Cleveland is known for having great music — after all, it has to live up to its reputation as the Home of Rock n’ Roll. As summer rolls around and memories of snow covered streets and gray skies fades into the background, the music hits the air at various venues and festivals throughout the city and beyond. Countless opportunities to enjoy great tunes while basking in the light of the sun or the moon will abound this summer; below, you will find some of the best.
Hessler Street Fair
11300 Hessler Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Date: May 18 to 19, 2013
This year will mark the 45th anniversary of the Hessler Street Fair. Many consider this annual festival as the indication that summer has finally arrived. The streets are filled with artists, vendors and food that ensure everyone will have a fantasic time and at the junction of the two streets sits the music stage where many find themselves rooted for the majority of the day. The Hessler Street Fair celebrates Cleveland and the stage highlights some of the greatest musicians the city has to offer. Check out the website for the most up-to-date music schedule, but you don’t even need to check it out to know your dancing shoes will be needed no matter what time you show up — that is, unless you choose to kick them off!
Dave Matthews Band
Blossom Music Center
1145 West Steels Corners Road
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44223
Date: Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 7 p.m.
Located about 30 minutes south of Cleveland in the rolling hills of the Cuyahoga Valley is one of Northeast Ohio’s most incredible outdoor music venues. Blossom Music Center is home to the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra’s outdoor Summer Concert Series and also hosts a variety of popular touring acts. Many performances will fill the hills with music this summer. Dave Matthews Band is one of the ones you won’t want to miss. The group has been creating music and touring live for more than two years and seem to just keep getting better with age. As long as the weather cooperates, grab a lawn ticket and dance the night away under the stars to the incredible musicianship of Dave Matthews Band.
Related: A Guide To Blossom Music Center
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Evans Amphitheater at Cain Park
14591 Superior Road
Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118
Date: Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 8 p.m.
Tucked into the neighborhood of Cleveland Heights just north of the intersection Cedar & Lee sits Cain Park. This 22-acre park offers plenty of space for outdoor activities, but is best known for its dedication to the arts. Evans Amphitheater will play host to a variety of dance, theatrical and musical performances this summer, but don’t miss the incredible Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. This nine-piece collective from Brooklyn New York will transform your night with their electrifying live performance and gritty, soulful sound.
Fun. w/ Tegan & Sara
Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
2014 Sycamore St.
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Date: July 9, 2013 at 8 p.m.
No matter who takes ownership and places their name on this incredible outdoor music venue, located along the Cuyahoga River on the West Bank of The Flats, every native Clevelander will always know it as The Nautica. There will be many great artists that will grace this stage this summer, but you can’t miss the grammy award winning band Fun. as they hit Cleveland at the beginning of July. They will be joined by special guests Tegan & Sara for a night that is bound to live up to their name.
Mid West Reggae Fest
Nelson Ledges Quarry Park
12001 State Route 282
Garrettsville, Ohio 44231
Date: August 9 to August 11, 2013
Nelson Ledges Quarry Park is Northeast Ohio’s premier location for outdoor music festivals. Located 45-minutes Southeast of downtown Cleveland, this venue is well worth the drive. Tickets to their weekend long festivals include camping, parking and access to the beautiful quarry lake. In August, they will host the 22nd Annual Mid West Reggae Fest. This incredible festival brings the best of the best from the reggae world to Northeast Ohio. Year after year, the stages of this festival have hosted the greatest local, national and international artists. Check the website for the most up-to-date line-up and get your tickets early — this one is likely to sell out.
Danielle Andes has spent the past two decades documenting the world around her through photography and writing, paying particular attention to the world of music. She was born and raised in Cleveland, and still resides there today. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.