Free tunes. Inexpensive entertainment. Whatever you call it, who doesn’t like to save a buck? As a special feature this month, CITYVIEW is highlighting almost-free concerts, shows that are cheaper than the price of a movie ticket. Unfold your lawn chair, not your wallet, and sit back and sip a cool beverage all while busting a move.
Nobody wants the weekend to end, so why not extend it with Sunday options? The Live at the Creek music series starts in July at Jordan Creek Town Center. On July 8, listen to Boomerang and, on July 15, the Tony Valdez Large Band. The free concerts, held near the lake, run from 5-8 p.m. The Sunday Tunes series at the Summerset Winery near Indianola sells bottles of wine and features Bob Pace on July 15 and Hot Tamale and the Red Hots on July 29. Concerts run from 2-5 p.m. Cost is $5 per person or $15 per carload.
Rendezvous by the River hosts a temporary venue located at 4640 N.W. Morningstar Drive in Des Moines. Friday night concerts are free from 5:30-9:30 p.m. The July 13 concert includes The Sons of Gladys Kravitz, and July 20 Final Mix plays, featuring Del “Saxman” Jones.
Head over to the Square in Polk City for the 4 Seasons Festival. Four bands play July 20 and 21 for free. Friday night starting at 4 p.m., Nice Bangs performs, followed by Standing Hampton at 8 p.m. July 21 brings Sister Sara at 5 p.m., followed by Becker at 8 p.m.
Head over to the Clive Festival July 19-21 located at the Clive Aquatic Center. With six bands playing and free admission, this burb’s a rockin’. Thursday starting at 5 p.m. includes Dan Trilk’s School of Rock followed by CTRL-C at 8:30. Friday features Monkey 3 and Abby Normal. Saturday includes Dick Danger Band and Sons of Gladys Kravitz.
Why not bike to Jasper Winery on Thursdays? On July 12, from 6-9 p.m. get your piano fix with the Pianopalooza Band. July 19 includes music from The Maytags.
The Camp Dodge Pool in Johnston drained the pool in 2002 and is now the site of the Adjutant General’s Concert series on Thursdays at 7 p.m. with Abby Normal performing on July 12. The evening’s free, but be prepared to show an ID at the entrance gate.
Altoona’s Music in the Plaza, located at the Civic Plaza, runs from 6-9 p.m. On July 27, enjoy the Faculty Lounge, a group of Des Moines area educators and music teachers.
Ankeny’s SummerFest from July 12-15 showcases eight bands in four days. On Saturday, Damon Dotson plays at 6 p.m., followed by the Pork Tornadoes at 8 p.m. Located at 1010 Prairie Ridge, all concerts are free.
The Des Moines Botanical Center offers “Social Irrigation” on Thursday evenings. The event includes music, garden demos and more. Featured on July 12 is Max Wellman with Annie Booth Trio, and on July 19 it is the NOLA Jazz Band. Cost is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and military, $7 youth and free for members.
Indianola’s Bike Down to I-Town is for two-wheeled bikers. The event is held the third Friday of the month. Show off your motorcycle and listen to free concerts at the downtown square in Indianola on July 20 with Toaster.
If you’re a morning person and like live music, then you’re in luck. The Tipsy Crow, located a block from the Downtown Farmers’ Market, features live music Saturday mornings beginning at 10 a.m. On July 14, Fahrenheit plays on the patio.
Boat marinas are rare in Des Moines, but you can get to this music venue by boat, bike or car. Captain Roy’s, located at Birdland Marina and just off the Neal Smith Trail, offers live music with no cover charge. On July 14, Cold Filtered plays. July 20 is Truckstop Honeymoon, and July 28 offers Winterland/Watkins Glen 1973 Show, playing The Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead tunes.
Finally, Tuesday nights matter again. Windsor Heights’ Nights in the Heights at Colby Park is a free event with a local high school band at 6 p.m., followed by a headliner at 7 p.m. Listen to Jason Walsmith on July 10 or Tony Valdez on July 17.
THE FINE PRINT. Most concerts welcome all ages and allow patrons to bring chairs, blankets and bugspray. Mind your manners, and please check with the venue before bringing furry friends or outside alcohol. ♦