5+ Spots for Amazing Summer Concerts

From outdoor festivals to concerts at the KFC Yum!

Forecastle Festival in Louisville, KY
Photo credit: Sam Smith

What are you doing this summer? How about getting out and having fun! Sounds good, right? And what better way to cut loose than by listening to live music. Louisville has some big stars coming to town this summer. Get tickets to the big shows or check out all of the local talent. Plus, there are opportunities to save your money and enjoy a free outdoor show at a local park. Or do it all! Why not? 

Listening to live music outdoors is a great way to take in the season, whether you choose to pay for tickets to Forecastle or bring a blanket to a free concert, such as the Hot Country Nights series at Fourth Street Live! Add to these concert venues; local clubs, the Louisville Palace or the Yum! Center, where you can run into friends. Add a few nights out for a burger or an ice cream (after all, July is National ice cream month) and you are on your way to a rockin' summer.

See you at the show!

Selena Gomez

Now a famous solo artist, Selena Gomez's career took off on as a child star. Her popularity took off with a two-year run on the kids' show Barney and Friends. Then, moving into her teen years, she starred on the Disney Channel's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Hannah Montana. Talk about a power start! Follow that with a lead role on Wizards of Waverly Place and you have a star. With her fan base in place she released a pop album in 2009 and followed it with a couple more, including her 2015 album Revival, which has the single "Good for You."
When is the concert: June 22, 2016
Where is the concert: KFC Yum! Center 

The Forecastle Festival 2016

2016 is the 14th year of this popular music festival. The event wasounded in 2002 by JK McKnight, a Louisville native. Originally in Tyler park, the festival has grown from a popular neighborhood event to one of the country’s most anticipated summer festivals. Tens of thousands of fans from across the country (and the world) flock to Louisville’s scenic 85-acre Waterfront Park every summer.

The 2016 festival features Alabama Shakes, The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams, Death Cab For Cutie, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, and Gary Clark Jr. Plus, there are many, many more. Like who? Well, how about Phosphorescent, Danny Brown, Sylvan Esso, Dr. Dog, Speedy Ortiz, Washed Out, Big Gigantic, Grouplove, Femi Kuti & Positive Force, Bully, The Suffers, Steve Gunn, Alex G, Walk the Moon, Glass Animals, White Denim, and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. Plus, more acts are still being added to the roster.
When is the concert: July 15-17, 2016
Where is the concert: Waterfront Park

Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams Tour

This band has a bunch of hits! Coldplay, a British band formed in 90s is known around the world. The group formed at the University College of London, put together by guitarists Chris Martin and Jon Buckland. Lead vocalist and pianist Chris Martin gets plenty of press for his music and social life (he was married to Gwyneth Paltrow and was dating Louisville’s own Jennifer Lawrence after his divorce from Paltrow). But this isn't about gossip, this is about the music! Coldplay hits include “Paradise,” “Viva La Vida,” “Fix You,” “Princess of China,” and “Yellow.” If you want good seats, buy 'em fast.

This band is popular with a large group of people.
When is the concert: July 27, 2016
Where is the concert: KFC Yum! Center

Alice Cooper

Rocking audiences since the 70s, Alice Cooper is a rock star and actor. In fact, his shows are incredibly theatrical. The name “Alice Cooper” was originally the band name, but through time the man who fronted the group with his distinctive voice and over-the-top stage antics became known as Alice Cooper (though his given name is Vincent Furnier). He is an icon of rock and is credited with being one of the big influencers on bring showmanship front and center with his shows of fake blood, snakes, outrageous outfits, and huge puppets.
When is the concert: August 3, 2016
Where is the concert: Louisville Palace​

R. Kelly: The Buffet Tour 2016

One of the most popular American R&B singers, R.

Kelly is a songwriter and producer. His vocals have a gospel sound, but his songs are often very sexual. He has been called the King of R&B and has proof of his largess through many Top 40 hits, including “I Believe I Can Fly,” a song which brought Kelly three Grammy Awards. R. Kelly was born Robert Sylvester Kelly on the South Side of Chicago and was raised by a single mother. R. Kelly is a Chicago native and although he isn't as popular as he was in the 90s, he's still a household name, a performers who has sold 54 million albums worldwide. 
When is the concert: September 10, 2016
Where is the concert: KFC Yum! Center

Free Summer Concerts

While the ticketed events above are worth the cash, sometimes you simply want to see live music, free of charge, on a hot summer night. No problem, we have you covered. Louisville is full of singers, musicians and seasoned performers. Yes, there are free concerts programs at Louisville shopping malls. Check out the Music on the Terrace at the Paddock Shops or the Westport Village Summer Concert Series if you have shopping to do anyway.