Why We Love L.A. Summers: Free Outdoor Indie, Folk, and Pop Concerts at Grand Performances

By Jessica McQueen

Summer has arrived, and we're ready to celebrate all that screams 'tis the season in Los Angeles. From sand to summit, from sips to snacks — we love L.A. summers.

Summer is a time for music festivals. L.A. is home to FYF Fest and HARD Summer. But for Angelenos who want an outdoor concert experience on a budget, California Plaza is the place to go.

Grand Performances and the Satellite will host the Lunchbox Series, a weekly line-up of free indie, folk, and pop concerts, at California Plaza at noon each Friday from July 6 to August 24.

The Entrance Band, a psychedelic rock trio, kicks the series off on July 6 with ‘60s grooves and upside-down guitar playing.

Parking is available in the 351 S. Olive California Plaza Lot, but attendees are highly recommended to find alternate parking spaces as daytime parking rates can rack up a $38 fee. The Grand Performances blog lists some cheaper parking alternatives as well as information about Metro and Angel’s Flight options.

California Plaza provides 800 seats, which are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis two hours before each performance. Visitors are allowed to bring their own beach and lawn chairs, providing they do not block walkways or wheelchair areas.

Food and drink (yes, those drinks, too) are permitted in the concert area, but pets, recording devices, and flash photography are not. If you forget to pack a picnic, there are many neighboring dining options, including Starry Kitchen, who will also validate your parking for the Olive lot, CPK, Panda Express, and Famima!!.

Here's the rest of the lineup of up-and-coming L.A. bands:

July 13: Thao With the Get Down Stay Down (alternative folk rock)

July 20: HAIM (Sisters playing folk/R&B/classic rock)

July 27: Lady Danville (folk pop trio)

August 3: The Belle Brigade (Siblings playing rock/pop/folk)

August 10: Ozokidz (Ozomatli’s Latin rhymes for Kids)

August 17: The Songs from No Place to Go (Ethan Lipton and his Orchestra perform songs from his musical theatre production No Place to Go)

August 24: He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister (folk/blues/rockabilly quintet)