It’s that time of year again – the sun starts to shine, the temperature slowly begins to climb and music can heard wafting on the breeze. A variety of free summer music series brings live entertainment to just about every reach of Carteret County. Genres vary, but all are family friendly.

Each location recommends that guests bring chairs, blankets or other comfort items.

Downtown Morehead City Revitalization’s Alive at Five program holds concerts on select Fridays at Jaycee Park on the Morehead City waterfront. Held from 5-8pm, the moment the weekend begins for many residents who call the Crystal Coast home. Concerts get started June 7. For more information, call 252-808-0440 or visit

Also using Jaycee Park as the backdrop is the Morehead City Parks and Recreation Dept., which holds a concert each Saturday night, May through August, with a bonus performance on July 4. Concerts run from 7-8:30pm. Bring chairs or blanket, or anchor nearby in the boat to enjoy the sounds. As is the tradition, the West Carteret High School Jazz Band gets things started on Friday, May 25.

In Beaufort, Thursday evening is the night for live music. Live on Thursdays is held during the season at John G. Newton Park on the waterfront. Music runs from 6-8pm. Don’t forget your lawn chair.

Amidst a beautiful historic backdrop, the Friends of Fort Macon hold an annual summer concert series. Performances begin at 6:30pm on various Fridays with a few 1pm Saturday matinees thrown into the mix. The series sees bands perform on the parade deck of the fort and guests finding a resting spot on the stairs and grass that surround the stage. The first concert of the season is set for Friday May 31 and features the Carteret Sunshine Band. For more information, call 252-726-3775.

With its new Sounds Like Summer music series, the Town of Atlantic Beach will host concerts for seven consecutive Thursday evenings this summer beginning on June 20. The music runs from 7-9pm at Town Park, except for the July 4 event, which will take place at the Circle.

At the other end of Bogue Banks, Emerald Isle’s EmeraldFest music series takes full advantage of those ocean breezes at the Western Ocean Regional Beach Access. The concerts, beginning on Thursday, June 13 with Paul Coleman, bring a variety of genres to the stage, from country and blues to reggae and rock. Music runs from 6:30-8pm each Thursday through August. To learn more, call 252-354-6350.

Neighboring Swansboro holds its own concert series, aptly named SwanFest. Running Sunday evenings through the summer months, concerts are held from 6:30-8pm at the pavilion at Olde Town Square along the downtown waterfront. Evenings with two bands scheduled begin at 6pm. Things start on Sunday, May 26 with Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot.

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