Category Archives: Insight

Help spread the good word about Free Concerts

Vince Martin at Lafayette Park image2015 is the fourth year for Free Concerts St. Louis. This calendar website is arguably the best source for free events that feature music at concerts, fairs, and festivals. Our commitment is to serve the casual entertainment audience which includes organizers, sponsors, vendors, bands, and of course, the fans.

Here are five easy ways to help share these listings and get more people to come out and enjoy the music.

1. Share page links via email or text message

We bet you have fun-loving friends and family who don’t know about Do them a favor by copying the website address and sending it to them in an email or text message.

2. Share via word of mouth

We named this website because it describes what it is — a website featuring Free Concerts in St. Louis. Why not drop our name in casual conversation? If you can’t remember the web link — — tell them to just Google “free concerts st. louis” and we’ll come up at or near top of page one of the search results.

3. Share on Social Media

Free Concerts St. Louis Sharing Buttons imageWe make it easy to share any event or page to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest page. Click the buttons at the bottom of the content and follow the prompts.

4. Follow us on Social Media

Free Concerts St. Louis Social Media Sharing buttons imageThe next best thing to the community that exists at a free event is the virtual community enabled by social media. We love it when people share and comment about their free concert experiences on their and our social media pages. Click the buttons the top of our website to link directly to the social media accounts we maintain.

5. Embed our calendar on your website

Do you own a website? Would you like to display our event calendar on it? Use the email form on our Contact page to let us know you’re interested. We’ll get back to you right away to tell you how.

Tim Callihan is the drummer and manager of Spectrum, one of St. Louis’ premier private events bands. Tim consented to an interview to promote the June 25 performance of his band at Faust Park hosted by the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce.

Tim Callihan part 1

Tim Callihan part 2

Video shot and produced by Romondo Davis of

Website Aims To Build Music-Loving Community

Free Concerts on Fox 3 St. Louis imageWe made it to the St. Louis TV airwaves once again thanks to the efforts of media relations consultant Priscilla Visintine of Carden Group Communications.

This time we were featured on the Fox 2 News morning show on Sunday, June 23. Andy Banker and Angela Hutti did a stellar job of asking the right questions; they seemed to have a clear understanding of our effort to promote casual entertainment in this community.

If you missed our previous TV appearance, check out Christine Buck’s interview on KPLR11’s June 6th noon newscast. is dedicated to the enjoyment of the rich musical heritage freely available in the St. Louis, Missouri area. We focus on delivering the best, most comprehensive calendar of upcoming events, photos of bands, recipe suggestions for the perfect free concert picnic basket, and more.

We are happy you found us and we welcome you to our community. Please bookmark and share this site, and then visit us regularly for the latest in free concert info. We’d love to hear from you if you have questions, corrections, or suggestions via our contact page. If you have an event that is not included on our calendar or Fairs and Festivals page, please let us know.

We also value your participation through our Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites shown at the top of this page.

Please subscribe to our weekly free concerts update newsletter using the form at the right.

St. Louis concert-goers owe the sponsors a huge vote of thanks

I think it’s safe to say that promoting local art is a good thing. Art is how many of us unwind, a catalyst for our appreciation of beauty. Art is an attempt to reach into the cosmos of the abstract and connect to a deep and inset part of our being. Without art, the world is tasteless and bland. This is true of all forms of creativity as well: painting, writing, sculpting, etc.

But, the downfall of many would-be professional artists is the fact that local artistry is far less than lucrative. Between rent checks and student loans and groceries, artists often struggle to get by. This is especially true of musicians. There are many individuals and bands that are fighting to be able to continue making their music and sharing it with an eager public. Music is a part of all of our lives, and without it, life would be pretty boring.

It’s a real blessing, then, when companies and organizations step in and help. The sponsorship efforts of many local businesses ensure that music will continue to be made and shared for as long as there is an audience to hear it. I think it’s imperative that we stand with these sponsoring entities by thanking them for their sponsorship with our own patronage. Sponsoring local music is a great act of provision and is well deserving of our gratitude. By patronizing these establishments, we can encourage business to continue in their sponsorship of local arts for a long time to come.

Not sure what shows to attend in 2013? Free Concerts St. Louis’ calendar is a great resource.

I have a certain affinity for local music. As an artist myself, I began playing shows when I was in high school, and quickly realized that there was something very sweet about the setting of a concert venue. It’s an atmosphere of community, where we can gather and spend time with one another; eating, drinking, conversing. I love the atmosphere that local music provides.

However, for me, two problems quickly arise. The first is the overwhelming number of people trying to make music on the local level. There are so many bands out there, spanning so many genres and sub-genres and genre fusions. The amount of time that it would take to explore these bands would be more than anyone can spare. I also need direction. Choosing which band to go see on Friday night can go humorously awry if and when that band you’ve never heard of turns out to be some high school kid poorly playing three chords and crying on stage, overcome by their unbridled emotion (if I had a nickel for every time that happened…) With the loss of precious time being a considerable concern, the pursuit of local music can be daunting.

