Carson City heats up with summer concerts

Free summer concerts are a ubiquitous part of Tahoe summer nights, and Carson City has joined the movement this summer, offering a Saturday option to inexpensive bliss with the Levitt AMP Concert Series every week through Aug. 6.

Whitney Myer

Thanks in part to the Levitt Foundation’s Levitt AMP Music Series grant, Carson City’s Brewery Arts Center has organized a summer-long concert series featuring a variety of acts from around the country.

“They give you the tools and a lot of the inspiration to achieve your goals and bring music to great community spaces that have never been thought of before,” said Brewery Arts Center executive director Gina Hill of the grant. “Something special happens when you share an experience like live music.”

“The result is a diverse mix of country, reggae, indie pop, hip-hop, Americana, afro-samba-funk-dance, flamenco and vegan jam rock on Saturday nights.”

The foundation donates money to cities with populations of less than 400,000. It chose to expand from its six, original, urban locations to 15 cities, giving each an award of $25,000 to help make the free concerts happen. In addition to Carson City, the foundation helps Asbury Park, N.J., Greensboro, N.C., and Jacksonville, Miss., to name a few.

So Hill and board president J. Kyle Horvath made a dream list.

“We definitely wanted something eclectic, so we listed down all the bands we wanted to see here and began contacting them,” Hill said.

Southern Drawl Band

The result is a diverse mix of country, reggae, indie pop, hip-hop, Americana, afro-samba-funk-dance, flamenco and vegan jam rock on Saturday nights at 7 p.m. outside on South Minnesota Street. Fresh beer, wine, margaritas and food will also be available, with a percentage of the proceeds going back to the Brewery Arts Center.

Thanks in large part to Hill, her three-person staff and army of volunteers, the 41-year-old center is now in the midst of a 21st Century renaissance.

“We just started doing stuff immediately, bringing in concerts and artists from the very, very get-go. If you do stuff, the money comes. We were able to just get out and let people know. Due to the creativity and new things we are doing, we turned it around. We are young and want to get after it.”


The center supports a gallery and artisan shop, two large theaters, artists’ classrooms for painting and pottery classes, and year-round music programs. Hill believes the center’s recent success is due in part to a growing Carson City arts scene.

“Carson is booming with the arts right now,” she says. “I think we finally caught up with other cities, which realized that arts and culture are an important element for economic stability in any town. If you want to keep talented people in your city, you have to have a vibrant arts and culture aspect, or they are just not going to stay. This concert series will be a great way to bring people in and really see the value of that.”


It’s also worth noting that the Brewery Arts Center is on the site of Nevada’s oldest business, the Carson Brewing Company. From 1860 to 1948, it supplied beer to Northern Nevada and beyond. One of its most noteworthy brews, invented in 1913, was called “Tahoe Beer.”






July 16 | Prezident Brown

July 23 | Southern Drawl Band

July 30 | Whitney Myer

Aug. 6 | SambaDa’

For more information, visit

Check out the lineup of free summer concerts around Tahoe & Truckee