Huntsville’s a great place for live music, and there’s no shortage of free, family-friendly concerts this summer – just take a look at the “Summer Concerts” tab on our Summer Activities Guide.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret… there’s a concert series in town that’s not too crowded, has plenty of shade, and has a great lineup this year. Just don’t go telling too many people.
The Madison Arts Council is hosting their annual Gazebo Concerts series, and I have to say it’s one of my favorites. The shows are well-attended, but not so crowded that you’re shoulder-to-shoulder with the person sitting next to you. Gorgeous shade trees line the roadside, making it a more pleasant concert-going experience.
The bands are set up inside the large Gazebo in downtown Madison, located on the corner of Front & Church Street. Gorgeous historic homes surround you, and the sun is setting to your back (no squinting needed!) An iron fence separates Front Street from Main Street, as well as the train tracks that run though the heart of downtown. Occasionally the band will have accompaniment from a passing train – last week Microwave Dave incorporated it into his set – but that’s just one more thing that sets these concerts apart.
You can pack a picnic supper or grab a bite from one of the restaurants on Main Street or one of the food vendors that set up at the event. Whistlestop Sweet Shop, the new candy store downtown, brings their handmade gelato to sell, or you can stroll over yourself and choose from their variety of fudge, homemade confections, and old-fashioned candy for dessert. Alcoholic beverages are permitted if you bring them from home, as is lawn chairs, blankets, and well-behaved dogs.
Children are very welcome, and the Madison Arts Council provides a beanbag toss game and face painting especially for them. Sometimes local community organizations provide other activities for kids – Picket Fence Studio was there with an Art Wall that kids were welcome to paint at the show I attended.
Where: Downtown Front Street in Madison, AL
When: Every Thursday night from 6:30PM – 8:30PM, May through August
All photos: Click Photo Designs by Sarah Brewer
Stephenie has worked with and around books and authors for over 12 years, both at retail booksellers and public libraries. She is a rare Huntsville native, mother of two high-energy boys, wife of one, and eerily addicted to community volunteering. When she's not being the Managing Editor for RCM she likes to stalk her favorite authors online, cook with way too much butter, and also manages to conduct freelance marketing and PR work.