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San Diego Summertime … and the music is LIVE!

Taylor Swift

With so many wonderful venues in San Diego, it’s no surprise that the city attracts a high level of musical talent. This summer features a great selection of music, ranging from pop to rock and introducing new, up-and-coming artists along with veterans who have performed for decades.

We’ve broken down some of the highlights by venue. Take a look at what’s in store for you this summer on some of San Diego’s best stages.

Sleep Train Amphitheatre

For one of the biggest concert experiences in San Diego, look no further than the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista. The outdoor venue accommodates 20,000 people and attracts some of the biggest names in music, including Sublime (July 16), Nicki Minaj (Aug. 13), Incubus and Deftones (Aug. 30) and Foo Fighters (Sept. 24).


Nicki Minaj

Humphreys by the Bay

Take advantage of San Diego’s perfect summer weather and enjoy a concert al fresco at Humphreys by the Bay. Located on Shelter Island, the outdoor venue holds 1,400 people and offers dining and hotel packages at the adjacent Humphreys Restaurant and Humphreys Half Moon Inn.

“There really is no place like Humphreys in San Diego,” said Bobbi Brieske, vice president of Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. “The setting is spectacular with the venue being surrounded by the bay and marina on one side and the lush tropical landscaping of the hotel on the other. Slight summer breeze, the twinkling lights of Point Loma, swaying palms and the setting sun all become part of a wonderfully unique concert experience that can only take place at Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay.”

There’s an eclectic mixture of acts scheduled to perform this summer, ranging from ’90s alternative rock group Smash Mouth June 28 to hip-hop artists Jurassic 5, July 8. Iconic LGBT-friendly artists, such as the Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge, take the stage at Humphreys July 5 and Aug. 9, respectively.

“The line-up is diverse and exciting, offering the opportunity to enjoy some of your favorite artists as well as introduce yourself to some newcomers,” said Brieske.

Melissa Etheridge

A few of the returning acts include Chris Isaak, who returns to Humphreys Aug. 10 for the 26th time since 1994, and Chicago, one of the most successful pop-rock bands in American history, graces the stage Sept. 30.


House of Blues

For a more intimate setting, try to catch a show at the House of Blues. The small venue located in downtown only holds 1,100 people and provides a great view of the stage from practically every angle.

“The energy in the room is electric,” said Casey Pukl, show marketing manager at House of Blues San Diego. “The sound system is always rockin’ and the crowd is so close to the stage that it sometimes feels like you’re in the band. Pair that with a cocktail from our bar and a few good friends and there’s nowhere I’d rather be.”

Third Eye Blind

Visit the House of Blues during Comic-Con week for a special line-up of comedy as well as the annual appearance of the Aquabats, a rock and punk band with superhero alter-egos that blend comedy and music. Comedian Brian Posehn is filming a live show for a future comedy special July 8 and the Aquabats are performing July 9.

Other notable acts at the House of Blues this summer include the rock band Tokio Hotel July 31 and Jake Miller, a pop artist who got his start by posting original songs on YouTube, Aug. 9.


Mainly Mozart

For classical music fans, there’s no better place to be than the Mainly Mozart Festival. The event stretches through to June 20 and features concerts by their Festival Orchestra, which includes concertmasters and top musicians from the nation’s most prestigious orchestras.

Mainly Mozart

“There’s nothing quite like this in San Diego,” said Teresa Monaco, communications coordinator for Mainly Mozart. “It’s a classical music marathon of sorts.”

With concerts being held several times a week, there are plenty of opportunities to catch a show. While the event is family friendly, children must be able to sit quietly for about two hours and it’s not recommended for kids under the age of six.

“This event is great for classical music lovers and those who have never been to a symphony concert,” said Monaco. “Our mission is to enrich the lives of today’s and tomorrow’s passionate music lovers by connecting them to the genius and innovation of Mozart and the Masters, to world-class musicians and music-making, and to each other.”

A second part of the event is the San Diego Makes Music concert June 14 at Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park. This free event encourages all musicians to play along from the audience.

“We have music available to print from our Web site and a sign-up form so we can know how many community musicians to expect,” explained Monaco. “It is a huge community engagement and we hope that musicians of all ages, instruments and skill levels come out of the woodwork to participate.”

No Doubt

Visit mainlymozart.org for more information about the individual concerts or to participate in San Diego Makes Music.

Balboa Theatre

As well as hosting the Mainly Mozart concerts the historic Balboa Theatre is home to some outstanding live music including LGBT activist Tyler Oakley June 27 and the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, July 26 and 27.


Del Mar Fairgrounds

Tyler Oakley

The Del Mar Fairgrounds, currently host to The San Diego County Fair which continues through July 5, hosts a different musical act in the grandstands each night of the fair. While many of the acts offer a choice of free admission for unreserved seats or purchasing a ticket for a reserved seat, a few of the shows require tickets for all seats.

Some of the notable acts coming to the fair this year include singer-songwriters Colbie Caillat (June 13) and Christina Perri (June 17), San Diego’s native alternative rock band Switchfoot (June 19) and legendary rock group Kansas (July 3).

In September the Fairgrounds will host the three-day Kaboo Music Festival (Sept. 18-20) with headliners including No Doubt, The Killers and the Zac Brown Band.


Petco Park and Qualcomm Stadium

One Direction

Taylor Swift brings her 1989 World Tour to Petco Park Aug. 29. The seven-time Grammy Award winner will feature hits from her 1989 album, including Blank Space and Shake It Off.

Qualcomm will host One Direction July 9 and the Warped Tour 2015, which includes Born Cages, Being As An Ocean and more Aug. 5.


The region’s casinos are hosting some incredible music acts this summer as well. Check out Kenny Rogers (Aug. 1) and Boyz II Men (Sept. 11) at Pechanga Resort and Casino, Lonestar (July 9) and Kansas (Sept. 11) at Casino Pauma, Blood Sweat & Tears (Aug. 6) and The Commodores (Aug. 12) at Sycuan Casino Showcase Theatre and Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional (July 18) at Harrah’s Resort Southern California.





This is just a small taste of the live music San Diego and the surrounding area has to offer this summer, so get out there and enjoy music options that offer something for everyone. In summertime in San Diego the living may be easy but the music is definitely LIVE!

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Posted by on Jun 11, 2015. Filed under Bottom Highlights, Entertainment Feature, Section 4A. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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