While Reno has plenty of great music to offer year-round, there tends to be more free shows in the summer, and this year is no exception. Not only is Artown in full swing but several other locations around town are offering free shows.
Let's start with Artown. It runs through July 31. You can get a cultural taste of music, art, dance, and more, along with workshops for kids and adults. You can view the entire calendar of events here. On each day of Artown, the music generally begins around 4 p.m. and goes until 11 p.m. or later. Many of the shows are free and there will be all types of music, from jazz to bluegrass. On Mondays, head over to Wild River Grille for their Dinner Concert Series — each week, there will be a different genre of music performed on the patio. You also won't want to miss Blues Jam Wednesdays at the Sands Regency — cool off in the pool and dance to some excellent live music. View the full musical lineup.
Beginning in July, the University of Nevada, Reno's 365 Learning department is kicking off their Watermelon Concert series on the quad. Bring a picnic dinner and a blanket to enjoy some great music under the stars. On July 8, check out The Novelists. On July 15, HomeMade Jam will have you dancing in the grass. July 22 brings Guitar Woody & The Boilers to the quad, followed by JellyBread on July 29. Wrapping things up are Tim Snider and Sound Society on Aug. 5 and Whitney Myer on Aug. 12. Showtime is 6 p.m. and all shows are free, open to the public, and all ages.
The Sands Regency not only offers a weekly farmers market, but there's always a great new band to check out during the market. On July 2, Forrest Day and his motley band of friends take the stage with their alt pop tunes. Get your rock on July 9 with San Diego-based quintet Brothers Gow. Their strong vocal harmonies and guitar driven melodies are a hit among all of their fans — you'll be added to the fan base quickly once you see them perform. On July 15, Reno/Tahoe's very own The Electric Jimmy's will be performing a tribute to the Grateful Dead's albums Reckoning and American Beauty. If you love bluesy/folksy music, you'll love theRumpke Mountain Boys. The string quartet performs a mix of original songs and covers some of the best classics out there. From Missoula, Mon., the Lil' Smokies will be performing on July 30. Their progressive bluegrass sound will have you swaying to the beat and wishing you could play the fiddle like band member Jesse Brown does.
The Terrace at the Peppermill has a range of free music nearly every night. LA-based Rose's Pawn Shop will be taking the stage July 4th weekend with their unique blend of bluegrass and country. Get to know Kyle Williams and his soulful acoustic pop from July 6-8. Mustered Courage, a band that bridges the gap between traditional bluegrass and modern roots, is coming to Reno all the way from Australia to perform July 9-11. Jammal Tarkington and Ryan Hall broke off from Keyser Soze to form Verbal Kint and will be performing an acoustic set July 12-15. It's a season of country music in Reno and The Whiskey Gentry, an Atlanta-based band, will be performing their original country/bluegrass tunes July 16-18. From July 19-22, Chris Williams Presents will be performing music from a variety of different artists so you'll never see the same performance twice. Modern jazz musicians, Bogg Jazz Quintet, will be putting their own twist on modern jazz and classic standards from July 26-29. Wrap up July with the Holy Ghost Tent Revival, a guitar-driven hard rock band, from July 30-Aug. 1.
Head to the Silver Baron Lounge at the Silver Legacy Tues.-Sun. to see some of Reno's best talent. Performing now is Jaime Rollins, a former Star Search champion. Rollins does everything from classical to rock and roll and everything in between. DJ MoFunk keeps the hits and music coming every other weekend — you'll be dancing 'til dawn when MoFunk takes the stage.