Travel Blog

2022 Free Summer Movies and Concerts

Enjoy toe tapping music and box office hits this summer in Santa Cruz County! Free concerts and movies by the beach, music in the park, and more, are waiting to take a spot on your summer schedule! The whole family will love these events, so get your calendar out and start planning your summer fun in Santa Cruz County!

CAPITOLA TWILIGHT CONCERT SERIES

Popular local bands rouse fun-loving crowds on Wednesday evenings in the Capitola Village. The free Twilight Concert Series features everything from classic rock to funk to dance hits and Latin fusion. All concerts begin at 6pm and take place at the Esplanade bandstand with ocean views in the picturesque Capitola Village. Enjoy the performance from your own low-back chair on the beach or grab an outside table at one of the village restaurants. 

  • June 29, 2022: John Micharl Band (Classic Rock)
  • July 6, 2022: Mike Hammar & The Nails (Contemporary Blues)
  • July 13, 2022: The Joint Chiefs Band (R&B, Funk & Soul)
  • July 20, 2022: Live Again (Soul & Americana)
  • July 27, 2022: Santa Cruz Latin Collective (Salsa & Latin)
  • August 3, 2022: Billy Martini Show (Dance Hits of the 70’s)
  • August 10, 2022: Jive Machine (Funk, Dance & Rock)
  • August 17, 2022: Dirty Cello (Blues & Rock)
  • August 24, 2022: B-Movie Kings (Rock & Dance)
  • August 31, 2022: Digbeats (Classic Rock)

CAPITOLA MOVIES AT THE BEACH

Capitola wraps up summer with a few Fridays of free family movies at Esplanade Park. Bring a picnic dinner or dine locally at area restaurants. Low back chairs, blankets and jackets recommended. No alcohol or dogs on the beach.

  • Friday, August 26, 2022: Jungle Cruise
  • Friday, September 2, 2022: Sing 2

CAPITOLA SUNDAY ART & MUSIC AT THE BEACH 2022

Live music, art, and a beautiful setting overlooking the Monterey Bay, are neatly packaged for a leisurely summer afternoon in Capitola Village. The Sunday Art & Music at the Beach series features local artists from 11am to 5pm and free live music on the Esplanade Park stage from 2-4pm. Browse quality artwork including painting, photography, sculpture, jewelry and mixed media from local artists. This family friendly event is free and open to the public, and is presented by the Capitola Art & Cultural Commission​.

  • June 26, 2022
  • July 10, 2022
  • July 31, 2022
  • August 14, 2022

LIVE MUSIC ON THE COLONNADE AT THE SANTA CRUZ BEACH BOARDWALK

Enjoy free live music on Thursdays throughout the summer at the Beach Boardwalk’s Colonnade Stage; located beach-side of Neptune’s Kingdom. Rock out to Bay Area bands while you enjoy a variety of Boardwalk treats. Colonnade Deck picnic table seating is very limited and first-come-first-served. There will be a dance area in front of the stage. Concerts are from 8:30pm – 10pm every Thursday from June 16 – August 11, 2022. See the band lineup below:

  • June 30, 2022: The Deadlines
  • July 7, 2022: Man in Black
  • July 14, 2022: Brass Magic
  • July 21, 2022: Pacific Roots
  • July 28, 2022: 4to Prestigio
  • August 4, 2022: Coffee Zombie Collective
  • August 11, 2022: The Joint Cheifs

FREE MOVIES AT THE BEACH ON THE COLONNADE AT THE SANTA CRUZ BEACH BOARDWALK

There’s nothing like watching your favorite movies right on the beach with the smell of kettle corn, corn dogs, and saltwater taffy filling the air! The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is welcoming back Movies on the Beach in front of the Colonnade near Neptune’s Kingdom. Bring the family and your blanket or low-back chair. Movies at the Beach are on Fridays beginning at 9pm from June 17 – August 12, 2022, with an additional bonus date on October 29, 2022. See the full movie lineup below:

  • June 17, 2022: The Goonies
  • June 24, 2022: 50 First Dates
  • July 1, 2022: Sing 2
  • July 8, 2022: Little Shop of Horrors
  • July 15, 2022: The Sandlot
  • July 22, 2022: Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)
  • July 29, 2022: Ironman
  • August 5, 2022: Trolls
  • August 12, 2022: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • October 29, 2022: The Lost Boys

MUSIC IN THE PLAZA

Presented by the City of Watsonville, Music in the Plaza Concert Series! The summer outdoor Music in the Plaza concert series is back and will feature a variety of bands to help you get your groove on! Grab a bite at our downtown restaurants and join us for the music from 6pm – 8pm.

