Some concerts are indoors, but lots are outdoors, including three huge events coming to a new setup around May’s Island in downtown Cedar Rapids. Also on the “big” list: the Iowa State Fair lineup in Des Moines and Van Halen in Moline, Ill.
We’ve put together a list of highlights, which really just scratches the surface. Community bands, orchestra pops, opera, blues, country, jazz under the stars and tons of rock ’n’ roll. It’s all out there, waiting for blue skies and eager audiences.
Start with this guideline, then be sure to check out websites for your favorite venues, including CSPS, the Englert, area arenas and casinos, county fairs and the new Coralville Center for the Performing Arts.
We’ll also keep updating HooplaNow.com to keep you in the loop.
— Diana Nollen
Friday Night Concert Series, Iowa City: May 18 to Aug. 31: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., local and regional bands on the Ped Mall, outside the Sheraton Hotel downtown. Free, bring seating. Rain site: Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp, Washington and Gilbert streets. For more go to the Summer of the Arts festival page.
Saturday Night Concert Series, Iowa City: May 19 to Sept. 1: 6:30 to 9 p.m., local and regional bands, Ped Mall, outside the Sheraton Hotel downtown. Free, bring seating. Rain site: Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp, Washington and Gilbert streets. For more go to the Summer of the Arts festival page.
Cedar Ridge Vineyards SummerFest, Swisher: May 25 to 27: 1441 Marak Rd. NW. May 25: Oh So Good, 6 to 9 p.m., soul, R&B, funk, no cover. May 26: Nikki Lunden, 1 to 4 p.m., acoustic; Devon Allman’s Honeytribe, 5 to 8 p.m., Gregg Allman’s son, a St. Louis blues rocker, $15. May 27: The Fez, 4 to 7 p.m., Steely Dan tribute, $10.
Uptown Friday Nights, Cedar Rapids: May 25 to July 27: 5 to 8 p.m. Fridays, Greene Square Park, Third Avenue and Fifth Street SE. Various bands, $5 ages 21 and older. Rain site: Capone’s, 1201 Third St. SE.
North Liberty Blues & BBQ: May 26: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Liberty Centre, Penn Street and Liberty Way. Area bands all day, free admission. Rain date: May 27.
Orchestra Iowa Pops, Cedar Rapids: May 26: 4 p.m., “Good Vibrations: Music of the Beach Boys,” Veterans Memorial Stadium, 950 Rockford Rd. SW. Concert, baseball game, fireworks, $25 to $45, (319) 366-8203, 1-(800) 369-8863
Michael McDonald, Riverside: May 26: 8 p.m., Riverside Casino Event Center, 3184 Highway 22. $50 to $60, Casino Gift Shop
Iowa Arts Festival, Iowa City June 1 to 3: Downtown Iowa City. Art and concerts by Pieta Brown, Greg Brown, Joy Kills Sorrow, Los Lobos.
Marion Bar-B-Que Rendezvous: June 2: Noon to 9 p.m., Marion Square Park. Cedar Island Band, noon to 4 p.m., Bryce and BillyLee Janey, 4 to 9 p.m., food, free admission. Uptownmarion.com/calendar.html
Iowa City Community Band: June 3 to July 8: Various sites, times. Iccband.org/iccbConcerts.html
Cedar Rapids Municipal Band: June 6 to Aug. 5: Various times, Cedar Rapids metro area parks and Hooverfest in West Branch. Free, bring seating.
Marion by Moonlight: June 7 to 28: Thursdays, Marion Square Park, Seventh Avenue and 10th Street. Various area bands, 6:30 p.m., food available, 6 p.m. Free admission, bring seating. Uptownmarion.com
KHAK’s 50th Birthday Bash, Cedar Rapids: June 9: 1 p.m., downtown near May’s Island. Alan Jackson with Joe Nichols, Phil Vassar, Steve Holy, Craig Campbell, Battle of the Bands winner Lonesome Road; $40 to $125, KHAK.com or (515) 657-6128.
Rockin’ the Rapids, Cedar Rapids: June 10: Noon, May’s Island area, downtown Cedar Rapids. Weezer, with Chevelle, Fuel, Filter, Tonic and more, $32.50 to $125, bring seating. KRNA.com
MusicIC 2012, Iowa City: June 10 to 16: Classical music festival, downtown venues. Main concerts: 7:30 p.m. June 14 to 16. Uiowa.edu/musicic
Marion Community Band: June 12 and 26: 7 p.m., Marion Square Park, Seventh Avenue and 10th Street. Free, bring seating.
Lorie Line, Cedar Rapids: June 14: 7:30 p.m., Theatre Cedar Rapids, 102 Third St. SE. “Live in the Sunshine” tour by pianist Line and Her Fab Five, $39.
Riverside Casino Summer Concert Series: June 16 to Aug. 25: 8 p.m., outdoor stage, 3184 Highway 22. Bring chairs, no coolers. June 16: Martina McBride, $35 and $65; July 14: Joe Walsh, $30 and $55; Aug. 25: Cheap Trick, $35 and $55; Casino Gift Shop
An Evening with Friends, Cedar Rapids: June 12: 7 to 9 p.m., 127 Cottage Grove Woods SE. Kingston Hill benefit concert by SPT Theatre, Lynne Rothrock, Ron DeWitte, $20 advance, $35 gate; bring seating, picnic. Kingston-hill.com
Ted Nugent, Tama: June 16: 8 p.m., Meskwaki Casino Outdoor Arena, 1504 305th St. All ages show, $27 and $47, Club Meskwaki, 1-(800) 728-4263 or Meskwaki.com/entertainment/headliners
BBQ Roundup, Cedar Rapids: June 21 to 24: Park & Ride lot, Second Street and Eighth Avenue SE. Entertainment to be announced. Crbbqroundup.com
‘Frankenboy!’ Cedar Rapids: June 22 to 24: Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre all-ages “Monsteropera,” CSPS Hall, 1103 Third St. SE. Various times, $10 to $50. Legionarts.org/events/frankenboy
Irish District Music and Arts Festival, Cedar Rapids: June 23: 1 to 9 p.m., 700 16th St. NE. Family fun with music, dance, art, food, games; bring lawn chairs and coolers, $5 adults, free ages 12 and under with an adult. Bands: Smooth Money Gesture, Henhouse Prowlers, Surf Zombies, Dennis McMurrin & The Demolition Band. Irishdistrictfest.com
Linn County Fair, Central City: June 27 to July 2: Grandstand: David Nail, 7:30 June 27, KHAK free country concert; Pop Evil, 7 p.m. June 28, $15, $50 advance, $20 gate; Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, 7 p.m. June 29, $18 advance, $20 gate. Thelinncountyfair.com
Iowa City Jazz Festival: June 29 to July 1: Downtown Iowa City. Well-known jazz musicians, up-and-coming artists, fireworks.
Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival: June 30: Country Concert Night, 6 p.m., Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW. July 1: Patriotic Pops, 6 p.m., Kirkwood, $5 and $15; bring seating.
RAGBRAI’s 40th Celebration – July 26: Counting Crows, We Are Augustines, Kasey Anderson and The Honkies, and Field Report are scheduled to open the main stage, downtown Cedar Rapids.