Outdoor concerts and festivals on the way


This article corrects a previous version that misstated the venue for the July 16 concert by Counting Crows.

We got a taste of the summer concert season in early May when the Waking Windows festival in Winooski dedicated a day mostly to alfresco shows. And what a taste it was: blue skies, fresh air and cool tunes have always been a classic combination.

Waking Windows was in mid-spring when Vermont is just starting to warm up. With summer on the verge of arriving, the real outdoor concert season is ready to explode.

We’ve picked a few outdoor festivals and standalone concerts for you to consider attending in Vermont in late spring and all summer, should you be one of those people who likes blue skies, fresh air and cool tunes. And if you’re not one of those people – what the heck is wrong with you?

Music in the orchard in Barnard

6 p.m. Thursday, May 30, BarnArts starts its weekly Feast & Field concert series featuring food and drink as well as a performance by the Mexican folk-jazz act Villalobos Brothers, followed by shows through Sept. 26 that include Myra Flynn (June 6), Ida Mae Specker (June 27), Bow Thayer & the Choirs of Aether (July 11), Patti Casey and Tom Mackenzie (July 18) and the Pointe Noire Cajun Band (Aug. 29), Fable Farm Orchard, Barnard. $5-$25; free for ages 12 and under. www.feastandfield.com  

Outdoor music at Snow Farm

6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30, a full slate of “Music in the Vineyard” concerts begins with rock cover band Sticks and Stones, Snow Farm Vineyard and Distillery, South Hero. Free. www.snowfarm.com

Shelburne Vineyard offers music, too

6 p.m. Saturday, June 1, led by Noah Hahn, Vermont power-pop band Atom & the Orbits plays the patio as part of the summer musical offerings at Shelburne Vineyard. Free. www.shelburnevineyard.com

Trio Gusto gets concert series rolling

12:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, the Vermont-based jazz-swing group Trio Gusto helps Burlington City Arts get the jump on the season with its summer concert series, Burlington City Hall Park. Free. www.burlingtoncityarts.org

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival runs free

Wednesday, June 5-Sunday, June 9, this year’s Burlington Discover Jazz Festival presents loads of free music outdoors, including nearly 40 student bands on the Church Street Marketplace, a June 6 party on Church Street headlined by Phony Ppl, big gatherings at Waterfront Park featuring Big Freedia (June 7) and Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 (June 8), and a June 9 musical tribute to late Burlington saxophone player Joe Moore at City Hall Park. www.flynnvt.org

Greensky Bluegrass at Concerts on the Green

6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, enjoy the green grass and (hopefully) blue skies with Greensky Bluegrass starting the Concerts on the Green series presented by Higher Ground, Shelburne Museum. $49.50 in advance, $53.50 day of show, free for children 12 and under. www.highergroundmusic.com

Spruce Peak begins concert series

6 p.m. Friday, June 28, the outdoor concert series on the village green at Spruce Peak in Stowe starts with singer-songwriter David Shaw and continues Thursday, July 11, with singer-songwriter Chelsea Cutler; Thursday, July 25 with Americana band Jamestown Revival; Wednesday, Aug. 7, with Boston group Ripe; and Thursday, Aug. 29 with country musician Brandy Clark. $40 for adults, $5 for ages 5 and under. www.sprucepeak.com

Music series in St. Johnsbury

7 p.m. Friday, June 28, the annual Levitt AMP St. Johnsbury Music Series presented by Catamount Arts launches its season with Canadian musician Alysha Brilla, with upcoming outdoor concerts including Dwight & Nicole (5 p.m. Sunday, July 14), the Adam Ezra Group (7 p.m. Friday, July 26), Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4) and E.T.E. (7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30), downtown St. Johnsbury. Free. www.catamountarts.org

Go for the gusto with Guster

6 p.m. Saturday, June 29, New England rock band Guster – featuring a couple of Vermonters, Ryan Miller and Luke Reynolds – is joined by local acts James Kochalka Superstar and the Zeno Mountain Band, Concerts on the Green series, Shelburne Museum. $55 in advance, $59 day of show, free for children 12 and under. www.highergroundmusic.com

