Santa Fe Plaza Concert Series, Santa Fe

Summer concerts on the Santa Fe Plaza are a whole vibe—folks dancing, chilling in camp chairs, and picnicking on the lawn. Starting June 9, the Santa Fe Plaza Concert Series pumps out free performances every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. (The Railyard hosts a free Friday night concert series as well.) “People of all ages, races, creeds, genders—locals and visitors alike—all dancing and sharing joyfully in the human experience—that is music,” says Jamie Lenfestey of AMP Concerts, which runs the series. This season’s stellar lineup includes hip-hop artist La Dame Blanche, rock band Heartless Bastards, reunited Canadian rockers Crash Test Dummies, soul group the Suffers, heavy-metal mariachi band Metalachi, and many more. 

Summertime in Old Town, Albuquerque

Summer weekends were made for the plaza in Old Town. With gazebo performances Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon, the series attracts visitors and locals for some of the top bands (and local food) in New Mexico. “The best part is seeing the community come together,” says Veronica Archuleta, events coordinator and supervisor at One Albuquerque, which organizes the concerts. Running from May through August, the lineup features Mariachi Amigos de Nuevo Mexico, blues band the Memphis P-Tails, and reggae group Joseph General & High Vibration.

Carlsbad Community Concert Series, Carlsbad

It’s a beach party every Saturday night during the free Carlsbad Community Concert Series. Starting June 4, local bands perform in the Water Park Gazebo, on the banks of the Pecos River. “We’re very proud of our beach area,” says Carlsbad mayor Dale Janway. “These concerts offer us a chance to show off our beautiful park.” While this summer’s lineup is still being finalized, expect home-grown local country, rock, and Tejano bands to be joined by regional acts like Texas country trio the River Bed and Southwestern rockers Stoney Blue Fish, who have performed in the past. 

Fridays al Fresco, Las Vegas

Music and history get together for free Friday-night jam sessions on the Las Vegas Plaza. Laid out in 1835, the historic green turns up the volume on summer with country, rock, blues, jazz, and traditional New Mexican acts on the gazebo stage, May 6 through September 30. “All of the performing artists are truly professional and exceptional,” says Charles Griego, events planner and film liaison for the City of Las Vegas. “We had a visitor tell us they wait all year for our music series.”

Cool Summer Nights, Angel Fire

The hills near Angel Fire Resort are alive with the sounds of music during the free Cool Summer Nights concert series, June 17 through September 2. On Fridays at 5 p.m., local pop, rock, and country musicians take the Frontier Park stage for family-friendly covers and familiar favorites. “Good food and drinks, fun musical acts, and gorgeous views make this the ultimate summer event,” says Greg Ralph, director of marketing at Angel Fire Resort. 

Take in the tunes at Angel Fire’s Frontier Park. Photograph courtesy of Cool Summer Nights.

Three to See

One weekend, three big acts.

6/17: Lady A

Inn of the Mountain Gods, Mescalero

6/18: 38 Special

Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, Santa Fe

6/18: ZZ Top

Kit Carson Park, Taos