The stages from the Outside the Box festival have barely been disassembled, and the glow from the inaugural event is still shining over Boston Common and City Hall Plaza. But audiences will continue basking in the glow a few blocks away at Copley Square when the second annual Summer Arts Weekend kicks off this Friday. The back-to-back festivals are reinforcing Boston's reputation as a cultural hotbed and one of the country's preeminent places to enjoy free, high-profile, al fresco music and arts.

The headlining act will be Grammy Award magnet Alison Krauss who will bring her sweet bluegrassy, countryish, rootsy Americana sounds to the main stage on Sunday. (Interestingly, Krauss' Raising Sand partner in making gorgeous music, Robert Plant, will be in town this Thursday at the Bank Of America Pavilion. Might he stick around and reconnect with Krauss in Copley Square, or will the Zep man be gone, gone, gone by Sunday?)

Other major acts will include New Orleans ambassadors Mac "Dr. John" Rebennack and Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who will perform on Friday, along with Angelique Kidjo, who is set to bring her multi-culti style to the festival stage on Saturday. Other acts representing world music, blues, Broadway, and more as well as local performers, children's entertainment, food concessions, and other vendors round out the diverse schedule.

In addition to the free concerts, the Summer Arts Weekend is offering festivalgoers the opportunity to enjoy more intimate performances with indoor, ticketed After Dark events. On Friday, the same lineup playing the outdoor stage will reconvene in the Grand Ballroom of the Fairmont Copley Hotel, while on Saturday, the music will continue in the American Ballroom of The Westin Copley Hotel. Both shows will start at 10:30 p.m. The festival will also host a ticketed Baroque Brunch at the Fairmont Copley Hotel on Sunday at 11 a.m. featuring early music from the Handel and Haydn Society.

The weekend event is yet another stellar example of the many ways Summer Selects...Boston. Discover how you can have a hot time in the city throughout the season.

Summer Arts Weekend 2013
Friday, July 26 to Sunday, July 28
Copley Square
Free

Photo: boston.com