Concert series on Lake Morey

8 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, the Adam Ezra Group rolls out a summer concert series that also features the like-named act Better Than Ezra (Thursday, July 11), Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root (Thursday, July 18), Tab Benoit and Anders Osborne with the Mike Zito Band (Thursday, July 25), The Record Company (Thursday, Aug. 1), the Yonder Mountain String Band (Saturday, Aug. 3), Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (Thursday, Aug. 8), G. Love & Special Sauce (Thursday, Aug. 15), Enter the Haggis (Thursday, Aug. 22) and Larkin Poe (Sunday, Sept. 1), Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee. Free. www.lakemoreyresort.com

Middlebury gets festive on the green

Sunday, July 7-Saturday, July 13, the Middlebury Festival on the Green returns for a week of music, with a lineup to be announced. Free. www.festivalonthegreen.org

Shelburne Museum welcomes Jason Mraz

6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, singer/guitarist Jason Mraz follows Ripe at a Concerts on the Green performance at the Shelburne Museum. Sold out. www.highergroundmusic.com

Music in the Dead of Summer

Friday, July 12-Sunday, July 14, the fifth Dead of Summer Music Festival takes place in southern Vermont with jammy performances by the Pink Talking Fish Ensemble, Neighbor, Max Creek, Dead Man’s Waltz, Annie in the Water, Saints and Liars, Organ Fairchild and many more, Hunter Park, Manchester Center. $65-$215. www.deadofsummermusicfestival.com

Do Good Fest arrives in Montpelier

2 p.m. Saturday, July 13, the annual Do Good Fest will be led this year by Fitz and the Tantrums and include sets by Rachel Platten, Dishwalla and Couch, National Life Group lawn, Montpelier. $5 minimum, with extra contributions going to Branches of Hope and the Howard Center. www.dogoodfest.com

Counting Crows on midway lawn

8 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, ‘90s hitmakers Counting Crows follow James Maddock featuring David Immergluck in a show presented by Higher Ground, midway lawn, Champlain Valley Exposition, Essex Junction. $70 in advance, $74 day of show. www.highergroundmusic.com

Grand Point North now a series

7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25, Seattle folk band The Head and the Heart, joined by Phosphorescent ($56 in advance, $60 day of show), begins four days of music that revives Grace Potter’s former Grand Point North festival as a series with separate admission for each show, with other concerts by The Flaming Lips performing their album “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” (8 p.m. Friday, July 26, sold out), followed by two mini-festivals headlined by Potter including Michael Marcagi, Henry Jamison, Sarah King, The Bubs and Copilot (4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 27) and Anderson East, Ali McGuirk, Acqua Mossa, All Night Boogie Band and Marcie Hernandez (4:30p.m. Sunday, July 28, $52 in advance, $56 day of show, $92 for two-day pass for Potter’s shows), Waterfront Park, Burlington. www.highergroundmusic.com

Montpelier celebrates Maple Roots

Noon Saturday, July 27, the fourth-annual Maple Roots Music Festival welcomes the Vermont Jazz Ensemble, a trio featuring Avi Salloway, Rob Morse and Corey Wilhelm, a solo set by Mikahely, Steady Betty, the Eames Brothers and Michael-Louis Smith & Friends for a full day of music, Morse Farm Sugar Works, Montpelier. Admission fee is $25 parking per vehicle. www.maplerootsfest.com

Arts and music in Cabot

Noon Saturday, July 27, another day-long outdoor event, the Cabot Arts and Music Festival, features performances by Rose and the Bros, The Mammals, Kieran Kane & Rayna Gellert, the Soggy Po Boys, Bob & Sarah Amos, the Pointe Noire Cajun Band and more, Cabot Village Common. $10-$30; free for ages 16 and under. www.cabotarts.org

