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Indy Parks Announces 50 Free (or Cheap) Summer Concerts

I’m kicking myself for not buying a perfect Cynthia Rowley insulated picnic basket at T.J. Maxx this weekend — especially now that Indy Parks has released its summer concert schedule. The list conjures tantalizing visions of carefree summer nights: no parking hassles and no TicketMaster fees, just lounging in the grass as tunes waft through the warm air. Bring it on!

Of particular interest this summer: the “Listen Local” series at Broad Ripple Park on Friday nights. These six shows feature original music from some of Indy’s breakout bands, and though they aren’t free, you can simply “pay what you wish,” and all proceeds benefit the Indy Parks Foundation. Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s kicks things off on May 24. Next up, on June 14, is The Art Adams Band, one of the few original rockabilly artists from the 1950s still performing. We Are Hex, a thrash-rock group that has recorded on Jack White’s Third Man label, takes the stage on June 28. See clips of each group below. The other three “Listen Local” slots have yet to be announced.

The rest of the park concerts — 50 of them — are free, and they offer a great chance to be spontaneous and check out something new. The shows are organized into 11 series. Blues, jazz, orchestral, alternative, country, indie, folk — it’s all here. And there’s a performance scheduled nearly every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this summer. So buy that Cynthia Rowley picnic basket. You’ll use it!

See the complete Indy Parks summer concert schedule.

Clips of “Listen Local” artists:

Fernandez began writing for Indianapolis Monthly in 1995 while studying journalism at Indiana University. One of her freelance assignments required her to join a women's full-tackle football team for a season. She joined the staff in 2005 to edit IM's ancillary publications, including Indianapolis Monthly Home. In 2011, she became a senior editor responsible for the Circle City section as well as coverage of shopping, homes, and design-related topics. Now the director of editorial operations, she lives in Garfield Park.