It’s going to be a hot one, and there’s no better way to escape the sizzle than with a cold beverage and good show. In the rest of the world, it’s called July. In Lawrence, it’s called the pre-game before bluegrass season (we’ll get to that next month). For now, you’ll want to don the sandals and head out to explore the local music scene. Touring bands are few and far between this month, but you’re in luck because it’s the perfect time to cozy up to the locals. Here are our top picks for July’s concert calendar.

Summerfest 2023 Live Music Lineup

Summerfest: Lawrence’s 4th of July Party

Douglas County Fairgrounds | July 3

You better get yourself to a Fourth of July party this month or we’re bound to think you don’t love ‘MURICA.

This summer the City of Lawrence is going all out with a big concert to celebrate the holiday. The shaded arena portion of the fairgrounds will be home to food trucks & Free State Brewery beer sales, while a nearby stage will showcase some of the best music we have to offer, including performances by VCMN, The Matchsellers, Page 7, The Whips, and Maria the Mexican. You’ll want to stick around until the sun goes down, because after the music there’s a giant fireworks display.

Maria the Mexican descends from local music royalty. Peep their iconic cover of our state song below.

RIYL: AMERICA, blowing things up, drinking and listening to local bands

Pons July 2023 Live Music Blog


Replay Lounge | July 7

If you’ve been itching for a fun, destructive, and flailing post-punk show, clear your calendar on July 7 (and, uh, maybe the next day, too). PONS, dubbed “the hardest-working band in NYC,” is sure to bring absolute chaos to the Replay. And oh look, the other two curators of chaos in town are opening. Bring the ear plugs, kids. This will be a (really fun!) rowdy one.

RIYL: Blowing out your knee in the pit

MAW July 2023 Live Music Blog


Lucia | July 9

We realize not everyone’s a night owl. Shoot, some of you aren’t even evening starlings. But don’t fret, there’s a show for you. The Sunday Roundup at Lucia has been chugging along this year providing ever-growing-in-popularity daytime sets from honky-tonk and bluegrass bands. There are actually a few daytime Sunday shows this month, but we’re highlighting this one because hark! It’s a rare MAW sighting!

RIYL: Unfit Wives, Tammy Wynette, bluegrass

Heidi Gluck by John Knepper

Photo credit: Heidi Gluck by John Knepper

Heidi Gluck album release show

The Bottleneck | July 21

Rejoice! One of the region’s finest songwriters is finally releasing a new album! Heidi Gluck is a Lawrence treasure, constantly tugging at our heartstrings with her expert songwriting. In recent years, you’ve likely seen the indie folk musician in bands like The Roseline and 95 Sweetbird. But this month, she’s finally taking center stage once again, touting along her recent album Migrate or Die. If the already released tracks are any indication, this will be one of the top local releases of the year (no surprise as she is a local favorite).

Gluck, a multi-instrumentalist, will be joined by Frightened Stag (also releasing an EP!) and Daniel Gum.

RIYL: Neko Case, Lucinda Williams, Brandi Carlile

AJJ July 2023 Live Music Blog


The Bottleneck | July 24

Summer is a time for folk punk, so if you’re looking to let off some steam head to the Bottleneck. AJJ (formerly Andrew Jackson Jihad) will be coming through with new album Disposable Everything in tow. It’s got a lot more robust sound than what we’re used to from the band, and we can expect them really diving into the weird with this one (and a whole lot of retro sounds).

Open Mike Eagle and Foot Ox are set to open.

RIYL: Jeff Rosenstock, Bomb the Music Industry, The Rackatees

Other events to keep on your radar:


Reagan Zagan

Gaslight Gardens | July 1


Crobot / Heels / Nathan Corsi and My Atomic Daydream

The Bottleneck | July 12


Kansas City Bear Fighters

Replay Lounge | July 7


The Mountain Goats

Liberty Hall | July 14


September Mourning

The Bottleneck | July 14


Kasey and the Pines

Lucia | July 16 (daytime show)


Soul Rebel & The Beast

Lucia | July 21


Miirrors / Ebony Tusks / Collidescope

Replay Lounge | July 23


Telekinetik Yeti

The Bottleneck | July 27

Live Music Calendar

Concerts & Live Music

This is the place where Nirvana & Green Day played in a small, standing-room-only shack. This is the place where Janelle Monae packed in her hometown crowd. George Clinton has funked up our streets and we “fought the power” with...