This week’s roundup is all about live music you can enjoy outdoors. Now that sunset doesn’t happen until past 8 p.m., it is the perfect time to take advantage of our beautiful summer nights. It doesn’t matter where you are in Oakland; there’s some live music happening this weekend. 

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Jack London Square Summer Music Series

The Jazzaholics featuring Fred Ross. Credit: Jack London Square

Summer is the perfect time to stroll around the waterfront after having dinner and watching the sunset. Since June, the folks at Jack London Square have put together a three-month live music calendar every Friday night. No need to pre-register, no need to sign up for tickets. Stop by restaurant row near Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine and enjoy the weekly rotation of musical guests. This Friday, the Jazzcent Trio, led by singer Judy Padilla, will set the tone to kick off your long weekend. 

Friday, July 1, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., free to attend, restaurant row, 472 Water St.

Town Nights

Earlier this year, the City of Oakland’s Department of Violence Prevention launched a new initiative to incentivize the community to gather in neighborhoods across Oakland with events at parks, schools, and rec centers. All events take place simultaneously on Friday nights. Town Nights has two more weekends where families can check out specific events close to where they live. The events include kid-friendly activities, live music, resources, raffle prizes, and even COVID-19 testing and vaccination. 

Friday, July 1 and 8, and 15 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., see website for specific locations.

Music in the Park mini-concert series at Redwood Heights Park

Redwood Heights Park, nestled right on highway 13, is adding to the list of places where you can catch live music every Friday in July. Check out Oakland-based band Radio Afro-Funk, performing this Friday. Grab a blanket, lawn chairs, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages and head over to the park. 

Friday, July 1, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., register online, donation $5-$10 per family, 3883 Aliso Ave. 

Mosswood Meltdown

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the popular Mosswood Meltdown two-day festival (previously known as Burger Boogaloo) is finally touching ground once more in Oakland. As it is every year, the event is hosted by artist and filmmaker John Waters. The festival team is prioritizing the well-being of attendees; its website has a whole safe space policy section. In addition, they request that attendees present either proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test within 48 hours before the event’s start date. If you are ready to venture into large music festival territory, this is one not to miss.

Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., $21-$249, Mosswood Park, 3612 Webster St. 

Summer Sounds Concert Series

A concert at the City Center Plaza stage in 2019. Credit: Oakland City Center

If you happen to be in downtown Oakland on Wednesdays, stop by City Center Plaza on 13th Street and Broadway, just steps away from the 12th Street BART Station. Every Wednesday until August 31, a live band will take the plaza’s stage to entertain workers. Want a fun lunch break? This is the place. 

Every Wednesday, 12 p.m., free, City Center Plaza, 12th Street, and Broadway

Azucena Rasilla is a bilingual journalist from East Oakland reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.