A Guide to Delaware's Summer 2019 Concerts and Music Festivals
From renowned acts to local talent, the First State's lineup has something for everyone.
Photo courtesy of The Freeman Stage
Below is rundown of the concerts and music festivals going on in the First State this summer, separated by county. Featuring renowned acts like Post Malone, the Beach Boys, Norah Jones and Cole Swindell, as well as many smaller names and local talent, Delaware’s summer concert lineup has something for everybody.
NEW CASTLE COUNTY
Clifford Brown Jazz Festival
June 19-22 • Rodney Square, Wilmington
The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival on the East Coast, and it attracts thousands of attendees to Rodney Square every year. Back for its 21st year in downtown Wilmington, the event honors its namesake Clifford Brown, acclaimed jazz trumpeter and Wilmington native who died tragically in a car accident at just 25 years old. The 2019 festival will feature acclaimed jazz artists such as Terence Blanchard, Christian Scott, Branford Marsalis and the Grammy-nominated Jamison Ross.
Norah Jones SOLD OUT
June 22 • The Queen, Wilmington
Nine-time Grammy winner Norah Jones rose to fame with her 2002 record “Come Away With Me,” and has since released seven studio albums and embarked on seven tours, both national and international. The Grapevine, Texas native’s show at the Queen is sold out, but some tickets are still available at resale prices on ticket vendor websites.
Shady Grove Music Festival
July 13 • Arden Concert Gild, Arden
The Shady Grove Music Festival is an event dedicated to showcasing the local gems of Delaware’s music scene. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and will take place in the Concert Gild Hall in Arden.
The Ladybug Music Festival
July 18-19 • Market Street, Wilmington
The Ladybug Music Festival was born in 2012 as a free festival that exclusively featured emerging female artists. With 10,000 attendees in 2017, Ladybug has enjoyed much popularity in Wilmington—so much so that a second Ladybug Festival in Milton debuted in 2018. The event has stayed true to its roots as a free and female-centered festival; there is no excuse to miss this fantastic event this July.
Photo courtesy of The Freeman Stage
Tommy Emmanuel featuring Mike Dawes
July 23 • The Queen, Wilmington
Two-time Grammy-nominated guitarist Tommy Emmanuel is best known as a pioneer of the “fingerstyle” guitar technique. This Australia native’s musical career has spanned six decades with 27 studio albums and numerous accolades, which include a “Certified Guitar Player” award from legendary guitarist Chet Atkins. See him strum at The Queen on July 23; doors open at 7 p.m.
Aug. 1 • The Queen, Wilmington
King’s X is an American rock band that originated in Springfield, Missouri in 1979. The band was an early pioneer of the progressive metal genre and have opened for iconic rock groups such as AC/DC, Pearl Jam and Iron Maiden. They rock out at The Queen at 8 p.m.
The Riverfront Blues Festival
Aug. 3-4 • Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, Wilmington
The Riverfront Blues Festival kicks of the month of August with a standout lineup of blues artists from across the country. The two-day event takes place at the Riverfront’s Tubman Garrett Park, so bring a lawn chair and enjoy great food and music while taking in beautiful views of Wilmington’s skyline and the Christina River.
Fortify Music Fest
Aug. 10 • Fort DuPont State Park, Delaware City
Headlining this year’s Fortify Music Fest is Paul Barrere (guitar, vocals), Fred Tackett (guitar) and Kenny Gradney (bass) of the American rock band Little Feat, performing as Funky Feat. Enjoy the sound of these legendary rock musicians as well as an array of other impressive local artists for a leisurely afternoon in Delaware City’s Fort DuPont State Park.
Aug. 16 • The Queen, Wilmington
Todd Snider is an American singer-songwriter whose critically acclaimed albums have received praise from Rolling Stone and American Songwriter. The unique musical blend of Americana, alt-country and folk make Snider’s live performances distinctive and memorable; head over to The Queen on Aug. 16 to experience it live.
Aug. 27-28 • The Grand Opera House, Wilmington
A testament to Pat Metheny’s versatility as a musician is his 20 Grammy Awards that span across 10 categories—the only musician in the world to achieve this feat. Metheny is one of the most accomplished living jazz artists in the world, so don’t miss the chance to see him perform live at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington.
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
June 15 • Sam Yoder’s Farm, Houston
Fans of the bluegrass genre know the name Doyle Lawson, who was inducted into the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2012. His 6-person group, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, have enjoyed seven Grammy nominations and numerous awards from bluegrass and country music associations. See them perform at Delaware's 2019 Bluegrass Jamboree in Houston, doors open at 12 p.m., and the group goes on at 3 p.m.
June 21 • Killens Pond State Park, Felton
The contemporary Christian musician Josh Wilson is best known for his hit “Jesus is Alive,” which topped the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs chart. Wilson is one of the biggest names in Delaware State Parks' 2019 Summer Concert Series lineup, so be sure to catch his free show at Killens Pond State Park in Felton.
Firefly Music Festival
June 21-23 • The Woodlands, Dover
Arguably the most well known of Delaware’s musical offerings is Firefly Music Festival, which has taken over Dover International Speedway every June since 2012. Reduced to three days instead of four this summer, Firefly continues to boast a stunning lineup of some of the biggest artists in the world like Travis Scott, Post Malone, Panic! At the Disco, Vampire Weekend and many more.
