Fremont Street Experience has released its free concert series line-up.
The “Downtown Rocks” concert series was called off in 2020 due to the pandemic, but we shared back in May the band contracts weren’t canceled, just pushed back.
Now, Fremont Street Experience is sharing a list of confirmed concerts, and we hear additional concerts will be announced soon.
Here’s the list of free concerts at Fremont Street Experience for 2021.
June 26 – Chevelle (9:00 p.m., 3rd Street Stage)
July 4 – Craig Morgan & Clay Walker (6:00 p.m., 1st and 3rd Street Stages)
July 17 – Plain White T’s (9:00 p.m., 1st Street Stage)
July 24 – Dokken & Lynch (8:00 p.m., 1st and 3rd Street Stages)
July 31 – Tonic & Sister Hazel (8:00 p.m., 1st Street Stage)
Aug. 21 – Steven Adler of Guns & Roses (9:00 p.m., 1st Street Stage)
Sep. 5 – 3 Doors Down & Seether (7:00 p.m., 1st and 3rd Street Stages)
Sep. 25 – Generation Radio, Featuring Jay Demarus of Rascal Flatts, Deen Castronovo of Journey and Jason Scheff of Chicago (9:00 p.m., 3rd Street Stage)
Oct. 9 – Barenaked Ladies
Nov. 6 – George Thorogood & The Destroyers (9:00 p.m., 3rd Street Stage)
Nov. 24 – Vince Neil
Fremont Street Experience has threes stages, but two are being used for the concert series. The 1st Street Stage is between Binion’s and Circa, the 3rd Street stage is between The D and Four Queens.
It’s worth noting that while many concerts in other venues don’t start on time, shows at Fremont Street Experience almost always do.
The Downtown Rocks shows are free and open to the public, emphasis on “free.”
Which is a key bit of information when people complain about the fact the line-up doesn’t meet their lofty expectations.
Announcements of the free concerts are always accompanied by whining about how many of the bands aren’t particularly current.
We worked at Fremont Street Experience for several years, so we can shed some light on this.
First, there are two main considerations for selecting bands for the free concert series: Cost and fans.
While the shows are free to visitors, they aren’t free. The casinos who are members of Fremont Street Experience pay for the concerts. Those casinos are: Fremont, Four Queens, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget, The D and Binion’s.
Most of the bands booked by Fremont Street Experience cost in the $40,000 to $60,000 range.
Cost is just one factor, however.
The free concerts are a marketing tool, and as such, bands are selected based upon what fans they’ll draw to Fremont Street’s casinos.
Revenue at downtown casinos is largely driven by gambling and liquor sales. So, bands tend to be from a sweet spot in the demographic they draw. Older bands draw older fans, and older fans gamble more.
The bottom line is it’s not really about how many people attend the free concerts, it’s about who.
But enough inside baseball! It’s time to free concert again in Las Vegas.
The free shows on Fremont Street are wildly popular and often draw tens of thousands of people.
We often get questions about VIP passes, so here’s what’s up. For each concert, there’s a section up front for those with VIP passes. Back in the day, Fremont Street Experience distributed them. Now, it’s the casinos, and are largely given as a perk to their best players.
If you’re looking for a VIP pass to a free concert, ask your casino host.
If you’re not in the VIP section, concerts are first-come, first-served, so arrive early and grab your spot.
Be aware that surge pricing (sorry, “special event pricing) is in effect for self-park garages on concert nights. There are some workarounds, including being a hotel guest or a member of a casino loyalty club, as that often includes free parking.
Rideshare has made parking fees moot, so if you’re coming to the concerts from The Strip, just plan ahead as Lyft and Uber have been a little spotty in recent months. Again, anticipate surge (sorry, “dynamic”) pricing for rides downtown.
Another thing to be aware of are security guidelines for concerts on Fremont Street.
Within the concert footprint, there are special security measures to navigate: No strollers, no package beverages, no coolers, no chairs, no backpacks or luggage, no glass, aluminum or bottles and no weapons (real or fake).
In the past, no masks were allowed, but that’s gotten a little murky now. This typically means Halloween-style masks, not the other kind.
At the moment, masks are optional for fully vaccinated guests.
Bags are subject to search, and there will be wanding or metal detectors in place.
At various times, Fremont Street Experience has instituted a clear bag policy for special events, although it’s unclear if that will be in place during the free concert series.
The return of free concerts to Fremont Street Experience is another reminder Las Vegas is returning to normalcy, and live music fans can finally fan with fellow fans again.
Stay hydrated. Bring earplugs. If you see something, say something. Pre-game and hang out after the shows.
Gird your cochlea, the Downtown Rocks free concert series is back at Fremont Street Experience.