Category Archives: Lifestyle

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.

It’s the free concerts lifestyle

For at least the past five years, Deb and I have been regulars at the Whitaker Music Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden. We also became fans of Twilight Tuesdays at the Missouri History Museum. We attend other events including ones sponsored by the Chesterfield of Commerce, the City of Des Peres, the City of Olivette and other communities.

The attraction for us is not that the concerts are free, or that the music particularly appeals to us. We often attend shows when we think we might not be crazy about the featured artist or genre. What really draws us out of our air conditioned homes in the heat of summer is the experience of relaxing with friends, family and strangers, drinking a glass of wine, enjoying a simple meal, and for me, taking photos.

Our love for attending free concerts is so well-known among our friends and family that they expect us to go and often ask us if we enjoyed the show. More than a few have commented about how often we get out. Here’s a sampling from Facebook:

Bill Bunkers:

So what’s with all the nightly music concerts – are you guys doing a tour of every park in the StL area? Looks like an awful lot of fun and a great way to live.

Randy Mayfield:

Dude, you are hilarious. You’re at a concert or “in the park” event almost every night. What a life! Have fun!

Scott Keymer:

You and Deb have much more interesting lives than we do. Where do you find out about all the cool events you two attend?

All this personal pleasure and recognition has inspired us to create this website and it’s companion Facebook page. It’s been a lot of hard work building the site, doing the research, loading up the calendar, and processing the photographs, but it’s a labor of love. We hope you enjoy it, but more importantly, we hope to see you out and about at Free Concerts in St. Louis.

We want this site to be a community affair, so please offer your suggestions and ideas, and most of all, if you know of any concerts we missed, please let us know. Use the form on our Contact page.

Sure, there are lots of good sources of information about free concerts in St. Louis. Just do a Google search for “free concerts in St. Louis” and you’ll find pages full of websites that list events in various ways, all including links to other websites. Most of these sites organize the links in a sensible way. Some are easy to browse. Others, not so much.

In our next post we’ll tell you about the inspiration behind this site. This post is about how we’re trying to recreate the wheel but add bells and whistles that will make it more useful and easier to integrate into your active lifestyle.

First off, we use WordPress, the fastest way to create exceptional web experiences (let us know if you have any suggestions of how we could make this one better). We wanted to offer a calendar interface that allows you to browse the way that best suites you; by the month or the week, or by categories; venue, sponsor, genre and more. 

It’s not about the easy-to-browse calendar. No. It’s more about what makes it better than all the rest. Any site can have a listing, an aggregator of information. Our site is about community, a community of people who like to get out and take advantage of the rich culture we have in St. Louis of artists, parks, venues, generous sponsors and people like us.

And who are we, the people who are not afraid to venture out of our urban or suburban residences, into the heat, humidity and threat of rain to enjoy the music—and more importantly—the community characterized by people toting lawn chairs and picnic baskets.