Must-Have Items for an Outdoor Summer Concert

It’s a warm late afternoon in the middle of summer, and you’re listening to live music, leaning back on a picnic blanket and feeling the sunshine warm your face. Near the stage are adults and kids dancing to the music, and you join the party while sipping on a cool glass of Central Coast wine. The friendly and relaxed energy of your neighbors and friends is palpable, and it feels like you have no worries. This is the perfect summer experience, and this is what you can experience again and again this summer in San Luis Obispo with plenty of local outdoor concert series. These are super laid-back, fun, and family-friendly concerts, but you can also check out ticketed outdoor concerts that might be more appropriate for only adults. Regardless of the venue you choose, follow this list for outdoor summer concert essentials to make sure you have the perfect experience!

Pack a Picnic

Bring along finger foods like cheese, crackers, and meats, to snack on while enjoying the show. Use our guide to craft the perfect charcuterie board that’s sure to satisfy all your afternoon cravings. Just be sure the venue you’re visiting allows outside food and beverages!

Photo: (c) @namastay.on.vaca

Slather on the Sunscreen

Look hot without the sweaty sunburn. It’s all about hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses here on the sunny Central Coast. When it’s a warm day out and you’re dancing and enjoying yourself, it can be easy to forget to wear these necessities. Our tip? Keep a bag filled with your outdoor necessities and never unpack it! That way, you can just grab the bag on your way out the door knowing that you have everything you need in one convenient place.

Photo: (c) @erinfredblog

Make Yourself at Home

Comfort is key when you’re at an outdoor concert, so bring a big, thick blanket so you can relax without having to sit on dirt or grass. Or, bring easy-to-carry and comfortable chairs, like camping chairs, to have somewhere comfortable to sit when the ground doesn’t seem as comfortable after a few hours of sitting criss-cross applesauce.

Photo: (c) @jamieeson

Create Shade

On a sunny day, being too hot and sweaty can ruin the fun. So bring along an umbrella or a big tent for a larger group, so that you’ll always guarantee you have shade, whether you’re visiting a venue with lots of trees or an open field.

Photo: (c) Festival Mozaic

Drink Like a Local

Assuming the venue you’re attending allows alcohol, we encourage you to pack a cooler with local wine and beer to enjoy during the show! Afterall, that’s what our area is famous for! Try out some of our favorite local companies like Firestone Walker for beer or Bianchi Winery and Ancient Peaks for wine.

Photo: (c) @rn4lyf

Tune It Out

Bring earplugs along if you or anyone in the family has sensitive ears or would rather avoid the ringing sensation that often accompanies loud music at outdoor concerts. Even if you don’t have sensitive ears—protecting your ears is something we all should be more careful of. According to Everyday Hearing, “concert music levels can reach between 100 and 120 decibels loud. At a level of 110 decibels, hearing loss can occur after only two minutes of exposure.” With approximately 26 million Americans facing noise-induced hearing loss that could have been prevented, it’s better than to be safe than sorry.

Photo: (c) Got Ears?

Break Out the Dancing Shoes

When picking out that perfect concert outfit, be sure to choose something comfortable enough that you can dance in. Bring comfortable shoes, perhaps a flowy dress, and maybe a well-fitting hat to dance, walk, run and play in comfort. Or, at popular venues like Sea Pines Golf ResortsBarefoot Concerts on the Green summer series, kick off your shoes altogether and feel the grass between your toes as you move and groove to the music!

Photo: (c) @therunningdiva

Cozy Up with Layers

Pack a jacket or sweater for when the temperature drops at night. Despite a warm, hot day, the weather can drop significantly at night in the Central Coast thanks to our ocean breezes.

Photo: (c) @4nikkimay

Follow these tips for a perfect summer concert experience, knowing you won’t forget something crucial! Stay with us at the Paso Robles Inn, and concerts will be outside your door at City Park in Paso Robles. At Avila Lighthouse Suites, concerts are across the street all summer at the Avila Beach Golf Club, and you can hit the shore after a great show.  Enjoy some of the Central Coast’s best local talent without ever having to leave the property at Sea Pines Golf Resort‘s Barefoot Concerts on the Green summer series. And finally, at Inn at the Cove, Pismo Lighthouse Suites, and Shore Cliff Hotel, great concerts are just down the street – a walk or drive away – at Dinosaur Caves Park and more. Enjoy a groovin’ summer!