There’s nothing better than enjoying an outdoor concert on a warm summer evening. Whether you’re in the front row or spread out on a blanket under the stars, it’s the perfect way to hear your favorite artist and enjoy nature all at one time. North Carolina has lots of awesome places to do just that. Whether it’s waterfront on the shores of Eastern Carolina or nestled in the mountains of Western North Carolina, you can enjoy a concert with a beautiful backdrop to boot.
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Downtown Sundown Concert Series, Wilmington (Nearby Hotels)
Held every Friday night during the summer (until Labor Day), the Downtown Sundown Concert Series takes place in downtown Wilmington’s Riverfront Park, where breathtaking views of the Cape River River and the USS North Carolina Battleship provide a gorgeous backdrop for the concert stage. During the series, you can catch a variety of tribute bands that celebrate popular bands like AC/DC, the Foo Fighters and Coldplay. You can then go for a stroll after the concert’s over and enjoy downtown area’s many shops and restaurants.
River Jam at the US National Whitewater Center, Charlotte (Nearby Hotels)
River Jam, held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings during the summer at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, gives guests a unique setting for enjoying live music – right in front of the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. Bring a blanket or a couple lawn chairs, find the perfect spot in the grass and kick back to relax while you enjoy the sounds of the live bands and the rushing water. There’s plenty of food and beverages available on site and admission is free (there is a $6 parking fee).
PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte (Nearby Hotels)
Also located in Charlotte, the PNC Music Pavilion is a popular home for large concerts, with over 18,000 seats plus an expansive lawn for additional seating. No matter where you sit, you’ll always have a great view of the performers, whether on stage or on the two giant screens that sit on either side. Every year, the pavilion hosts performers from a variety of genres from R&B and pop, to country and rock. Although you can’t bring in any of your own food and drink, there are lots of concessions available throughout the facility.
Brevard Music Center, Brevard (Nearby Hotels)
If classical, chamber, opera and Broadway music are your style, then you definitely want to check out the Brevard Music Center, situated on 180 acres in the mountains of Western North Carolina. During the summer, their expansive outdoor stage welcomes some of the best names in classical music, as well as folk and country performers as part of the BMC Presents series. Guests are welcome to bring in their own food and drink to enjoy a picnic on the lawn before the show or can purchase refreshments from the on-site vendors.
Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh (Nearby Hotels)
Right in the middle of downtown Raleigh, the Red Hat Amphitheater is conveniently located right across from the Raleigh Convention Center, taking advantage of the Center’s “Cree Shimmer Wall” as a backdrop. The wall is a 9,284 square foot piece of art that covers the side of the Convention Center and is made up of over 79,000 aluminum squares that flap and change in the wind. The amphitheater itself is pretty impressive too – seating almost 6,000 people and hosting as many as 30 events each summer season.
The Farm, Selma (Nearby Hotels)
For a more rural concert experience, head about 45 minutes outside of Raleigh to Selma, where you can enjoy live music at The Farm. The charming outdoor concert venue is also a special event space and hosts several festivals including their annual “Farm Fest,” as well as a concert series featuring both local and national artists from the country, bluegrass and beach music genres.