Two outdoor concert series begin in early May

Los Plebes De Olancho will perform on Cinco de Mayo at Northgate Mall’s Music on the Plaza.
Los Plebes De Olancho will perform on Cinco de Mayo at Northgate Mall’s Music on the Plaza.

Planning how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Well, it’s on a Friday this year, and the start to outdoor music season, too. Northgate Mall’s Music on the Plaza free summer concert series begins May 5, as does Chatham County’s Bynum Forch Porch music series. Both are scheduled for several Fridays.

Northgate Mall in Durham will offer Music on the Plaza on Friday nights. There will be beer and wine for sale from Bull City Burger and Brewery, and a rotating list of food trucks. Shows will held on the plaza at 1058 W. Club Blvd. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. No coolers permitted. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. for the five-concert series.

Here’s the lineup of performers and food trucks:

May 5: Los Plebes De Olancho and Cinco de Mayo Party. Mexican and Central American party music along with maracas and God’s Eye crafts for kids by the Durham Arts Council. Food trucks are El Rey Del Taco and Morfa Empanada.

May 12: Handsome Al and the Lookers featuring Emma “Big Mama E” Davis. Rhythm and blues with a hint of southern roots rock. Mac-Ur-Roni food truck.

May 26: Mel Melton & Wicked Mojos with John Dee Holeman. Local Cajun/Zydeco blues musician Mel Melton and the Mojos with Piedmont bluesman John Dee Holeman. Baton Rouge Cuisine food truck.

June 2: Beauty Operators. Five-piece blues, rock and root band. Stuft food truck.

June 16: The Entertainers. Longtime beach music band. Chick-n-que food truck.

June 30: The Magnificents. Soul/beach/Motown six-piece band. Only Burger and Zeke’s Meats food trucks.

“Northgate is keeping our home-grown music alive and we are thrilled to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Los Plebes, bring back our favorite blues bands, while adding two terrific beach music bands,” Melodie Pugh, Northgate marketing director, said in the announcement.

In Chatham County’s Bynum, the community’s Front Porch music series isn’t free, but tickets aren’t needed. A hat is passed with suggested donations of $10 to support the bands. The Friday night shows are held rain or shine, with an outdoor stage if it’s clear and an indoor stage if it’s not. Food trucks and activities are also part of the series at 950 Bynum Road, which has a Pittsboro address. No pets and no alcohol allowed. Music begins at 7 p.m. Here’s the full schedule:

May 5: Violet Bell (Lizzie Ross & Omar Ruiz-Lopez)

May 12: Onyx Club Boys

May 19: Boys from Carolina

May 26: Milagro Saints

June 2: Too Much Fun

June 9: Gabe Pelli & Will Ridenour

June 16: Holland Bros.

June 23: Bynum Front Porch Pickers

June 30 : Heart of Carolina Jazz Society

July 7: Blue Cactus

July 14: Gray Matter

July 21: Bobby Gales & New Direction

July 28: Tonk

Aug. 4: Swift Creek

Aug. 11: Gospel Jubilators

Aug. 18: Durham Ukulele Orchestra

Aug. 25: Bluegrass Experience

American Tobacco Campus has already announced its free outdoor summer music series, which also starts in May. It will be held on various Thursdays throughout the summer on the lawn by the Lucky Strike Tower. See the full schedule for American Tobacco’s Back Porch Music on the Lawn series online at heraldsun.com.

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: 919-419-6563, @dawnbvaughan