Santa Cruz Boardwalk Concerts

Free Friday Night Bands on the Beach

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Concerts

Photo Credit: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

The Boardwalk isn’t just for roller coasters and deep-fried cheesecake. Every Friday night from mid-June through August, our award-winning amusement park hosts free outdoor concerts, featuring hit bands from the ’60s through current day recording artists.

A concert on the beach is not only a chance to hear great live music. It’s a little slice of sun-soaked paradise, a perfect fusion between natural and synthetic beauty. To look out at the pale blue sky above the deep tapestry of blues in the ocean while hearing Papa Doo Run Run, a Boardwalk concert staple, perform “Surfin’ USA” is to attain the status of a perfectly picturesque summer evening in Santa Cruz.

And boy, do people know it. Although the first concert doesn’t start until 6:30 p.m. and the second at 8:30 p.m., fans have gone so far as to line up on the beach in the morning, just so they can get the perfect spot in front of the stage.

Friday night traffic and parking around the Boardwalk can get pretty crazy, so if you don’t want to miss any of the concert, arrive early or travel by some way other than car if possible — bike, take a metro bus, or park downtown and take the trolley.

Alcohol is allowed on the Boardwalk, but not on the beach. A low beach chair is great for relaxing and enjoying the music, and cautionary sweater in case the wind picks up or the fog rolls through is always a good idea.

So the next time you’re in the mood for music and standards like the Catalyst aren’t peaking your interest, remember to take a look at who’s playing the Boardwalk.

Share Your Beach Boardwalk Concert Experiences & Use Hashtag:



6:30 PM & 8:30 PM


Main Beach @ the Boardwalk



2019 Boardwalk Concert Lineup



Hit Song

Jun. 14

The English Beat

Save It For Later

Jun. 21

Smash Mouth

All Star

Jun. 28


Santa Monica

Jul. 5

Pride & Joy

Soul/Motown Party

Jul. 12


Slow Ride

Jul. 19

Taylor Dayne

Tell it to My Heart

Jul. 26

Brian Howe (Bad Company)

Can't Get Enough

Aug. 2


Summertime Girls

Aug. 9

Living Colour

Cult of Personality

Aug. 16

10,000 Maniacs

Because the Night

Aug. 23

Steve Augeri (Journey)

Don't Stop Believin'

Aug. 30

Papa Doo Run Run

(Santa Cruz) Beach Party

Need a Place to Crash?

Coming from out of town?  Here are some recommended hotels, each within walking distance to the Boardwalk:

  • Beach Street Inn & Suites
  • Dream Inn
  • Sea & Sand Inn
  • West Cliff Inn

Beach Street Inn & Suites

Beach Street Inn
  • 4 minute walk to Main Beach / Boardwalk
  • Ocean View Rooms