Music and heritage meet at Music at the Intersection in St. Louis' Grand Center Arts District.

The Sounds of Summer in St. Louis

Monday March 20, 2023

By Rachel Huffman

Turn up the speakers. The sounds of summer are bringing a new kind of heat to St. Louis.

During the summer, St. Louis buzzes with activity. From Shakespeare in the Park to Fair St. Louis and the Festival of Nations to the Saint Louis Art Fair, there’s never a dull moment, but right now, we’re dialed into the major musical events happening throughout the area.

With a brand-new music festival featuring The Black Keys and Brandi Carlile, a spectacular season at The Muny, blues by the Gateway Arch and more, melomaniacs will get their fill of great music this year.

For a complete list of concerts coming to town, check our events calendar.

The audience cheers for a dazzling performance at The Muny in St. Louis.
Photo courtesy of The Muny

May 31 to August 2

The Missouri Botanical Garden is an idyllic place to listen to live music. On Wednesday evenings throughout the summer, the garden hosts free, open-air concerts as part of the annual Whitaker Music Festival. To date, more than one million people have participated in the cherished St. Louis tradition, which promotes common heritage, celebrates diversity and encourages vitality within the community. Visitors can bring their own picnics, and food, beer, wine and sno-cones will also be available for purchase.

June 2 to 4

The 80,000-plus fans projected to attend the upcoming Enjoy Illinois 300, a NASCAR Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway, will be entertained at every turn. In its second year, the Confluence Music Festival will showcase innovation, talent and live entertainment. Over the weekend, the festival will feature approximately 30 local, regional and national acts, including headliner Dierks Bentley, performing on multiple stages. Tickets include access to mouthwatering food and beverage vendors, interactive entertainment displays, a STEAM education showcase, display cars, interviews with local sports legends and a seat for the race.

June 12 to August 20

For more than 100 years, The Muny has filled Forest Park with the sounds of Broadway. Open from June through August, the outdoor theater attracts out-of-town professionals as well as local talent for memorable musicals beginning with As You Like It, the very first production ever mounted at what would become The Muny. For its 105th season, The Muny will delight audiences with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (June 12 to 18), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (June 22 to 30), Chess (July 5 to 11), West Side Story (July 15 to 21), Little Shop of Horrors (July 25 to 31), Rent (Aug. 4 to 10) and Sister Act (Aug. 14 to 20). Attending a performance at The Muny with family and friends is a beloved St. Louis tradition. The shows are enchanting, electrifying and empowering, and every night, there are free seats available on a first-come first-served basis, so everyone can experience the magic of live theater.

June 16 and 17

The 12th annual Open Highway Music Festival boasts a more noteworthy lineup and a larger footprint than ever, thanks in part to a new investment from the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis. The homegrown Americana music festival will return to Chesterfield Amphitheater on June 16 and 17, featuring the most exciting names across a wide range of roots-oriented genres. Headliners include Blackberry Smoke and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit on Friday and Saturday, respectively, playing alongside The Heavy Heavy, The Sleepy Rubies and S.G. Goodman. Local talent includes the Funky Butt Brass Band, Beth Bombara and Mattie Schell. The spirited festival will also serve up a more diverse selection of food and drinks this year. Whether you want to see a well-known artist or you hope to discover a new favorite, we encourage you to get your tickets to the Open Highway Music Festival today!

August 11 to 13

Hosted by the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, in partnership with the National Blues Museum and the National Park Service, Blues at the Arch pays tribute to St. Louis’ storied blues history and showcases the talents of local and national artists. Held at Gateway Arch National Park, the free music festival is the only one of its kind to take place on national park grounds. Blues at the Arch will keep you in the groove until the end of summer.

August 12

Eat, dance and be merry! At Grub & Groove in Francis Park, St. Louis’ finest musicians play to the crowd while local restaurants, breweries and distilleries keep everyone energized. During the free festival, attendees can enjoy delectable bites from 13 local vendors and satisfying sips at the 4 Hands Brewing Co. Draft Experience. Coming with the whole family? Head to the Kids Zone in between sets.

August 26 and 27

Are you ready for the next evolution? A brand-new music festival will shake up St. Louis this summer. Bringing music, bourbon and barbecue to Forest Park, Evolution Festival will feature headliners Brandi Carlile, The Black Keys, The Black Crowes and Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals. The live music will be infused with a bold beverage experience focused on bourbon from Blood Oath and Withered Oak, among other distilleries. Concertgoers can also feast on elevated barbecue curated by Sugarfire Smoke House. The food will spotlight traditional recipes and cutting-edge trends from some of the most recognizable pitmasters in the Show-Me State, such as Beast Craft BBQ Co., Gobble Stop Smokehouse, Pappy’s Smokehouse and Vegan Deli & Butcher. Tickets to the two-day event are selling fast, so get yours today!

September 9 and 10

Music and heritage meet at this festival in the Grand Center Arts District. The third rendition of Music at the Intersection, a civic-led effort presented by Kranzberg Arts Foundation, will encompass multiple stages set up in streets and green spaces throughout the neighborhood. St. Louis-based musicians as well as national acts, spanning musical genres such as blues, jazz, soul, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop, will come together in this celebration of St. Louis’ musical, cultural and artistic legacy.

“St. Louis artists have birthed and stewarded these great genres, and now, the rest of the world gets to enjoy playing and listening to the music that we’ve been so instrumental in breaking,” Chris Hansen, executive director of Kranzberg Arts Foundation and chief producer of Music at the Intersection, says. “From the creation of rock ‘n’ roll with Johnnie Johnson and Chuck Berry to the evolution of jazz with Miles Davis to Henry Townsend – one of the only American artists to produce a blues record in all eight decades of his life – [St. Louis] has a really storied history; it’s an important part of American music but a lesser-told story. We’re not known for one sound like a lot of other manufactured cities; we’re really rooted in the foundation of American music. And we’re going to celebrate that all weekend long.”

As you plan your next vacation, let the sounds of summer guide you to St. Louis.