Here are some after summer music celebrations – most with free admission

By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index

Summer is the usual time for music festivals, but that doesn’t mean festival season is over.

I’m not a huge fan of the glitzy, expensive events (like Coachella) and I’m not sure Burning Man is really my style.

I tend to like the local annual celebrations with an emphasis on homegrown talent and a strong sense of history, tradition and community.

For the first three weeks (!) of September (if you -or they – survive hurricane season) and you happen to be in the southern part of Florida, don’t miss the Sing Out Loud Festival ( in St. Augustine, Florida.

You could catch a range of music at many different venues for all interest and ages. A schedule of performers can be found here –

Later on in September (27–28), if Bluegrass is your thing, don’t miss Wide Open Bluegrass, the largest free urban bluegrass festival in the world in Raleigh, North Carolina. Eight stages will be in action. Details can be found here –

If you happen to be in San Francisco the first weekend in October, don’t miss the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass  festival. Just a few of the confirmed performers are Emmy Lou Harris, Hot Tuna Electric, Joan Osborne, Judy Collins, Yola and Tanya Tucker. You can see more details here –

This festival is likely to be live-streamed. Stay tuned for specifics.

If you a fan of singer/songwriters and are able to make your way to Georgia, don’t miss the Wire & Wood Alpharetta Music Festival ( This is your chance to hear nationally and locally recognized musicians perform their original hit songs, and tell the stories that inspired them.

Some of the featured artists are Maggie Rose, Alvin Youngblood Hart and The Banditos.

Whether in large or small venues, there is nothing like live music.
Photo: Morf Morford

Later on in the fall, October 11-13, The Richmond Folk Festival – – is one of Virginia’s largest events, drawing visitors from all over the country to downtown Richmond’s historic riverfront.

The Festival is a free three-day event that got its start as the National Council for the Traditional Arts’ National Folk Festival, held in Richmond from 2005-2007. The Richmond Folk Festival features performing groups representing a diverse array of cultural traditions on seven stages.

In 2018 more than 220,000 people made their way to downtown Richmond’s riverfront to celebrate the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance traditional crafts, storytelling and food.

If Blues and BBQ is more your style, and you find yourself anywhere near New Orleans, Louisiana October 18–20, Do your best to catch the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival with two stages of music, a dozen of the best barbecue vendors in the region and a huge arts market. Details can be found here –

If international jazz is your thing, and you happen to be anywhere near Rome, don’t miss the Roma Jazz Festival ( You can catch artists like Ralph Towner, Abdullah Ibrahim, Dianne Reeves and many more. “Boundaries are made to be crossed” is their theme.

If you happen to be in Arizona the third weekend in November, don’t miss the Mesa Music Festival (  This is your opportunity to catch performances by over 300 artists from around the world – including many just emerging on the music scene.

The Ohana Festival ( isn’t free, but it looks great this year. You can catch it the last weekend in September at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California. You can expect sets from the Strokes, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tash Sultana, Incubus, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and Eddie Vedder.

And it may not have a focus on music, but you can find plenty of music, food and fun at Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest. As you might guess, it goes through most of October – with an emphasis on the first three weekends. Details can be found here –

In short, if you like live music and everything else that seems to come with it, don’t let your search end with the cooler weather.