Throughout the year, you'll have many chances to catch live music in the Capital Region - often for free!
Alive at Five
In the summer, Alive at Five in downtown Albany has fantastic lineups every Thursday from 5pm to 8pm, June through August. This free concert series has been happening since 1990 and has included many big names as well as upcoming performers. While this event normally takes place at the Corning Preserve, for 2016 the location has been moved to Tricentennial Park due to construction.
Rockin on the River
Rockin on the River in Troy also takes place every summer and is also completely free to attend. Concerts are every Wednesday from 5pm to 8:30pm, June through August. Head on down to the Riverfront Park for a midweek break to enjoy live music right alongside the Hudson River.
Jazz on Jay
If jazz is your beat, you'll definitely want to check out Jazz on Jay in Schenectady. Throughout the summer you can gather on historic Jay Street between State and Franklin to hear a diverse lineup of jazz artists between up-and-coming performers and those who have been on the jazz scene for some time. From 12pm to 1:30pm from June until the beginning of September you can have a fun lunch break activity away from work!
Empire State Plaza's Capital Concert Series
As part of Summer at the Plaza, the Capital Concert Series includes five free concerts on Wednesdays during June and July. Seating is available on the plaza's Grand Staircase, and there is free parking in the East Garage after 4:30pm.
Freedom Park Summer Concert Series
Right along the Mohawk River in Scotia, Freedom Park hosts a Summer Concert Series every year where events are free. Bring a chair or a blanket down to the park at 7PM on selected summer evenings to enjoy the show. This outdoor amphitheater was originally built in 1976 and is the perfect spot for outdoor entertainment.
Performing Arts at the Common
The Clifton Park Office of Parks, Recreation, and Community Affairs hosts Performing Arts at the Common every summer. You can not only catch live music, but the Wednesday Evening Children's Series brings out magicians and puppeteers to the stage as well!
Jazz at the Lake: Lake George Jazz Weekend
In mid-September every year jazz enthusiasts won't want to miss out on this free jazz festival all weekend at Shepard Park - you can even listen from your boat on the lake! Jazz on the Lake showcases high quality jazz artists and has been taking place since 1984, thanks to host Paul Pines.
Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival
The musical fun doesnt have to stop in the summer. The Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival has been going on in Washington Park every September since 2001. This event features a diverse lineup of jazz artists, kids activities, and more - and it's free.
Final Stretch Music Festival Weekend
On Labor Day Weekend - also known as "the final stretch" - great live music can be heard throughout downtown Saratoga. The Final Stretch Music Fetival Weekend marks the end of the track season in Saratoga, with live music of many varieties being performed at several different curbside locations. Once again, admission is completely free!
Many of the other festivals going on throughout the spring and summer months also feature live music, such as the Albany Tulip Festival.
For fun and unique year-round live music performances, check out many of the acclaimed restaurants and bars in the Albany area – there’s always something going on! Check out our Guide to Live Music and Shows, or go straight to our complete event lineup of live music happening in the area.
You can also explore popular Albany music venues such as The Egg or The Times Union Center!