Top summer music spots


Nikola Duza via Unsplash

Listening to live music at night is a great way to get outdoors during the warm summer months.

Keval Wagher, Copy Editor

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy live music with your friends and family. The Quad Cities is home to a rich musical heritage, and supporting live music this summer is a great way to further that tradition. With numerous opportunities in downtown areas and multiple festivals scheduled, you can keep yourself busy and discover new music this summer with ease.

Rust Belt

Transformed from a century-old automobile manufacturing plant, the Rust Belt is a unique venue that is located near the Bend Event Center in East Moline, Ill. The industrial architecture is preserved throughout the building and creates an atmosphere of nostalgia. Entertainment at the Rust Belt is not limited to just music – the venue has hosted everything from weddings to wrestling. After you catch a show, you can pop over to the Riverfront Trail for a walk along the Mississippi. The event schedule for the summer is available on the Rust Belt website

Bass Street Landing Summer Concert series

This summer concert series is produced by the Moline Centre in downtown Moline. Before the music begins, enjoy the quaint shops of the downtown area and experience the peaceful Sylvan slough with a serene walk along the river. You may even catch athletes from the local rowing team on the water! Music begins at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday evenings – be sure to catch one of the local acts performing this summer without charge.

Freight House Farmers Market

Anchored by the historic Freight House building, the year-round farmers market in Davenport, Iowa, is a center for local products and music. Nearly every Saturday, one can enjoy a wide variety of genres performed by local artists while shopping for quality foods. Even when an act is not scheduled, many solo musicians perform for the public. What’s better than earthy, acoustic music when shopping for home-grown products?

Starlight Revue Summer concert series

Hosted by the Rock Island Department of Parks and Recreation, a free concert in Lincoln Park is a great way to spend a Tuesday night. At 5:00 p.m, satisfy your hunger with food from Hy-Vee grill and dessert station. Concerts commence at 7:00 p.m.and run until 9:00 p.m. Sing along, dance or simply enjoy the music under the lights. Appreciate a diverse selection of bands all summer long. 

Tangled Wood

With a sweeping music amphitheater, a wooded backdrop and a 202-inch permanently installed TV, the Tangled Wood is truly an entertainment destination. In addition to great food at the restaurant – check out the menu here – the venue also features an outdoor grill, fire pits, bocce and corn hole. Currently, 52 acts are booked for the summer and that number will only increase. 

Live @ 5

At the River Music Experience (RME) Courtyard in downtown Davenport, Live @ 5 is a great way to gather with friends and kickstart the weekend. With a wide range of genres and styles – find the schedule here – this free concert series is an excellent way to support local music. Beforehand, you can walk through the exhibits at the RME or the nearby riverfront park. 

Bix Jazz Festival

Honoring the pioneering jazz cornetist, the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival is a destination for jazz enthusiasts across the region. From Aug. 4-6, catch different flavors from ragtime to contemporary jazz and acts from all over the country. Held at the Rhythm City event center in north Davenport, Iowa, the festival is in close proximity to a number of restaurants and shopping locations. 

Blues Fest

From the Mississippi Valley Blues Society comes Blues Fest. Held late in the summer, from Sept. 16-17, the renowned festival has featured world-class musicians since its inception in 1984. With multiple stages and various showtimes, the festival provides many opportunities to immerse yourself in the rich roots music heritage of the Mississippi River. 

Alternating Currents

From Aug. 18-21, downtown Davenport is transformed for Alternating Currents. The festival is open to all sorts of music and over 100 performances are booked at more than venues. At Alternating Currents, there is something for everyone, from hip-hop to indie-rock and everything in between. Furthermore, the festival also features film and stand-up comedy performances. The best part? It is all free – just show up and enjoy the culture. The schedule for 2022 is available now.

Mississippi Valley Fair

Everyone knows the Mississippi Valley Fair – it has been a tradition of the Quad Cities for 102 years. From Aug. 2-7, hundreds of thousands gather for the pinnacle event of the summer. With world-famous acts on the grandstand and many other activities all around the grounds, the fair is an exciting choice for entertainment this summer.

Summer is a great time to get out and enjoy live music. Many of the downtown areas host free concerts for the public and several festivals are hosted in the area. Take advantage of the unique music scene of the Quad Cities this year – don’t miss out!