Summer Sounds

Tune into these outdoor concert series
05/31/19 - The Abbey Road Live (Beatles Tribute) Perform for the crowd gathered at the weekly Downtown Sundown concert series 2019. Photo by Michael Cline Spencer

Cities seem to come alive with outdoor music events each summer, and Wilmington is one of them. In fact, the entire Cape Fear region is a treasure trove of such warm-weather shows.

With a number of seasonal concert series on tap, you can experience a variety of tunes and tastes to fit your musical style(s). So, grab your sarong because local summer concerts are in full swing.

Downtown Sundown Concert Series

Admission: Free

Fridays through August 30, 6:30-10 p.m.

Ligon-Flynn parking lot, 20 S. Second Street, Wilmington

In its fourteenth season (and at a new location because of Riverfront Park renovations), Wilmington Downtown Inc.’s summer concert staple features touring tribute acts that cover popular bands. From Led Zeppelin and Journey to Foo Fighters, you’ll experience a different genre each week. What’s more, two acts play each show, with a local band opening the bill.

Beer and wine are available for purchase.

Click here for info

Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series

Admission: Kids $3 | Adults $10 | Members free

First & third Fridays through September 20, 6-8 p.m.

Airlie Gardens, 300 Airlie Road, Wilmington

If you like your tunes with a side of scenery, then this one’s for you. Park your lawn chair by the Airlie Oak and take in the garden atmosphere. Pack your own picnic or forego the hassle and buy some nosh and adult bevs available on-site. From beach music to bluegrass and big band, there’s a little something for everyone.

Click here for info

WECT Sounds of Summer

Admission: Free

Thursdays through August 8, 6:30-8 p.m.

Wrightsville Beach Park, 3 Bob Sawyer Drive, Wrightsville Beach

Beach bum or not, concertgoers can bring lawn chairs, blankets, and plenty of picnic items. Coolers are permitted, but alcohol isn’t allowed in the park. Local food trucks are also parked for grabbing grub.

Click here for info

Topsail Sounds

Admission: Free

Tuesday, July 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Topsail Beach Town Center, 624 South Anderson Boulevard, Topsail Beach

More of a limited engagement – the first of the two shows was in June – this community concert event is a collaboration between the town of Topsail Beach and Pender County Parks and Recreation. The July 23 concert features Randy Knight and Parrot Party, a tribute to musician Jimmy Buffet.

Info: (910) 259-1330

Boardwalk Blast

Admission: Free

Thursdays through August 22, 6:30-9:30 p.m. (except for Wednesday, July 3, and Friday, August 30)

Carolina Beach Boardwalk stage, Carolina Beach

Live music and fireworks? Yes, please! What’s more, you don’t even have to clean the sand off of your toes. The Carolina Beach Boardwalk stage showcases lively bands just steps from the waves, on a weekly basis. Shortly after sunset, concertgoers here get a second helping of entertainment, with a fireworks display following the show.

Click here for info


To view more of photographer Michael Cline Spencer’s work, go to

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Categories: Culture