  • July 1, 2022: Tribute to Selena with Alexxa Sings and Grupo Impacto 5
  • July 15, 2022: Banda Zyrys
  • August 5, 2022: Chicano All Stars
  • August 19, 2022: Vintage Point Band
  • September 2, 2022: Banda Guerreros
  • September 16, 2022: TBD, partnership with Watsonville Film Festival
  • October 28, 2022: Dia de los Muertos Performances & Film Screening with Watsonville Film Festival 

MOVIE NIGHTS IN THE PLAZA

In celebration of Parks Make Life Better Month in July, Watsonville is hosting free Movie Nights in the Plaza! Showings begin at dusk; see dates and movie schedule below:

  • July 16, 2022: Encanto
  • July 23, 2022: The Mitchells vs the Machines
  • July 29, 2022: Luca

MUSIC AT SKYPARK

The “Music at Skypark” concert series in Scotts Valley returns for its 13th season on the last Sundays of August and September! Kiwanis and local businesses will offer food, wine, beer and other concessions for sale. Concerts run from 2:30 to 6:00.

  • Sunday, August 28, 2022: Arena: 2:30pm – 4pm; Wolf Jett: 4:30pm – 6pm
  • Sunday, September 25, 2022: Alex Lucero and Live Again: 2:30pm – 4pm; Sambada: 4:30pm – 6pm

MIDTOWN FRIDAYS SUMMER BLOCK PARTY

Midtown Fridays are back this season! The summer series of free events kick-off on Friday, June 3, and will feature the talents of 25 local bands. In addition to live music, event goers will enjoy a selection of local eats as well as the opportunity to check out the work of local artists and vendors. Midtown Friday Summer Block Parties are located at Midtown Square, 1111 Soquel Ave, in Santa Cruz and begin at 5pm. Below is the summer live music lineup:

  • July 1 – Dylan Rose Band (Opening – Cement Ship)
  • July 8 – Dub Souljah
  • July 15 – Superblume (Opening – Tatiana and the Treetop Band)
  • July 29 – Otilia Donaire (Opening – Geoff Weers, Lead singer of The Expendables)
  • Aug. 5 – Fuse (Opening – John Michael sings Sinatra)
  • Aug. 12 – Pacific Roots (Opening – The Dead Kampers)
  • Aug. 19 – John Michael Van Halen Tribute Band
  • Aug. 26 – Locomotive Breath
  • Sept. 2 – The Joint Chiefs
  • Sept. 9 – Papiba & Friends
  • Sept. 16 – Anthony Arya Band
  • Sept. 23 – Sweet Voodoo
  • Sept. 30 – The Grand Finale

THURSDAY NIGHT BEACH PARTIES AT THE CROW’S NEST

Each Summer on Thursday evenings the Crow’s Nest offers its Summer Beach Party series with fun and funky live entertainment, right on the beach! The party starts at 5:30 pm each week and goes until sunset. With live entertainment on the outdoor beach stage, and Crow’s Nest’s famous BBQ and outdoor bar, beach parties are a unique and popular event. Families are welcome, and there is no admission charge! See the band lineup on the Crow’s Nest website or take a look below and start planning:

  • June 30, 2022: Matt Masih & the Messengers / The Bassment
  • July 7, 2022: The Cruzers / Sasha’s Money
  • July 14, 2022: Sambada / Izzy & The Haze
  • July 21, 2022: The Leftovers / Skypark
  • July 28, 2022: Harry & The Hitman / The Joint Cheifs
  • August 4, 2022: Xtra Large / Big Bad Wolf
  • August 11, 2022: The Houserockers / Spun
  • August 18, 2022: Ancestree / Santa Cruda
  • August 25, 2022: Live Again / Hall Pass
  • September 1, 2022: Sambada / Sweet Voodoo

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