Welcome to our annual Summer Entertainment Guide. Each June, we compile schedules and other details for Lexington’s recurring summer series, festivals and other arts and entertainment events. Some are longstanding traditions in Lexington, many have just found their niche in recent years, and some are brand new events, starting this year. From concert and film series to art fairs, wine festivals, and antique car shows, Lexington and the surrounding areas offer no shortage of entertainment options for the warmer months. Read on for more info.
ONGOING, ALL SUMMER LONG:
7 p.m., Tuesdays through Sept. 4
Collins Bowling Alley Lawn, 205 Southland Dr.
The Southland Jamboree is back for its seventh season of operation, featuring weekly free bluegrassconcerts outside on the side lawn of Southland Parking lot. Presented by the Southland Association. Patrons are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair. Food vendors are available.
June 5 Driving Rain
June 12 Kati Penn & Newtown
June 19 Stoney Creek
June 26 The Mountain Connection
July 3 The Velvet Blue
July 10 Stringtown
July 17 Jeff Van Clair
July 24 Dean Osborne Band
July 31 Laurel River Line
Aug. 7 Custom Made Bluegrass
Aug. 14 Dale Ann Bradley and Steve Gulley
Aug. 21 2nd Time Around
Aug. 28 No Tools Loaned
Sept. 4 TBA
Big Band & Jazz Series
7 – 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays
June 4 – 26 at MoonDance at Midnight Pass Amphitheater
July 10 – Aug. 28 at Ecton Park
One of Lexington’s longest-running concert series, the Big Band & Jazz Series has traditionally taken place at Ecton Park each Tuesday evening throughout the summer.
This year, the first half of the series will take place at the new amphitheater at Beaumont, Moondance at Midnight Pass, with the final two months of the series resuming at Ecton Park.
The concerts feature live performances from regional jazz artists and big bands; all concerts are free and family friendly. Patrons are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs and pack a picnic dinner.
Moondance at Midnight Pass Amphitheater
June 5 Joey & the Cruisers
June 12 Osland Daily Jazztet
June 19 Dan Brock & Friends
June 26 Tim Lake Little Big Band
July 10 Lexington Concert Band
July 17 Colonel’s Choice
July 24 Jay Flippin & Friends
July 31 Ozone
Aug. 7 Walnut Street Ragtime Ramblers
Aug. 14 Rick Cook Quintet
Aug. 21 Jazzberry Jam
Aug. 28 DiMartino Osland Jazz Orchestra
Summer Classics Film Series
Wednesdays through Sept. 5
1:30 and 7:15 p.m.
Kentucky Theater, 214 E. Main St.
All seats are $5
The movie industry’s transition from 35mm film to digital projection has created obstacles for theaters to obtain quality prints of many old films, but downtown Lexington’s historic Kentucky Theatre isn’t letting that put a damper on their efforts to showcase classic films each week throughout the summer for the Summer Classics Film Series.
Starting May 30 and running through the first week of September, the Kentucky will showcase a different classic film each Wednesday afternoon and evening, taking into account fan requests received throughout the year as much as possible. All films are shown via 35mm prints with reel-to-reel projection.
June 6 “The Wizard of Oz,” directed by Victor Fleming (1939; original IB technicolor print)
June 13 “Johnny Guitar,” directed by Nicholas Ray (1954; rare studio vault print)
June 20 “Ghostbusters,” directed by Ivan Reitman (1984; new 35mm print)
June 27 “Annie Hall,” directed by Woody Allen (1977)
July 4 “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” directed by Frank Capra (1939)
July 11 “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” directed by Stanley Kramer (1963)
July 18 “Casablanca,” directed by Michael Curtiz (1942)
July 25 “Carousel,” directed by Henry King (1956; new restored 35mm print)
Aug. 1 “Notorious,” directed by Alfred Hitchcock (1946)
Aug. 8 “Mary Poppins,” directed by Robert Stevenson (1964)
Aug. 15 “The Manchurian Candidate,” directed by John Frankenheimer (1962; the last surviving 35mm print of this film in the country)
Aug. 22 “Pillow Talk,” directed by Michael Gordon (1959)
Aug. 29 “White Heat,” directed by Raoul Walsh (1949)
Sept. 5 “The Leopard,” directed by Luchino Visconti (1963; new restored 35mm print)
Central Bank Thursday Night Live
4:30 – 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 18 (music starts at 5:30)
Fifth Third Pavilion at Cheapside Park
The increasingly-popular Thursday Night Live concert series returns this year. Organized by the Downtown Lexington Corporation, the series features local artists in a variety of musical styles, food and beer vendors, and free admission.
