It's the end of June and we're wrapping up our month on "Outdoor Living." One of the best outdoor activities we can think of is listening to music outside on a blanket, lawn chair or even in an amphitheater. Our guest musical contributor, Wendy Lane Bailey, shares her go-to resources for finding outdoor festivals, her favorite artists from Austin City Limits festival and her recommendations on how to make the most of your experience.
Music Under the Stars by Wendy Lane Bailey
My favorite thing about summer is the chance to listen to terrific music al fresco. Almost every town in every state has an outdoor concert series. From the oh, so very chic large ones like Tanglewood, Wolf Trap,The Mann Center, or the Hollywood Bowl, to local bands jamming in your community park there is something for everyone. Outdoor concerts and festivals are a great way to discover new performers and connect with friends, family and neighbors in a relaxed setting. So, here are my thoughts on making your concert experience the best it can possibly be.
Esperanza Spaulding at Austin City Limits Festival
Finding your show
The New York Times published two lists of music festivals across the country: one for classical music fans and one for Pop & Jazz fans. Music Festival Junkies is another great resource for pop and jazz aficionados. Don’t want the hassle of a road trip, potentially massive crowds, and larger tickets prices? Check out your local paper’s (or their website’s) arts or weekend sections.
The Civil Wars at Austin City Limits Festival
Some Dos & Don’ts:
Do check the venue’s website to see if there are any restrictions on what you can bring into the arena. Most allow food and drink, but not all so it’s a good idea to check in advance.
Do bring food and drink (if allowed). Water is a must, but this is also a great time to make use of that Pear Mojito recipe we featured earlier this month.
Do dress appropriately. It’s outside, it’s summer, it will be hot. Sunscreen and hats (although not wide enough to obstruct your neighbor’s view) are a must here. Leave your heels at home, instead put on some cute flats or a wedge sandal.
Do use good manners. Yes, you’re outdoors, but you are still in a group of people who came to hear the music. Be considerate of those around you, cell phone convos, talking loudly and excessive drinking should all be avoided.
Don’t leave until the show is over. This is my number one pet peeve. You don’t really save all that much time leaving before the end of the last song, it just shows disrespect for the performers who have worked so hard to entertain you.
Do enjoy yourself and share your summer concert memories with us!
Alabama Shakes at Austin City Limits Festival