Mountain music: A Guide to Free Concerts in the Wood River Valley

By Hayden Seder

Summer in the Sun Valley area can’t be beat; the mountains are home to some of the best hiking, camping, and mountain biking in the state.

The music scene in the Wood River Valley is worth taking note of, too.

And in addition to great concert lineups, there is a plethora of free music listening opportunities in Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue the whole summer long.

Check out our summer lineup for events like Ketch’em Alive, Jazz in the Park, and the famous Sun Valley Summer Symphony.

Ketch’em Alive

Perhaps the best-known of Ketchum’s free music events, Ketch’em Alive is a concert series held Tuesdays during summer from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Forest Service Park in downtown Ketchum. There is food and drink for sale although picnicking is common and encouraged and dancing is a must. This year’s season will run from June 18 to August 13 and includes a lineup of genres from rock to worldbeat to folk.

“Ketch’em Alive weekly concerts are a great opportunity for out-of-town visitors to observe and mingle with the community of Ketchum locals, while enjoying music in the shadow of Bald Mountain at ideal summer temperatures,” said Will Caldwell, co-founder of Ketch’em Alive.

Jazz in the Park

Run by the same folks as Ketch’em Alive, Jazz in the Park is another free music series taking place Sundays from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ketchum Rotary Park. Many of Idaho’s best jazz musicians play this fun event and picnicking on the grass is encouraged. This year’s season will run from June 23 to July 28.

Wicked Wednesdays

The Hailey restaurant’s concerts kick off at 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday with a local band. The main act then plays until dusk. Proceeds from beer and raffle sales will go to a different charity each Wednesday.

Warfield Concerts on the Corner Summer Music Series

On Sunday nights (and select Fridays) through the summer, enjoy local musicians as you sip a cocktail or beer on the rooftop deck, 8 to 11 p.m., June 23 to September 8.

Mahoney’s Bar & Grill Summer Family Concert Series

Mahoney’s Bar & Grill in Bellevue will run their free family concert series this summer on the deck, with remaining concerts June 13 to September 1. Shows start at 6:30 p.m. and run until 10 p.m.

Hotel Ketchum Thursdays in the Backyard

On Thursday evenings throughout September, The Backyard at Hotel Ketchum has live music, craft cocktails, yard games, and food specials, everything you need for a perfect evening at your fingertips. Bring your pups and your pals.

Sun Valley Summer Symphony

The Sun Valley Summer Symphony will hold their annual free summer concert series July 29 through August 22. These are extraordinary, admission-free performances that take place in a spectacular setting at the Sun Valley Pavilion and offer something for everyone whether it’s Mozart and Bach masterpieces for classical music aficionados or music from outer space for the family.

This summer the festival celebrates two milestones: 35 seasons of music making as well as 25 years under the direction of Music Director Alasdair Neale. This season will feature three guest artists in residence, an exploration of chamber orchestra masterpieces, evenings of French composers and Gershwin favorites, family-friendly performances, and stirring symphonic works, including Mahler’s mighty Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection.” All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m.

“For this 35th anniversary season, I’m delighted to be able to bring so many outstanding guest artists to Sun Valley for our audiences,” said Neale. “I’m especially grateful that they will spend time here, mingling with our patrons and with students in our Music Institute programs.

Additionally, 30-minute pre-concert chats will offer insight to each night’s concert 45 minutes before the performance on the lawn next to the Paver Bar. And a kids’ music tent at the back of the Pavilion lawn during performances provides an area for children ages 4 to 8 to explore music with local music educator Lisa Pettit for free.

For a complete lineup of bands for free Wood River Valley concerts, go to our website: idahopress.com.

Ketch ‘Em Alive{/span}

June 18: Pandas and People

June 25: Tumbling Dice

July 2: Swagger

July 9: Scott Pemberton Band

July 16: Kuinka

July 23: Pixie and the Partygrass Boys

July 30: Gene Avaro Band

August 6: Lukewarm

August 13: The Heaters

Jazz in the Park{/span}

June 23: Alan Pennay and friends

June 30: Frim Fram Four

July 7: Nicole Christensen and friends

July 14: Darynn Dean

July 21: Mitchell-Gregory Project

July 28: Idaho Falls Big Band

Wicked Wednesdays{/span}

June 19: Power Steering

June 26: Shop Dog

July 3: Black Wolf

July 10: Jukebox Widow Makers

July 17: Doughaus

July 24: Red Light Challenge

July 31: Kim Stocking Band

August 7: Tumbling Dice

August 14: Pony Up

Warfield Concerts on the Corner Summer Music Series{/span}

June 23: Josh Kelly Band

June 29: Bread & Circus

June 30: High Mountain Heard

July 5: The Pisten Bullys

July 7: Army of Pines

July 14: Pony Up

July 21: Unofficial: Secuestrado

July 28: The Pisten Bullys

August 2: Strange Hotels

August 4: Army of Pines

August 11: Shop Dog — Pt. 1

August 18: WARFIELD CLOSED

August 25: Bloom from Bread & Circus

September 1: Shop Dog — Pt. 2

September 8: Hurdy Gurdy Girls

Mahoney’s Bar & Grill Summer Family Concert Series{/span}

June 13: Kip Attaway

June 20: Tylor & the Train Robbers

June 27: Neckid Rednecks

July 4: Like a Rocket

July 11: Tumbling Dice

July 18: Bread & Circus

July 25: Dustin Schaeffer & Band

August 1: Tony Holiday Band

August 8: Pony Up

August 15: McKenna Faith

August 22: George DeVore

August 29: The Kim Stocking Band

September 1: Sequestrado

Hotel Ketchum Thursdays in the Backyard

Summer lineup TBD.

Sun Valley Summer Symphony{/span}

July 29: Mozart and Bach Violin Masterpieces

July 30: The 20th Century Chamber Orchestra

August 1: Thibaudet and Capuçon in Recital

August 2: An Evening with Richard Strauss

August 4: Thibaudet Plays Gershwin

August 5: A French Evening with Gautier Capuçon

August 7: Beethoven’s 7th

August 8: Beethoven and Shostakovich Quartets

August 10: Family Concert: Kids’ Choice — 5 Minutes That Made Me Love Classical Music

August 13: Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony

August 14: Mason Bates and Mozart

August 17: Pops Night: The Music of George Gershwin

August 18: Music Inspired by Outer Space

August 19: Musicians’ Choice Chamber Music

August 22: Mahler’s 2nd Symphony

Reposted from Idaho Press

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