Cleveland's known as the home of rock 'n' roll. However, as the city's slate of upcoming music festivals and events reveals, we're also a town whose heart beats with the sounds of all musical styles—including jazz, folk, classical and hip-hop, to name a few—all summer long. Mark some (or all) of these warm weather highlights down on your calendar.
Thursdays and Fridays, Now-September 8, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is alive with the sound of music all summer long. The outdoor concerts take place in the plaza in front of the Rock Hall, where you can jam while indulging in fare from local food trucks and brews from the beer garden. Not only are there national acts such as MUNA, Adrian Belew, Guided By Voices, The Bluebonnets (the Austin-based band helmed by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Kathy Valentine of the Go-Go's) and Jimmy Eat World, but there are plenty of local artists too playing outdoors.
Spend a summer afternoon wandering around the quaint east side neighborhood Larchmere (adjacent to Shaker Square) listening to local bands playing on 22 house porches.
In 1982, France launched Fête de la Musique, a national holiday dedicated to all things music. Forty years later, a similar celebration—Make Music Day—has become a global phenomenon. In the past, over 200 performers made a joyful noise in 75 different venues both big and small all around Northeast Ohio. This year, the Northeast Ohio suburb Avon Lake will once again come alive with the sound(s) of music, and illuminate the joy that this art brings to the community.
June 23-25, Playhouse Square
This annual, multi-day jazz festival draws big names to town for indoor and outdoor events. In fact, this year's lineup features Anthony Hamilton, Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas, Brian Culbertson, Ghost-Note, Raul Midón and more.
Every Wednesday, June 15-August 17
A Cleveland summer tradition returns to University Circle. Head over to the city's museum mecca between 5:30-8:30 p.m. weekly to enjoy live music from local jazz, rock, Latin/salsa and cover bands. As an added bonus, certain weeks offer special activities and programming celebrating Juneteenth (June 15), LGBTQ Pride (June 22), ADA Cleveland (July 20), and Latinx Heritage (August 3).
Weekends, July 2-September 4
The tranquil outdoor Cuyahoga Falls amphitheater undergoes a Superman-Clark Kent identity shift during the warmer months. When it's not hosting rock, hip-hop and country concerts, the venue transforms into the summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra. This year's Blossom Music Festival schedule kicks off with an Independence Day weekend "Salute to America," featuring a performance of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" (July 3-4) and includes Paul Simon Songbook (July 10), The Lord of the Rings (July 22-24), Broadway legends (July 31), Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (August 20-21) and more. The 2022 season closes on Labor Day weekend with The Sound of Music.
The stacked lineup of this two-day music festival, which takes place at Lakeland Community College
in Kirtland, Ohio, features national luminaries such as indie-folk troupe the Lumineers; rock darlings Vampire Weekend; funk-soul vibemakers Michael Franti & Spearhead; and emo favorites All Time Low, to name just a few. Wonderstruck will also have plenty of local ties, both musically (performers like Detention and Jack Harris) and dining-wise.
What music fests are you looking forward to this summer in CLE?