Summer is not over yet, folks! There are still a few weeks to pack in items on your “to-do” list that you have yet to cross off. There is so much to do in New York in the summer. Free concerts, however, should top your list. You would have to pay a large chunk of change to see some of these shows elsewhere in another New York season. But with New York’s abundance of free summer concerts, you can soak up as much fresh air and groovy tunes as your heart desires. Even if you don’t know the band, these venues are great post/during/pre-happy hour spots for your crew. Most of the big-name bands’ shows, however, will require that you set an alarm. Some of these shows are at the crack of dawn (literally). No matter if you choose the chill underground free concerts or the wild star-studded shows, indulge in the last of your lazy summer days.
Let’s walk through the summer week-by-week!
Harlem is hosting a Family Day on August 17th, with tunes rocking form Marcus Garvey Amphitheatre. Where is the Amphitheatre? Just take the 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 trains to 125th and you will be just a block or so away. This venue may seem a bit out of the way, but it is a beautiful must-experience space. Family-oriented shows begin at 4pm with artists such as Moona Luna and Kojo Odu Roney & Friends. Artists such as The Ki Ki Experience and Reva Six will kick off starting at 7pm. That same say, Musiq Soulchild will be performing in Central Park at 7pm. Fill your Sunday with fun!
Every Friday from now until September 5th, jump into the Today Toyota Concert Series and the Good Morning America Summer Concert Series! Both of these concert series are sponsored by morning talk shows, the Today Show and Good Morning America, respectively. All of these concerts mean early mornings, but it is a fair trade off considering most of these artists’ shows go for hundreds of dollars. The Today Show Series Concerts take place in Rockefeller Plaza at 6am and the Good Morning America Concerts take Place in Rumsey Playfield at Central Park at 7am.
This coming Friday, Today is hosting Neon Trees, an awesome indie group that incorporates a little electronic groove into their beats. GMA is hosting Florida Georgia Line for you country lovers out there. The next Friday, August 22nd, Today hosts Hunter Hayes and GMA hosts last year’s breakout star, Robin Thicke. The 29th is the last Friday of the GMA series, and they are hosting Brad Paisley while Today hosts Ariana Grande. Today’s Toyota Concert Series continues, hosting Maroon 5 on September 1st and Usher on September 5th.
A big day in free music is coming up next Saturday. Alex Senstation is playing in Central Park at 3pm, Afropunk Fest is playing at Commodore Barry Park in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival takes place in Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheatre, and there is a Blues BBQ in Hudson River Park at 2pm. Who knows how to make a decision on what to do that afternoon! Hudson River Park is very accessible, and it seems as though there may be some BBQ, so perhaps that is the best way to go!
But those are just events for the last Saturday in August. We still have not told you about the last Sunday in August. Fania All Stars go on in Central Park at 6pm. Afropunk Fest is happening at Commodore Barry Park. And guess what? The Charliet Parker Jazz Festival continues in Tompkins Square Park at 3pm. This is your chance to catch up on all the missed days of summertime jams.
None of these concerts strike your fancy? If you are willing to pay a bit to get into a fun-filled outdoor concert in an incredible venue, check out MoMA PS1. Their Saturday Summer Warm Up Concerts are an unforgettable experience for you and your friends to live up the last days of the season.
No matter your choice, make sure to enjoy the perks of summer while they last! Before you know it the leaves will start changing and a brisk chill will fill the air. Embrace the muggy outdoors and put your dancing shoes on!
List and schedule cited from The Village Voice: blogs.villagevoice.com