June 7 Stooges Brass Band
June 14 Ralph Curtis – Johnny Cash Tribute Artist
June 21 Kenny Owens
June 28 The Squirrels
July 5 Better off Dead
July 12 The Tim Talbert Project
July 19 Oh My Me
July 26 The Twiggenburys
Aug. 2 Rebel Without A Cause
Aug. 9 Conch Republic
Aug. 16 Kenny Owens
Aug. 23 Superfecta
Aug. 30 Catch 22
Sept. 6 Sixtyfourwest
Sept. 13 Girls, Guns and Glory
Sept. 20 The Big Maracas
Sept. 27 Coralee & The Townies
Oct. 4 Chris Campbell Band
Oct. 11 Blind Corn Liquor Pickers
Oct. 18 The Payback – James Brown tribute band
Fountain Films on Friday
Every other Friday, from June 1 – Aug. 24.
Movies start at dusk, with pre-show activities starting earlier in the evening
Triangle Park (between W. Main and W. Vine St., just west of Broadway)
This year marks the inaugural film series at the recently renovated Triangle Park, with free movies shown on an inflatable screen.
Organized by the Downtown Lexington Corporation, the films chosen are a mix of contemporary and classics with a broad, family-friendly appeal. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.
June 1 “Breaking Away”
June 15 “Dirty Dancing”
June 29 “1776”
July 13 “Sahara”
July 27 “Chocolat”
Aug. 10 “Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom”
Aug. 24 “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off”
Equus Run Music Series
1280 Moores Mill Rd., Midway
This year’s summer entertainment schedule at Equus Run Vineyard includes free live music on Sunday afternoons in June and July, and a monthly Saturday night concert series. Equus Run has a full stage, large lawn for dancing and a beautiful country backdrop.
Tunes in the Vine
2 – 4 p.m. Sundays in June and July; Free live music on the Equus Run patio
June 3 Beth Burden
June 10 Still Kickin Band
June 17 Great Shoes Band
July 1 TBA
July 8 Dudley Roberts
July 15 Lisa Raymond
July 22 Jasmine Band
July 29 David White
Summer Concert Series
Gates at 4 p.m. (Dinner from 5:30 – 7 p.m.)
Live Music at 7 p.m.
July 14 Jordan English
Aug. 11 BAJA Jazz Big Band
Sept. 8 Old School Band
Talon Winery Music Series
7086 Tates Creek Rd.
Talon Winery’s summer entertainment schedule features free live music on select Fridays, a series of weekend fundraiser concerts from June through September, and a local, one-day jazz festival.
Live Music Fridays (Jazz on the porch)
5 – 8 p.m.
June 29 Mark Gardner & Company
Aug. 31 Mark Gardner & Company
Sept. 28 Baja Yetis
Lexington Jazz Festival
June 3, 1 – 7 p.m.
$15 in advance; $20 at the gate. Children under 12 are free.
Presented by the Jazz Arts Foundation and Bluegrass Community and Technical College in conjunction with Talon Winery, the Lexington Jazz Festival features a variety of local and regional jazz musicians. Concessions, wine and beer will be available for purchase; organizers recommend bringing lawn chairs and blankets for seating.
Lineup includes Baja Yetis; Jamey Aebersold Quartet; Jazz Collective with vocalist Gail Winers; Ben Lacy and Bob Bryant Duo; and O-Zone.
Concerts benefit the charity listed. All shows are from 6 – 9 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
June 2 UK Children’s Hospital
July 14 MacKenna Foundation
July 28 American Diabetes Association
Aug. 17 Lexington Humane Society (7 – 10 p.m.)
Sept. 21 Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center
Free Friday Flicks
Fridays in June (rain date: July 6)
Pre-show activities begin at 7 p.m.;
movies begin at dusk
Jacobson Park, 4001 Athens Boonesboro Rd.
The family-friendly film series Free Friday Flicks, which offers newly released movies in an outdoor park setting, celebrates 17 years this June. The event also features children’s games and a petting zoo, all for free. Concessions are available on site as well. Patrons are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on, and picnic dinners are allowed.
June 1 “Cars 2”
June 8 “The Muppets”
June 15 “Dolphin Tale”
June 22 “Puss in Boots”
June 29 “Adventures of Tin Tin”
Festival of the Bluegrass
June 7 – 10
Kentucky Horse Park Campground
For the 39th consecutive year, some of the biggest names in bluegrass music (listed below) will converge at the Kentucky Horse Park campground for the oldest family-run bluegrass festival in the country, the Festival of the Bluegrass.
Music begins at 7 p.m. on June 7 and concludes with a gospel show on the morning of June 10. On the days in between, music begins at 1 p.m. and runs until after midnight.
Started in 1974 by Bob and Jean Cornett, this event is attended by thousands or new and returning fans. At its heart, the mission of the festival is to maintain the roots of bluegrass music in Kentucky and to honor the community spirit of evenings spent on front porches throughout Appalachia. The same spirit can be found in the pop-up “villages” around the campground, where the music spills beyond the stage to individual campsites.
Individual day and four-day ticket packages are available with or without camping, which can be ordered through the festival’s website.
Lonesome River Band
IIIrd Tyme Out
The Moron Brothers
The Seldom Scene
23 String Band
J.D. Crowe & The New South
Dry Branch Fire Squad