Delaware State Fair
July 18-27 • Delaware State Fairgrounds, Harrington
The Delaware State Fair, which is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, features a musical lineup sure to impress. Artists like Sugarland, Brothers Osborne, Reba McEntire and Gladys Knight will grace the state fairgrounds during the 10 day celebration of Delaware’s rural economy.
Aug. 9 • Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, Dover
Two-time Grammy winner Peabo Bryson is most known for his soul ballads and R&B sounds, not to mention his vocals on “A Whole New World” and “Beauty and the Beast” from the Disney animated classics Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. Hear his rich, operatic performance at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino on Aug. 9.
Sept. 1 • M&T Bank Grandstand at the Delaware State Fairgrounds, Harrington
Sixteen-year-old Jojo Siwa’s larger than life personality and aggressively colorful sense of style have amassed her 9.7 million subscribers on YouTube, a talent deal with Nickelodeon and 10 popular singles. The Omaha native is coming to the M&T Bank Grandstand on her first ever US tour, “D.R.E.A.M. The tour.”
Photo courtesy of The Freeman Stage
Sept.13 • Quillen Arena at the Delaware State Fairgrounds, Harrington
Country singer Jake Owen has amassed six number one singles over his successful musical career, and has opened for some of the biggest names in country music like Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban. See him perform hits from his newest album “Greetings from … Jake,” which blends traditional country elements with his coastal Floridian roots, in Harrington this September.
Trampled by Turtles
June 19 • Bottle and Cork, Dewey Beach
Trampled by Turtles has released 9 studio albums, the fourth of which, titled Duluth, solidified their place in the world of bluegrass music. The band has previously performed at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and Delaware’s very own Firefly Music Festival. Catch them back in the First State at the Bottle and Cork on June 19.
June 21 • Bottle and Cork, Dewey Beach
Kip Moore’s debut album “Up All Night” was the best selling debut album for a male in 2012, and the country singer’s musical momentum didn’t stop there. His most recent album “SLOWHEART” drew inspiration from Motown and classic rock music, making for a thoughtful and vulnerable record that fans and newcomers alike can connect with. His Dewey Beach show starts at 8:30 p.m.
July 9 • The Freeman Stage, Selbyville
Two-time Grammy Award winner Colbie Caillat’s newest record, “The Malibu Sessions,” was the first time the singer-songwriter had made an album the “exact way she wanted it.” Debuting her new band “Gone West” with husband Justin Young and longtime collaborators Nelly Joy and Jason Reeves, their performance at the Freeman Stage in Selbyville is a must-see.
This photo was taken at a 2017 concert at the sugar bowl
The Steve Miller Band SOLD OUT
July 30 • The Freeman Stage, Selbyville
The Steve Miller Band enjoyed their most notable successes in the mid 1970s with several classic rock hits, but the group has not run out of steam just yet—Steve Miller was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just three years ago in 2016. Though the iconic rock band’s Selbyville show is sold out, limited tickets are still available at resale prices on ticket vendor websites.
Aug. 3 • The Freeman Stage, Selbyville
Gavin DeGraw has sold over a million records in the United States alone, solidifying him as one of the most popular pop rock musicians today. The “I Don’t Want To Be” singer’s latest album “Something Worth Saving” is a notable shift from his previous music, exploring soul, instrumental, funk and 60s elements and making for a uniquely memorable record. See him perform it live on Aug. 3 at The Freeman Stage.
The Struts featuring the Glorious Sons
Aug. 6 • Bottle and Cork, Dewey Beach
The British rock band The Struts is known for their outstanding live performances—frontman Luke Spiller has been described as a “physical, mesmerizing entertainer” by critics. The group, whose musical influences include Aerosmith, Queen, Def Leppard and the Killers, opened for the Rolling Stones in 2014 before having released their debut album. These rockers are sure to put on an outstanding performance at Dewey Beach’s premiere music venue, Bottle and Cork.
Aug. 11 • Bottle and Cork, Dewey Beach
Aaron Lewis may be best known as the frontman for alternative metal band Staind, but the musician has enjoyed a successful solo career in country music as well. Lewis’ latest album “State I’m in” peaked at number 2 on billboard Top Country Albums, proving the artist has found his comfort zone in the country music world. His Dewey Beach show is slated for Aug. 11.
The Beach Boys
Aug. 24 • The Freeman Stage, Selbyville
The Beach Boys fundamentally changed the landscape of music. They are one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful bands of all time, and a two sentence blurb simply cannot do them justice. Don’t miss a stellar performance by the enduring members of the iconic band at Selbyville’s Freeman Stage.
Sept. 6 • Hudson Fields, Milton
Swindell is one of the most celebrated names in country music today. He won the Country Music Awards “New Artist of the Year” in 2015, and has since toured with Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line. Swindell is closing out the summer at Hudson Fields, and his performance is currently the only one listed as upcoming at this outdoor Milton venue.
ALL 3 COUNTIES
Delaware State Parks' Summer Concert Series
The Delaware State Parks' Summer Concert Series features an array of music artists from across the country free of charge (just pay the park entry fee) throughout Delaware’s beautiful state parks. Each outdoor concert starts at 6:30 p.m. and there is a show nearly every day this summer, visit Delaware State Parks' website to browse the options.