount, NC
  • August 9, 2019 at South Rocky Mount Community Center, 719 Recreation Drive, Rocky Mount, NC

For more information, call 252.972.1169.


Summer Concert Series (Wilson / Freeman Round House)

Enjoy an outdoor concert at the Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House and African-American Museum, located at 1202 Nash Street E, Wilson, NC. These free, family-friendly events take place on the lawn, weather permitting. Upcoming dates are:

  • Sunday, June 16, 2019 with The Triple Wide Band
  • Sunday, June 23, 2019 with Gerald Ward
  • Sunday, June 30, 2019 with Tracy Fleming and Friends

Watch for updates and more events on the Freeman Round House Museum’s Facebook page.



Ed. Note:

The Gig in the Park annual concert series at Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, 301 Goldsboro Street S, Wilson, NC., had ended, with the final Spring concert held on June 13, 2019. See the list of concerts and performers here and watch for future events.

Sources: Thanks to Tameka Kenan-Norman and Jessie Nunery of the City of Rocky Mount, Town of Nashville, and the Town of Louisburg, for the event information.

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About Kay Whatley 2309 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.