A musician plays piano on a bandstand, seen from behind with the crowd watching

Catch a Free Concert in Kawarthas Northumberland (Summer 2023)

Music drifting across the park on a sunny day is one of the surest signs of summer—and it happens all across the region. Whether you’re visiting for the day or looking for activities to round out a longer stay, the options below virtually guarantee a good time (weather permitting!).

Peterborough Musicfest logo

Peterborough Musicfest (Del Crary Park, 100 George St N, Peterborough)

Musicfest began life in 1987 as the Peterborough Festival of Lights, making it Canada’s longest-running free outdoor concert series. It’s not hard to see why the shows have endured—the idyllic setting of Del Crary Park affords beautiful views of Little Lake, just a short walk from downtown.

The 2023 season runs from July 1 to August 19, with shows every Wednesday and Saturday beginning at 8:00. Grab a few lawn chairs, bring the kids, and settle in for an evening’s worth of professional entertainment. This year’s roster includes Celtic favourites Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, world music star Jesse Cook, and classic rockers Glass Tiger.

If you’re looking to grab a bite beforehand, the Lighthouse Lounge and Grill is conveniently located near the bandstand, with a lovely lake view from the patio.

Riverside Grill logo

Holiday Inn Riverside Grill & Gazebo (150 George St, Peterborough)

Another popular option in Peterborough is the free concert series at the Riverside Grill & Gazebo. Nestled right where the Otonabee River opens into Little Lake, boaters along the Trent-Severn Waterway often draw up alongside to catch the show. Walkers along the waterfront trail behind the Holiday Inn may also find themselves tempted to stop in.

See the list of upcoming shows here—genres include country, classic rock, blues, and more. The patio is licensed, and offers a full menu.

Bobcaygeon Music Council logo

Concerts in the Park at Lock 32 (Lock 32, 11 Bolton St, Bobcaygeon)

The Bobcaygeon Music Council has lovingly assembled a lineup of shows throughout the summer. Grab an ice cream cone and head down to Lock 32 for free music every Thursday night in July and August.

Children’s concerts begin at 5:30, and include puppeteers and singalongs, with 6:30 artists selected to appeal more to grownup tastes. Acts include world music veterans Sultans of String and east coast folk darlings The Bombadils. See the lineup here.

Kawartha Lakes logo

Lindsay Concerts in the Park (Frank Banks Gazebo, Victoria Park, 210 Kent St W, Lindsay)

July through August, spread a blanket on the lawn at Lindsay’s Victoria Park and catch a free show every Wednesday from 6-8 p.m, and every Sunday from 2-4 p.m. View the complete schedule here.

These family-friendly shows feature local artists performing to a hometown crowd, with genres that range from fingerstyle guitar to jazz to alt-rock. The first Sunday of every month is earmarked for the Youth Open Mic, a chance for young performers to take to the stage and share their craft.

Concert Band of Cobourg crest

Summer Concert Band Series (Victoria Park, 138 Division St, Cobourg)

The Concert Band of Cobourg is known for their parades and military tattoos, but they also excel in a concert setting. Every Tuesday in July and August, they’ll bring large-ensemble performances to Victoria Park. Expect instrumental arrangements of popular tunes as well as traditional works from this unique Northumberland County group.

Municipality of Brighton logo

Brighton Concerts in the Park (Main Street & Veterans Way, Brighton)

Brighton keeps the music going all summer long with free concerts every Wednesday at 6:30p.m. from June 7 to August 30. From the vintage R&B sounds of the Fade Kings to the hard-driving classic rock stylings of the JD Sautner Band to the catchy arrangements of the Brighton All Star Concert Band, there’s something here to get you dancing. View the schedule here.

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