11 summer concerts worth the Atlanta heat

  • Adam Kincaid
  • for the AJC
11:50 a.m. Thursday, June 22, 2017 Things to Do in Atlanta

Summer is here and that means music festivals and shows at some of Atlanta’s best outdoor concert venues.

While some of this year's best lineups have already come and gone with springtime (like Shaky Knees and Shaky Beats) and despite Centennial Olympic Park being officially off the concert menu for the foreseeable future, all is not lost for Atlantans that love awesome outdoor music shows. 

Especially if you are in the mood for some throwback acts to start your summer, or an electronic dance music festival to close it out.

We’ve gather a list that varies from EDM to classic rock to Southern rap. Get your tickets now for the best outdoor concerts that’ll play in Atlanta this summer.

For the AJC
Chicago will perform with the Doobie Brothers on June 23, 2017, at Verizon Amphitheatre in Alpharetta. CONTRIBUTED BY WWW.DME-PHOTOS.COM

7:30 p.m. Friday, June 23 

If the Dave Matthews Band's recent stop in Atlanta made you realize just how long they've been at it, get this: Chicago is on tour for the 50th year in a row. They were just inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and now they're takin' it to the streets with the Doobie Brothers. Or, what remains of the Doobie Brothers - between the two bands, only six of the original sixteen members remain on tour. Tickets are here.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 27 

Early summer is a great time for fans of the classics, as John "can we still call him Cougar?" Mellencamp is back again, this time making it hurt so good at with his duet partner Carlene Carter, with whom he wrote several of the songs on his latest album, "Sad Clowns & Hillbillies". Also in tow is opening act Emmylou Harris. Plus, you'll get a copy of Mellencamp's album with your concert ticket. Tickets are here

David Barnes
March 25, 2017, Atlanta - Meek Mill performs during the V-103 Live Pop-Up Concert in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, March 25, 2017. (DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM)

8 p.m. Friday, July 21 

Meek Mill and Yo Gotti kick off their "Against All Odds" tour this summer. They'll be here, at Lakewood, on July 21, along with YFN Lucci and Moneybag. It's worth pointing out that attendees of Chris Brown's "Party Tour" show at Philips Arena in May got a sneak peek of the upcoming show, as both headliners were surprise guests onstage for that set. Tickets are here.

Contributed by Park Tavern

8 p.m. Sunday, July 23 

Sunday evenings at Park Tavern feature free music all summer, thanks to Radio 105.7 and Bowery South Presents. On July 23, you can catch the Howling Tongues pushing their particular brand of rock and roll into overdrive as the sun sets over Piedmont Park.

Sept 19, 2014 - ATLANTA - Guitar virtuoso, singer/songwriter John Mayer performing Day 1 of Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Friday.(Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Special to the AJC)

7 p.m. Thursday, August 10

In John Mayer's search for everything, he has managed to find another world tour (and the secret to hotel room temperature discrepancies). His set will feature a little bit of that same everything, including sets with his full band, his blues trio and acoustic Mayer. Opening act The Night Game, meanwile, have a decidedly Police vibe. Tickets are here.

8 p.m. Friday, August 11 

On the Great Lawn of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the best bluegrass band in the world will take the stage. Fresh off his hosting duties for A Prarie Home Companion, Punch Brothers frontman (and world-class mandolin player) Chris Thile and his talented supporting band mates on banjo, fiddle, guitar and bass will flatly impress all who seek their unique brand of progressive bluegrass. The band reinvents traditional southern string music in the best way possible. Tickets are here.

Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Akili-Casundria Ramsess
May 5, 2017 - ATLANTA: Fans greet Atlanta rapper Future, at Lakewood Amphitheater wi on Friday, May 5, 2017. (Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Eye of Ramsess Media)

Saturday, August 19 - 6:00 p.m.

Streetz 94.5 FM continues its tradition of misspelling the word "streets" wherever possible, while also continuing its rise up the Atlanta hip-hop influence chain. The station brings its culminating summer event to Lakewood Amphitheatre, featuring Young Thug, YFN Lucci, Young Dro, Jeezy, O.T. Genasis, Lil Uzi Vert, T.K Kravitz and Rich Homie Quan. The only concern? Will true hip-hop fans be able to decide between this event, and the competing Atlanta Braves post-game MC Hammer show at Suntrust Park? Only time will tell. Tickets are here.

Courtesy of Music Midtown/For the AJC
Music Midtown

September 16 & 17

The recent release of the Music Midtown lineup has been met with... mixed reactions. But whatever your thoughts are on the pop-heavy lineup, the iconic festival should have at least one act for you, right? Headliners include Bruno Mars, Mumford & Sons, Future and Blink 18. Tickets are here.

September 22 - 24

In the last couple of years, few festivals have seized the day (the last day of summer, in fact) quite like Imagine Festival. As EDM continues to gain in popularity, and as other festivals (CounterPoint, TomorrowWorld) leave Atlanta, Imagine attracts the crowds other concert series have struggled to keep. This year, it returns as a three-day camping festival at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, where it promises to grow with more art installations, pretty things that light up, performance art and definitely more headliners: the 2017 lineup includes Above & Beyond, Deadmau5 and Tiesto, among the several dozen stars (and rising stars) of EDM. Tickets are here.

8 p.m. Saturday, September 23 

Another way to end summer? How about good, clean fun from comedian Brian Regan? Nothing says back to school like watching your mouth, and Regan is telling his best jokes at Chastain Amphitheatre on September 23. He's the kind of comic who might do observational humor, like how silly it is to provide directions for Pop Tarts, or he might just do a joke about the awkward nature of a forced "Q and A" session at a Butterfly Pavilion. The bottom line is that Brian Regan is pretty heckin' funny, and just the kind of family fun the end of summer ordered. Tickets are here.

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