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The grass is green, the flowers are blooming and the warm months of summer are just around the corner. It’s a time of year filled with expectation, beauty, flip-flops and sundresses. It’s also the time of year when the hills come alive with the sound of music. And this year the Vail Valley will host an impressive line up of summer acts that won’t cost you a cent. Here are a few of our favorites.

Hot Summer Nights

Held each Tuesday at the venerable Ford amphitheater in Vail, the schedule this season opens with Cracker on June 14, with shows every week through August 16th when the Devon Allman Band closes out the summer. There’s a lot to like about this year’s line up, but we find a June 21 date with Pilaseca the most intriguing. This Mexico based group mixes funk, hip-hop and Latin beats into a sound all their own. Well known in their home country (they’ve been together for 13 years), they’re just breaking into the scene here in el Norte America, which makes their Ford debut all the more tasty as you’ll be able to tell all your friends how you saw them first.

Avon Live!

Avon Live! runs Wednesdays from August 10th through the 31st. With an announcement of acts pending as we went to press, we can’t tell you who will be playing at this free concert series set for Nottingham Park. What we can tell you is that August in Avon is a beautiful time of year and the location, right next to Nottingham Lake with fantastic views of Beaver Creek and the surrounding mountains is all time. Stay tuned to vailmag.com for more news about who will be playing.

 ShowDownTown

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There’s a lot to like about the Town of Eagle’s free summer concert series held on Thursday nights in Eagle Town Park. With a July 2 kick off date featuring Tori Pater and the Dirty Birds, the venue is classic small town intimate, with couple, dogs and families with kids dominating the scene. Picnicking is encouraged and the spacious venue allows for plenty of room to spread out. The acts here tend to be lesser known than what you might see up in Vail, but the low key feel and western vibe combined with musicians who “get it” means that you’ll go home happy. We’ll definitely be there for a July 9th date featuring M. Florea (pictured), an act out of Denver which showcases a unique sound of soulful American tinged with wanderlust.

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