The second problem for me is that concerts cost money. This goes without saying, but the cost of pursuing local music has been burdensome for me for quite some time. With local venues charging anywhere from $10-25 a show, and with many of us purchasing admission for ourselves and a date, the cost compiles quickly. I’ve oftentimes had to choose between two shows in a weekend, simply because I couldn’t justify paying for them. The looming cost can drive prospective concert-goers away pretty quickly.

Luckily, here in St. Louis there is some great local music being made available through free concert venues on a fairly regular basis. It’s somewhat of a phenomenon that I haven’t experienced in the other cities I have lived in. These venues typically host vetted and experienced local musicians that are masters at their crafts. Concert-goers can develop a better understanding of their palate, become acquainted with a wide variety of local artists, and not have to commit a dime to the “treasure hunt” that is concert-going. It’s an ideal situation, and luckily, we here in St. Louis have world class local talent available to us for free. I say we take advantage.

Six months of the year—May through October—St. Louis is home to hundreds of outdoor shows of music in styles and genres that include reggae, country, oldies, swing, Sousa marches and more.

St. Louis is rich with outdoor venues that range from natural amphitheaters like the long, narrow slope of Bluebird Park in Ellisville and the panoramic landscape of Faust Park in Chesterfield to vintage business district venues like Main Street in St. Charles and North Gore Avenue in Webster Groves. (I love the acoustics of contained spaces created by two story buildings lining these venues.) Multi-purpose locations like the gazebo in Tower Grove park and the Station Plaza in Kirkwood, (there’s nothing like witnessing a freight train rumbling by behind the stage there), also have unique appeal and charm.

In a conversation I had recently with my friend and branding specialist Buzz Phelan—creator of the Free Concerts St. Louis logo—the idea of a tag line came up. When I launched this site I plugged in a placeholder that addressed one of our motivations for FCSTL; “Get out and enjoy yourself.” Yes, that does promote the idea that this outdoor concert season must be enjoyed. It comes from the anti-stay-at-home culture of our empty nest. With the choice between staying home and watching TV and being entertained with live music while communing with the hundreds of like-minded folks who just want to get out, we choose getting out.

However, we still haven’t settled on a tag line. Deb and I have been hashing about a tag line centered around the concept of freedom. Freedom as it relates to free outdoor concerts is begging for a blog post of its own. Please stand by.

Hudson Harkins and me during a break at the Jungle Boogie performance at the St. Louis Zoo on July 20, 2012

The original idea of Free Concerts St. Louis was to provide a service to fun-loving and adventurous St. Louisans who wanted to know where to find free, quality musical entertainment. We’ve matured in the short time we’ve been doing this into a service that also caters to the promotional need of the artists and bands.

Here’s a list of why artists love us:

  • We help people find free concerts: Free Concerts St. Louis is another place—in addition to the artist’s website, Facebook page and websites that list free concerts—for people to discover performances. I have plenty of stories about how I discovered bands I never even heard of, and for free! Before this summer I had never heard Vince Martin, Angie Johnson, Ryan Spearman, Abbey Road Warriors… You get the idea.
  • We’re promoters: We not only promote the artist, helping them build their following and success, but we also promote the idea of people getting out, off the couch, giving them an excellent alternative to the vast wasteland that is television. We encourage people to get out to enjoy what artists do best—perform.
  • We help the sponsors: The good people who sponsor free concerts—artists get paid, you know—love to know they are getting a considerable return of investment by having a capacity crowd.
  • We provide more inbound links: I’m a search engine optimization guy. That means I highly value the benefit of search traffic to my website. We put links to the artist website on every event page and our media gallery page. The fact is that the more sites you have linking to your site, the higher your search engine rankings. If we can help a band list higher on Google, Bing, Yahoo, I feel like we’ve added value to the relationship.
  • We create media: Yes, Deb and I love going to concerts. She loves relaxing and enjoying the music, the environment, and the community. I love all that, but even more, I love to shoot photos and video of the performers and the people enjoying the music. We create and post photos and videos on our website, Flickr and on YouTube, and we provide that content to the the artists, encouraging them to link to that media and use it for their own benefit.
  • We are a resource to artists: When we go to shows we try to meet the artists, introducing ourselves as a partner going forward, building a relationship of on-going mutual benefit. We offer a partnership where we trade free promotion for upcoming concerts and a stronger concert-going community and they provide content and experiences we can share with that community. Win-win.

Artists should love us because we’re a free service that promotes the music. If you’re an artist, we encourage you to contact us to schedule a video interview.