Train chugs into Shelburne

6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, San Francisco pop-rockers Train follow Yacht Rock Revue in a Concerts on the Green show, Shelburne Museum. Sold out. www.highergroundmusic.com

Joe Russo, not quite Dead

6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, the Grateful Dead cover band Joe Russo’s Almost Dead plays the Concerts on the Green series, Shelburne Museum. Sold out. www.highergroundmusic.com

Stowe Jazz Festival makes plans

Friday, Aug. 2-Sunday, Aug. 4, the Stowe Jazz Festival returns with a lineup to be announced, locations throughout Stowe. www.stowejazzfestival.org

Music at Festival of Fools

Friday, Aug. 2-Sunday, Aug. 4, the annual Festival of Fools revolves around acrobatic street performances but also features music from Jupiter & Okwess and Moon Hooch, on and around Church Street Marketplace, Burlington. Free. www.festivaloffools.com

Shows at the Vermont State Fair

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, the first of two concerts at this year’s Vermont State Fair is called “Abducted by the ‘80s” and highlights bands from that decade including Wang Chung, A Flock of Seagulls, Naked Eyes and Animotion ($40-$50), followed at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 by country musician Tyler Hubbard ($46.50-$61.50), Vermont State Fair, Rutland. www.paramountvt.org

Bluegrass, roots in southern Vermont

Thursday, Aug. 15-Sunday, Aug. 18, the Green Mountain Bluegrass & Roots Festival this year offers up Watchhouse, Crooked Still, The Travelin’ McCourys, Rayland Baxter, The Jerry Douglas Band, Aoife O’Donovan with Hawktail, Noam Pikelny, the Tim O’Brien Band, Donna the Buffalo and many more, Hunter Park, Manchester Center. $40-$400; free for ages 15 and under. www.greenmountainbluegrass.com

Music at the Champlain Valley Fair

7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, hip-hop star Flo Rida begins the concert offerings at the Champlain Valley Fair ($39-$69) that include Gin Blossoms and Toad the Wet Sprocket with Vertical Horizon (7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, $29-$59), country performer Cole Swindell (7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, $39-$69), “Roots and Boots” with Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin and Collin Raye (7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, $29-$59) and vocal group Pentatonix (7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, $39-$69), Champlain Valley Exposition, Essex Junction. www.champlainvalleyfair.org

Jorma Kaukonen plays Essex

8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, known for his work with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, plays a solo show, The Essex Experience Green. $40-$50. www.essexresort.com/essex-experience-vermont/

Celebrating a New World

Noon-11 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, Labor Day weekend fills with traditional music as the New World Festival launches with the sounds of Le Vent du Nord, Cantrip, Conor Mallon, E.T.E., Hiraezh, Kalos, Mick McAuley and more, outdoor tent near the Chandler Music Hall, Randolph. $35-$55; free for ages 12 and under. www.chandler-arts.org/newworld

Goth Babe (not actually Goth)

7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, indie-pop musician Griff Washburn, better known as Goth Babe, follows Ritt Momney in a Concerts on the Green show, Shelburne Museum. $50.50 in advance, $54.50 day of show. www.highergroundmusic.com

End summer with a dive in the lake

7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19-Friday, Sept. 20, the Concerts on the Green series – and, in a couple of days, the summer season – comes to a close with two shows by Lake Street Dive with opener Katie Pruitt. Sold out. www.highergroundmusic.com

Not happening – Backside 405

For the second straight year, the Backside 405 concerts presented by Higher Ground behind the Burlington City Arts studios on Pine Street will not be happening. Those outdoor shows were coveted by performance-starved music fans coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 and continuing into 2022. Construction at BCA prevented the concerts from happening last year and will again this year. “We were hopeful but the timing of the construction back there effectively knocked out the season,” Higher Ground co-founder Alex Crothers told the Burlington Free Press in an email. He indicated it’s unclear if the series will return next year.

Contact Brent Hallenbeck at bhallenbeck@freepressmedia.com.



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